Contacts and Turnout

At The Fix, Chris Cillizza draws attention to the information in the new ABC/WaPo poll (which shows Romney up 50-47 among LVs) detailing campaign contacts with voters in battleground states:

Nearly four in 10 voters, 37 percent, in the eight swing states — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin — say they have personally been asked for their support by a representative of the Obama campaign, either by phone, in-person or online in the past month. About as many, 35 percent, say they have heard from Romney’s side. Two weeks ago, more voters in this collection of states said they had recently heard from Obama than Romney.

Looking just at reported contacts in the past week, the campaigns are equally matched: 28 percent of all likely voters in swing states say they’ve heard from the Romney campaign, and 27 percent say so of Obama’s.

Campaign contacts are highly correlated with voter preferences. All told, about two-thirds of those who have been contacted by the Obama side support the president’s bid for reelection, and a similar proportion of those who have heard from Romney back his candidacy.

Since Republicans as a rule call voter contacts the only metric that matters in GOTV, I guess they’re happy they seem to be running even with Democrats on that score so far. But getting contacted voters to the polls–particularly early–does have value, and it may be there that the much-vaunted billion-dollar Obama GOTV machine needs to excel.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.