Really interesting article this on which were the decisive factors in Obama’s general election victory in 2012. Particularly timely and potentially relevant in light of the recent news about David Axelrod being hired to advise Labour’s campaign… whilst the context is obviously very different, the key point seems to be that it’s the big issues and the candidates’ ability to frame them (or not) in favourable terms that was crucial. Not, say, how well the ‘on the ground’ campaign was organised – I for one had always assumed Obama’s superior ‘get out the vote’ team had made a major difference.
…while it may be true that Obama possessed a superior ground game, the evidence suggests that the marginal impact of that advantage, if any, was not big enough to change the outcome of the race. Indeed, overall turnout in 2012 was down from 2008, by 3.4%, as was Obama’s share of the vote, which dropped in that same period by 1.9%. Moreover, in five of the eight key battleground states, the drop off in Obama’s vote was greater than the decline in his overall national vote. In short, it is hard to prove that Obama won because his organization’s ground game outperformed Romney’s.