Jonathan Chait always has something interesting to say and he does so fairly regularly now at Daily Intel. Today's Chait is no exception, but it leaves the reader with the feeling that uh-oh, Obama could lose this thing!
... One way to look at this is that Obama has merely received an October scare. Romney won what was, by public opinion measures at least, the biggest debate victory in presidential campaign history, and yet he still hasn’t gotten over the top.
The other way to look at it is that three debates still remain. And it’s far from clear Obama will make up for the damage of the first. Indeed, he may well simply compound it. Obama was far too passive in the first debate, but the reason for his passivity was that he wanted to avoid appearing angry and unpresidential. That’s not an irrational fear. And it’s entirely possible that he will err in the opposite direction in the course of trying to correct his initial mistake.
That’s not the most likely scenario, but it is a plausible one. ...Jonathan Chait, Daily Intel
Right. I know that. I just don't want to anticipate that outcome. So it's hard not to admire T Thibaud's comment on Chait's column.
Chait's level-headed as always, but his analysis like most we see these days is missing an important - probably the most important dimension: the ground game.
Obama has an enormous edge here, not only nationwide but especially in Ohio. Obama has been painstakingly building an end-to-end, integrated online+offline cutting-edge organization for over two years.
His data science team was assembled over a year ago and has some the best micro-targeting talent in the business. He has more than twice as many field offices as Romney. His small donation machine is firing on all four cylinders, and outraising Romney by a mile.
In contrast, Romney's operation outsourced the digital marketing and targeting functions, and you could say outsourced the fund-raising effort as well by depending on soft money from the likes of FBI-dodging Bugsy Adelson and the chemical brothers. This last advantage for Obama is huge, because 1.8 million small donors (in September alone! 580,000 of them NEW donors) translates into a significant number of passionate campaigners on the ground who will influence friends, family and neighbors to vote for their man. Adelson and the Kochs do not bring such a tailwind with their money - if anything, their donates turn people off.
The result is that Romney has less money to spend in the last 26 days, less control over how that money's spent, less ability to follow up on the ground and less GOTV muscle.
If the election will come down to the 5% of voters in OH FL VA IA and CO who are still undecided, and if those undecideds are concentrated in just a few hundred precincts, then the campaign that can pinpoint those voters saturate the airwaves and follow up with in person calls and visits will win.
That campaign is without question Obama's. There is no way that Romney at this stage of the game can somehow assemble all the elements he needs to prevail on the ground and in the airwaves with these voters. ...T Thibaud, Daily Intel
That is good, very good!