McCain's ground game won't compare to Obama's in Iowa

In the Des Moines Register on Monday, Thomas Beaumont reports on the contrast between the ground games of Barack Obama and John McCain in Iowa.

As I wrote yesterday, Obama has opened 15 field offices in Iowa, with two more planned.

McCain's state headquarters in Urbandale is the GOP nominee's only Iowa office so far, and according to Beaumont, the campaign is still trying to figure out where to locate about half as many field offices as Obama has up and running.

This passage is particularly telling:

Obama spent almost a year campaigning in Iowa before January, building up a staff of more than 150 and a volunteer network of about 3,500. That network had little time to rest after the caucuses.

Obama's campaign aides have remained in touch with his Iowa supporters, as they worked to turn out delegates to county and district conventions in their battle with Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York for national delegates.

Obama's general election campaign plan in Iowa follows the template that helped him win the caucuses, and which proved effective in his success in many states during the grueling nomination fight with Clinton.

That strategy focuses on having a local presence in as many places as the campaign can support and on keeping an army of 3,500 volunteers engaged, said Jack[ie] Norris, Obama's Iowa campaign director.

"So much of what we were doing before the county conventions ... was bringing up to speed again the Obama network in each of those counties," said Norris, who was a top adviser to Obama's caucus campaign.

Here's hoping that army of volunteers gets deployed in the down-ticket races. They would be a huge asset to Rob Hubler, Becky Greenwald, and our House and Senate candidates all over the state.

  • I never got a reply from Jackie Norris.

    I wrote to express concern about how the ground plan affects downticket races--not the first time I've raised it.  I guess it's not a question the campaign wants to answer.

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