Sunday, September 14, 2008

Florida Anecdote

I picked up this bit of political intel from the comments at No Quarter.

Comment by glennmcgahee 2008-09-14 07:01:34

There are many, many ads in our newspapers, on Craigslist and flyers offering $10 an hour “to bring hope” to the country by working phone banks on behalf of “Deomocracy” here in South Florida. I sawsome of them yesterday for the 1st time and knew what that was all about immediately. I’ve been receiving calls all week asking me if I support the Obama. I just tell them NO. There must be a ton of money being put behind this effort. One funny thing was I talked to one worker about my support of Hillary and the disenfranchised vote here and she actually agreed withme by the time I finished the call with her. haha
Obama has spent $8 million on ads in Florida plus more setting up an operation in Florida including 50 offices and 350 paid operatives.
Barack Obama could be on the verge of falling out of contention in Florida.

Despite spending an estimated $8 million on campaign ads in America's biggest battleground state and putting in place the largest Democratic campaign organization ever in Florida, Obama has lost ground over the summer. Florida has moved from a toss-up state to one that clearly leans toward John McCain, fuelling speculation about how much longer the Democratic nominee will continue investing so heavily in the state.

Obama can still win Florida despite the polling gains McCain has made since naming Sarah Palin his running mate, and there is no sign Obama is pulling back in Florida yet. Obama allies say he has about 350 paid staffers in the state and about 50 field offices, including in places not known as fertile ground for Democrats.

But for all the attention to Florida from the Obama campaign, there's little tangible evidence it's paying off.

He is farther behind in the state than John Kerry was at this point in 2004, even though McCain began buying Florida TV ads only last week.
Now that is what I call an economy of force operation. Suppose the Obama operatives can reach 30 people an hour to make their pitch. And suppose they are 10% effective in changing a vote. That means it is costing Obama about $3.50 a vote. If he needs 500,000 votes to turn the State that means it will cost him some where around $1.5 to $2 million to turn Florida. And that is based on an optimistic assessment of the success of the operation.

Given the fact that he is having money raising troubles and difficulties in other must win states it is hard to see how he can keep up the burn rate until 4 Nov. And that is not counting the need to go back and re-convince people after the next campaign blunder. Like dissing McCain for his so called computer illiteracy. In a state full of retirees many of whom bypassed the computer revolution that is not going to be a winner. It may be that the word of that blunder is mostly out there only on the internet, however retirees have children who call them at least every week. It takes a while for these effects to filter through the social networks, but there are 50+ days until 4 Nov.

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