Even before the polls started moving in Sen. Obama's direction in Florida, it was clear that like in most other states, the ground game is going to be strong (I expect to see good to great turnout in states like Utah that won't stop a 20%+ McCain win in those states but adds to the national numbers significantly) but Obama moving over 50% in Florida seems to be exposing some panic in Florida.
Florida Republican leaders hastily convened a top secret meeting this week to grapple with Sen. John McCain's sagging performance in this must-win state.
With some grass roots organizers complaining about coordination problems with the campaign, Republican Party chairman Jim Greer gathered top officials at the state headquarters in Tallahassee on Tuesday afternoon. He swore the group to secrecy.
"I have a responsibility to make sure things are done right, and we win these campaigns," Greer said. "I'm sure everyone in the room understands that I take that responsibility very seriously."
One of the concerns has been the relationship between grass roots volunteers across the state and far fewer paid campaign staffers. Complaints range from not getting yard signs quickly enough to knowing who will speak at events and overall manpower coordination.
"The biggest challenge is communication," said state Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, who is involved in the campaign but was not at the meeting. She said the Broward County effort is running smoothly but that her overall impression is that state campaign officials are somewhat limited due to national directives.
If the best example they have is the Broward County operation, that sounds like bad news for McCain. Broward is the heart of the Democratic vote in Florida. It went 64-35 for Kerry in 2004. Why the heck would that be the center of the McCain operation? By comparison, the Obama campaign just opened an office in Collier County - 65-34% Bush territory.
Just a couple of weeks ago David Plouffe was talking up winning Florida and people were calling him crazy.