When it comes to the ground game, President Obama has a leg up on Mitt Romney, who has been encumbered by an extended primary fight.
Beth Reinhard writes in the most recent issue of National Journal magazine:
Blessed with the perks of incumbency, Obama is clearly taking advantage of the ongoing and unpredictable Republican primary to hit the ground running. In 2008, he was the first Democratic nominee to win Virginia since 1964, and the state is viewed as one of the most crucial battlegrounds of 2012. The president seems poised there and in other swing states to run an equally aggressive ground game that mobilizes potential foot soldiers early and often.
In contrast, Romney has lacked the time, incentive, money, and grassroots enthusiasm to start building a ground game that could compete with the president. In Virginia, for example, Ron Paul will be the only other name on the presidential ballot on Tuesday; Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum failed to collect enough signatures to qualify. And Romney’s campaign had other pressing concerns, with showdowns against Santorum in Arizona and Michigan taking priority over Virginia.
In the conversation below, National Journal's Major Garrett and The Atlantic's Molly Ball discuss Obama's edge. Click through to hear them talk about Romney's lack of a grassroots network, the benefit of 20 GOP debates, and their memories of living and reporting in Las Vegas.
Video by Theresa Poulson and Jennie Rothenberg-Gritz, The Atlantic