Chief of Staff Update
FROM: RNC Chief of Staff Jeff Larson
TO: Interested Parties
RE: Virginia Early Vote State Of Play
While Virginia doesn’t register voters by party there are a number of positive indicators that Governor Romney is well positioned with absentee and early voting in the state. One way to measure our performance is looking at the key media markets as compared to 2008.
Early voting is highest in media markets carried by John McCain in 2008. Coal country media markets – Bluefield, Tri-Cities, and Roanoke – are vastly over-performing their totals from 2008. Turnout is already over 67% of the 2008 absentee total in these markets which McCain won by 15 points. For example turnout is already at 89 percent of 2008 absentee and early votes in Franklin County (Roanoke DMA), where McCain won by 23 points and at 96 percent of 2008 in Buchanan County (Tri-Cities DMA), where McCain won by 6 points. By contrast early voting is down in the Washington D.C. market particularly Democrat counties like Arlington and Alexandria so we feel good about our position there.
The key to success Virginia will be the swing markets of Richmond and Norfolk. Given the GOP turnout advantage comparing southside to NOVA we will need swing voters in these districts to move our direction. One encouraging sign was today's poll from Roanoke College which showed Republicans with a 4 point lead statewide and a CBS/NYT poll that gave Romney a 21 point edge with Independents. If we continue at these margins with a strong ground game and advertising blitz – particularly in the Richmond and Norfolk DMAs -- we will be well positioned for success in November.
With more than 3.3 million volunteer voter contacts in Virginia since the RNC’s absentee and early voting turnout program began nationwide our ground game is ready to put Governor Romney over the top on Election Day.
Elections Election 2012