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More on the Mitt Machine

Following up on my previous post about how Mitt Romney won the Value Voters Straw Poll, I had a chance to talk with Romney conservative coalitions director
Gary Marx.

Marx told me that the Romney campaign focused on internet voting, as opposed to in-person voting.  He explained that any smart campaign should focus on getting their supporters to vote early or by absentee ballot. 

The reason is simple: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, meaning that a potential voter who waits to vote on election day may get sick -- have a flat tire -- or just change their mind.   The bottom line is that it's wise to have your supporters vote early.  Romney accomplished this with the internet:  "We didn't care to focus on voting in person -- it was irrelevant to us," Marx told me.

Marx was not aware that FRC would distinguish between -- and report -- the numbers of voters who voted in person vs. the number who voted online. 

Another reason the campaign focused on internet voting is that Romney's speech took place Friday night at 7:30 PM, but the Straw Poll closed at 6 PM.  "He's done very well in his evening speaking engagements," Marx told me. 

(My guess is that there's a better vibe at night, especially if the speech follows a reception.)

According to Marx, 1600 people attended the event and voted online.  As such, the perception that Huckabee dominated among people who attended the event, may not be accurate because a disproportionate number of Romney's supporters who attended had already voted on the internet.

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