People forget that the GOP has recently held the advantage when it comes to get out the vote operations. The unprecedented GOTV for John Kerry in 2004 was beaten by one other… George W. Bush. Part of the reason Howard Dean became the DNC chairman was a commitment to a 50-state strategy predicated on maximizing GOTV. In theory, you would think McCain’s people would ratchet up the arms race. Instead, they’re putting more money into TV?
The vaunted, 72-hour plan that President Bush used to mobilize voters in 2000 and 2004 has been scaled back for McCain. He has spent half as much as Obama on staffing and has opened far fewer field offices. This week, a number of veteran GOP operatives who orchestrate door-to-door efforts to get voters to the polls were told they should not expect to receive plane tickets, rental cars or hotel rooms from the campaign.
‘The desire for parity on television comes at the expense of investment in paid boots on the ground,’ said one top Republican strategist who has been privy to McCain’s plans. ‘The folks who will oversee the volunteer operation have been told to get out into the field on their own nickel.’