Romney building campaign in Florida

June 1, 2012 at 9:38 PM
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TAMPA, Fla., June 1 (UPI) -- Likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's campaign team is stepping up its game in Florida, much to the enthusiasm of state party activists.

"We've got volunteers everywhere, and I'm not blowing smoke,'' said Cindy Graves, a GOP activist in Jacksonville.

The Romney campaign is mobilizing activists across Florida to spread the word about the Republican candidate, The Miami Herald reported.

The Romney campaign will have 23 "Victory" offices open across the state by Sunday and another 20 by July to coordinate voter-mobilization efforts with the Romney campaign and the state Republican Party.

Polk County GOP Vice Chairman Steve Maxwell said campaign offices already are open in Lakeland and Winter Haven, and volunteers are phoning tens of thousands of voters every week.

"We have people coming in off the streets every day. I'm confident you're going to see an equal, if not greater number of people, volunteering for Romney as for Obama,'' Maxwell said. "The grassroots is beginning to surface now, but we've been working at building up our local infrastructure for several years now and we're just now implementing our plan. It's a much more unified effort this time and we've got three years of Obama's record motivating people."

Romney and Obama are tied in Florida polls, and the president has been steadily building a voter mobilization army in the state with about 100 paid staffers, 27 field offices and thousands of volunteers.

"President Obama is going to have unlimited cash and resources, but we're not going to be outworked or out-hustled. We've carried over a lot of enthusiasm from our primary win, and we're going to build a smart, capable and efficient campaign," said Molly Donlin, director of Romney's Florida campaign.

"Republican enthusiasm is through the roof in Florida. We cannot keep up with the demands for literature, bumper stickers, yard signs and offers to volunteer," Donlin said. "Our biggest challenge right now is catching up the organic support that has been building throughout the state at the grassroots level, but it's a good problem to have."

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