Incumbent candidates always start out with a ground game advantage based on their ability to ramp up offices and volunteers while the opponent is still battling it out in the primary. While it is a nice advantage, it doesn’t by itself win an election. Among many examples, George Bush has an enormous organizational advantage over John Kerry but still only won by a couple percentage points. And John McCain secured the GOP nomination well in advance of Barack Obama who was battling with Hillary Clinton almost into the summer months, yet Obama meaningfully out organized the McCain campaign. This campaign season, in place of the typical campaign offices in a specific state, we are seeing the opening of Victory offices which are a joint operation of the Republican National Committee, the state Republican Party and the Romney campaign.
Despite media representations to the contrary, we are seeing Victory offices opening in Battleground states across the county. Even earlier this morning a Victory Office was opened in Urbandale, Iowa (11:30am – 1:00pm):
Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and Congressman Tom Latham invite you to attend the Grand Opening of the Victory Campaign Office. BBQ lunch and other treats provided. Meet Congressman Latham in person. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or just show up.
Earlier in the week, Pennsylvania‘s recent addition to Mitt Romney’s Battleground radar got a boost with the opening of 7 Victory Offices:
“We currently have seven offices open across Pennsylvania and will continue ramping up our voter contact efforts aggressively,” Billy Pitman, Pennsylvania RNC Victory spokesman, said in a statement. That contrasts with the 27 offices that the Barack Obama re-election campaign has scattered throughout the state, including a joint office with the Erie County Democratic Party in downtown Erie.
Finally, New Hampshire had some announcements a couple of days ago as well:
The Victory office in Bedford has a new communications director. Tommy Schultz, a Stanford University graduate, in 2010 worked on Meg Whitman’s campaign for governor of California and managed a Victory office in Tennessee. His most recent job was with CRC Public Relations of Virginia.