AFP ground game begins at the end of convention
Representatives for Americans for Prosperity, the conservative super PAC behind tens of millions in political advertising, said Tuesday they were sending three buses around the country to rally activists helping the group gather data on persuadable voters.
The buses, making their debut in Tampa during the Republican National Convention, are plastered with statistics on the national economy, making the case that President Barack Obama is pursuing a "failing agenda."
"The failures just keep piling up," the side of one of the buses reads. "$1.7 trillion health care takeover. 42 straight months of unemployment above 8%. $16 trillion national debt. Billions wasted on Solyndra and green energy scams."
Quote bubbles over photos of Obama spell out past remarks from the president that Republicans have utilized heavily in their attacks: "The private sector is doing fine" and "You didn't build that" are both prominently featured.
Levi Russell, AFP's director of public affairs, said the quotes could be changed easily, so if Obama or Vice President Joe Biden make a new remark Republicans find illustrative, it can be quickly switched in.
Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, said the bus tour would make one its first stops next week in Charlotte, site of the Democratic National Convention. After that the busses head to 15 different cities in North Carolina, a critical battleground that went for Obama in 2008 but that Republicans are confident they can take in November.
Americans for Prosperity, partially funded by the influential brothers Charles and David Koch, has 80 full-time staff members in offices scattered over 32 states, Phillips said, and a wide network of field operations in 18 states they consider priorities. Florida alone has eight field offices.
When the tour arrives at each location, activists in AFP's network will work from the bus to reach voters who the group considered persuadable in November's election.
"These are people that we know they're going to vote, and based on what we know about them, it would lead us to believe they need to hear our message," Phillips said.
AFP's teams will be armed with tablets already loaded with addresses (including GPS-generated maps) and contact info for voters the group has identified as targets. Canvassers will be able to enter survey information from the voters as the group's team goes door to door.
...This is a repeat of the successful ground game that AFP worked in Wisconsin in the Walker recall election fight. These buses and the people on them went toe to toe with the union bosses and won. AFP has also launched some of the most effective ads in this campaign.