Saturday, October 20, 2012

Peter Schorsch, Stop Worrying

Peter Schorsch asks if President Barack Obama should give up on Florida. The answer is absolutely not.

Romney has pulled money and staff out of Missouri to help win Florida. Obama has campaign offices in Florida that have been up and running for two years. Romney has had trouble getting his Florida offices off-the-ground. The result has been Democrats making improvements in absentee voting. Organizing for America have brought in people from out of state to help phone bank for early voting. The Obama campaign has an excellent ground game. They know how to win Florida since they have done it before.

The Romney campaign was rather disorganized with getting their regional offices up and running. I don't know how many times I have been by the Romney campaign office in Temple Terrace during the summer and seen it empty. I go into coffee shops and see OFA people phone banking for Obama. I don't see people holding Romney signs or have Romney-Ryan bumper stickers on their cars. There definitely is an enthusiasm gap between Obama and Romney.

Given there usual three point margin of error in polls, Obama and Romney are tied in Florida. It would be foolish for Obama to pull up stakes now. I'm sure Peter remembers Rudy Giuliani pulling his campaign out of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina to try to win Florida. That didn't workout well for Rudy. Panic is not a good way to run a campaign. Steve Schmidt panicked and told John McCain to pick Sarah Palin as his running mate.

The Obama campaign has been successful shrinking to electoral college map. Romney needs to win Florida. Obama doesn't. If Obama abandons Florida, Romney can free up resources to contest another swing state. Obama would hurt his chances to win the general election by giving Florida to Romney.

There are also the down ballot candidates. Bill Nelson appears to be safe. But why take the chance. Democrats could pick up seats in the House. Obama would have more political power if he made Republicans lose seats. He won't have super-majorities or even the House. However, the less tea party Republicans he has to deal with the better.

There are several good reasons for Obama to fight to win Florida. There are no good reasons for Obama to cede a swing state he has won before to Romney. If Romney wins Florida, he would have paid a steep price with no guarantee of winning the general election. If Obama wins Florida he gets a second term.

Peter needs to stop pulling an Andrew Sullivan and calm down.

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