Can McCain Win the Ground Game?

Matt Lewis
|
Posted: Sep 09, 2008 1:51 PM
Despite the fact that the Obama campaign is pouring money into his "ground game," McCain political director Mike DuHaime is confident in McCain's turn-out operation.

The reason?  DuHaime reminds me that his team is battle-tested. 

This rings true; few Democratic operatives are experienced at running a sophisticated national "turn-out" campaign.  In '04, John Kerry out-sourced most of this to 527's -- and frankly, they didn't do a terrific job of it.  While the DNC has spent four years aggressively trying to develop and mimic Republican technology like microtargeting, their Republican counterparts are seasoned veterans at using this technology.

For example, consider McCain's team in Ohio -- a state that could predictably once again become the swing state...

McCain's Ohio team includes Chris McNolty -- and, having met him I can tell you that nobody understands Republican turn-out politics in Ohio better than McNolty.

It also includes seasoned operatives like McCain regional campaign manager Jon Seaton, who is a campaign veteran and Ryan Meerstein, who was an Ohio staffer in ’04, ran turn-out operation for Bob Corker in TN in '06, and then worked for Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign in SC and FL.  And lastly, it includes Matt Mason, the 72-hour director for OH in both ’04 and ‘06 ...

When you consider factors such as 1). how Palin has excited the grassroots, 2).  how Obama has wasted millions of dollars in states he can't win (like Georgia), and 3). that McCain's team is more seasoned than Obama's -- it is entirely possible that McCain will be able to target his turn-out efforts into a hand-full of states like Ohio and Michigan, and arguably out-perform Obama at his own game...