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OFA: grassroots organizing powerhouse. Again.

The Obama campaign released numbers today about how effective their ground game in swing states has been in two specific areas: voter registration and early voting. How effective have they been?

In a word: VERY.

On the call were Jim Messina, Campaign Manager, Jeremy Bird, National Field, and Ben LaBolt, National Press Secretary. Messina is a data-driven guy. Every morning,  the first thing he does is look at numbers. "Not poll numbers but voter registration numbers and early voting numbers," he said." Those are the numbers that matter to me."

What those numbers show for the swing states that will be the deciding factor in this year's election is that Obama for America (OFA), the Obama campaign's grassroots organizing effort is shooting the lights out when compared to the Republicans. In fact, they are doing even better this year than they did in 2008. They have more registered voters in every swing state except Colorado and New Hampshire and have registered more voters than the Republicans in every swing state that reports party affiliation.

Here is the data for the number of registered voters:

[Not included: OH, VA, and WI where voters do not register with a party affiliation]

The number of new voters registered in the past three months is equally impressive:

[NH does not publish this data]

Some interesting stats from a memo put out today by Jeremy Bird (pdf):

  • Iowa: We lead in vote-by-mail ballots cast, in-person early voting, total voting and total ballots requested. We also lead by a wider margin than we did at this point in 2008 in both ballots requested and ballots cast.
  • Ohio: We lead in ballots requested and ballots cast and are ahead of where we were at this time against John McCain.
  • Florida: At this point in 2008, Republicans outnumbered Democrats among absentee mail voters by more than 245,000. This year, Democrats have cut that margin to just 70,000 – an improvement of 175,000.
  • Nevada: At this point in 2008, Republicans outnumbered Democrats in absentee ballot requests by more than 8,000. This year, Democrats are in the lead.
  • North Carolina: At this point in 2008, Republicans outnumbered Democrats in absentee ballot requests by more than 39,000. Today, that margin is down to less than 34,000.
  • At this point in 2008, Republicans had an absentee ballot request advantage of 259,000 ballot requests in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina and Nevada. In 2012, Democrats have cut that margin by 75 percent to just 64,000.

OFA has also been highly effective at registering Latinos in the swing states, a demographic that leans heavily Democratic. They've been especially effective registering young Latinos. In fact, in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, 79% or more of the new registrations since August 1st have been under age 30, women, African American or Latino.

With regard to early voting, nearly twice as many Democrats requested early voting ballots than Republicans in Iowa and they are ahead of where they were in 2008. In Ohio, the lead in ballots requested and in number of ballots already cast, too.

Finally, by this point in 2008, Republican requests for early ballots had outpaced Democrats by 259,000. The gap this year? Only 64,000.

Messina told a story about a Neighborhood Team Leader in Ohio who told him she had been working for OFA in her community for so long that she knows who the new voters are, where the reliable Dem voters are and which Democrats need to be reminded to vote. Her counterpart in the Romney campaign just arrived on the scene a few weeks ago.

Mitt Romney is counting on blanketing the airwaves with millions of dollars' worth of anti-Obama ads between now and November 6th. None of that will matter however, if OFA is as effective this year as they were in 2008. They have the advantage in terms of registered voters as well as those who vote early. Don't forget: an early voter isn't susceptible to last-ditch efforts to smear the President.

Want to be part of this massive volunteer effort? It's fun and exhilarating and you actually can make a very big difference. If you want to be part of that, and I hope you do, click HERE.

P.S. Interested in seeing the new photomosaic of Barack Obama by Anne C. Savage? This is a follow-up to the image that ran as a two-page spread in Time magazine in 2008 and contains thousands of faces from Obama rallies over the past year. Check it out HERE. Half the profits for the next couple of weeks go to the Obama campaign.

Cross-posted from Eclectablog.

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