In fact, what thell happened inOhio...I thought the EV was close enough that if Romney got the election day turnout that McCain got, he would win. Well, I guess he didnt get the McCain turnout, another reason why I think the ground game was crap tonight.
Romney's Ohio "ground game": This is perhaps anecdotal... my husband and I put in several hours at the Columbus, OH Romney HQ and call center on Saturday, Nov. 3rd. Supposedly this was one of the big Romney HQs in Ohio. There were a few phones (surprisingly not a lot), with a wonderful bunch of older people - very committed to a Romney-Ryan win - working the phones diligently.
A very young woman campaign worker (or volunteer?) spent about 2 seconds "training" us on how to use the phone. We were supposed to ask targeted questions and punch in answers which would help with the GOTV effort on election day. The girl glossed over the fine points of working this computerized GOTV system. After about an hour, I finally figured out by myself how to work the system properly - she definitely failed in properly instructing us - it wasn't particularly user-friendly.
This young woman didn't know what time the polls closed on November 6th in Ohio when I asked her (so I could be accurate when talking to voters). She told me 7pm - turns out it was 7:30pm. (We live in CT, we don't know what time polls close in OH)
There was a big Ohio State vs Illinois football game going on while we were making calls. There was a room filled with young guys who were relaxing and watching the game for hours... they weren't doing any work. I think these guys were Romney staffers - not volunteers. Remember this is three days before the election.
I'm not saying these people lost the race in OH for Romney... but there wasn't a lot of hard work going on at that call center *except* by the hard-working, mostly "older" volunteers working the phones during the time we put in at that HQ that particular day. Three days before the election.