Republicans tout outreach efforts in Virginia

Republicans are touting the most massive ground game effort in Virginia history ahead of the Nov. 6 election, claiming to have now exceeded four million person-to-person voter contacts in the state.

“That’s about two out of three of every voter in Virginia,” said Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus in a conference call Tuesday. “That’s the earliest that any GOP campaign has ever hit that milestone.”

The GOP push in Virginia is a coordinated effort between Mitt Romney’s campaign, the Republicans National Committee and the state’s Republican Party.

“When you look at 2008 — which is a difficult comparison because of the funding disparity — we’ve already made seven times more phone calls and 11 times more door knocks in Virginia,” said Romney campaign political director Rich Beeson.

Beeson conceded that the Obama campaign had roughly double the staff and offices that Republicans do in the state, but claimed enthusiasm was on their side.

“If we wanted to have as many staff and offices, we could do that,” he said. “We just choose not to. We choose to work smarter and simpler.”

He added that GOP volunteers have logged about 12,000 total hours, and in the last weekend alone made 250,000 new voter contacts.

Democrats hit back on the Republicans for celebrating their efforts in the state.

“Mitt Romney and the Republicans must think Virginians have short memories. Just a week after we learned that the company the Republicans had been paying to do voter contact in Virginia was under investigation for voter fraud, the Republicans are now bragging about their voter outreach statistics,” said Adam Hodge, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee.

“While Romney campaign has been paying political consultants to knock on doors and send out robocalls, Obama supporters have been working for more than three years to organize their neighborhoods, recruit new volunteers, and build the largest grassroots campaign in history,” he added.

The Obama campaign has 58 offices across the state and over the weekend launched 653 canvasses, representing a local network of volunteers working to organize in their own neighborhoods and communities.

Republicans have 30 “Victory” offices across the state.

“The Obama campaign loves to talk about the number of offices they have, but buildings don’t make voter contacts,” said Romney campaign spokesman Curt Cashour.