RNC, Obama campaign trade claims on voter turnout efforts

The Republican National Committee is jumping on the Obama campaign’s claim that it has out-hustled Republican state organizers in the run-up to the 2012 election.

In a mid-morning memo, President Barack Obama’s campaign said it registered more voters than the GOP in several swing-states, including Colorado and Florida, and that it has seized a lead in early voting in Ohio and other states.

The Democrat’s morale-boosting memo comes as new polls show Gov. Mitt Romney moving slightly ahead of Obama following the Oct. 3 debate in Denver.

The competing memos include data about voter registration, absentee voters and early votes, all of which are important in boosting each party’s turnout.

The RNC’s memo discounted some of the Democrats’ claims.

“Republicans are only 19.37 percent of registered voters in Ohio, based on primary vote history. … Today Republicans make up 29.79 percent of absentee requests and early votes [and] Republican over-performance is particularly strong in Ohio’s largest counties,” an RNC official told The Daily Caller.

The Democratic memo claimed to have registered more voters in Iowa than Republicans — 682,475 versus 669,647 — but the Republican counter-memo said they maintain a lead in registration of active voters, 622,176 to 611,284.

But the RNC memo didn’t refute other Democratic claims.

In 2008, Republicans had 259,000 more requests for absentee ballots than Democrats in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina and Nevada, but now have only 64,000 more requests for absentee ballots, said the Obama memo.

In response, the RNC highlighted recent gains in Colorado and other states.

In Colorado, 656,813 Republicans asked for absentee ballots, versus 627,064 Democrats, the RNC said.

In North Carolina, 65,683 Republicans and 33,927 Democrats asked for absentee ballots, and in Florida, the score was 855,344 for the GOP and 767,968 for Democrats, said the Democratic memo.

The Democratic memo also claimed their organizers have registered 2.4 million more people in seven states than have Republican organizers.

But 40 percent of that Democratic advantage comes from Pennsylvania, a Democratic-leaning state which Obama is expected to win, and which Romney does not necessarily need to win.

In the seven states — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina. New Hampshire, Nevada and Pennsylvania — Republicans registered 11.8 million people, while Democrats registered 14.3 million.

But the RNC’s quick response did not counter the Democratsic claim to have registered 4.6 million people in Florida, versus the GOP’s score of 4.2 million registered Republicans.

The Democratic memo claimed to have added 285,907 registered Democrats in the last three months, more than the 171,367 new Republicans gained by GOP organizers.

“We measure the strength of our ground game on verifiable numbers that clearly impact the election: voter registration and early voting,” said the Democratic memo, from Jeremy Bird, Obama’s national field director.

“In nearly every battleground state, our margins on both counts are bigger now than they were in 2008. It’s significant that in states where Republicans lead in vote-by-mail — where they have historically outpaced Democrats — their lead is considerably smaller than it was in 2008,” said the memo.

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