Coming around once again to the subject of chickens counted before the eggs are even laid, the Hotline has this little item. Despite the massive cheerleading in the media, despite the huge, overblown predictions, despite the gloom and doom from some folks, despite the huge debts being assumed by the DNC, Republican grassroots efforts are not declining. In fact, they are gathering strength.
If you're ever read a profile of Ken Mehlman, you know he is obsessed with metrics. For him, one of the most important sources of data is a weekly e-mail his political team prepares called the "Weekly Grassroots Report." It meticulously records the work of tens of thousands of volunteers in targeted states, counties and congressional districts across the country. The data summary allows the RNC to determine which states are meeting goals and which states are falling behind.
The RNC declined to share the most recent report, which was issued Monday. But two independent sources who saw last week's report professed to be surprised: not only was their no drop off last week, 12 states broke new voter contact records.
In a month, the party completed more than a million phone calls and door contacts combined. Bigger states are putting up big numbers — even Ohio, which lagged behind its targets all summer, has caught up. The RNC is particularly pleased with their progress in New Jersey, where they've rapidly set up a more aggressive version of their 72 Hour Program in light of the state's more competitive Senate race.
In other words, Karl Rove is not optimistic because he's slipped his tether. He's optimistic for a darn good reason. That optimism may explain the sudden frantic borrowing of money by the DNC to finance last minute advertising.