Victory 2012, the Republican effort that is supporting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's presidential bid and down-ballot GOP candidates, celebrated a major milestone Tuesday afternoon at the Romney campaign's Virginia headquarters in Ballston.
Volunteers have called more than 3.5 million Virginia voters since April — more than half of this state's registered voters and nine times as many phone calls as the GOP made in this state in 2008.
Campaign workers and volunteers celebrated with a brief news conference featuring Meg Desmedt, who volunteers in the Bristow community of Prince William County. Desmedt made the 3,500,000th phone contact. Romney's vice presidential running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, called her during the celebration.
"We're really excited about this milestone," said Pete Snyder, chairman of the Virginia Victory campaign.
"It's early October, and you can't turn on the television without seeing an ad, you can't open your mailbox without finding a mail piece, or you can't pick up the phone without hearing a robocall. This election is going to be won on the ground. And we've built, over the last 10 months, the largest grassroots army in Virginia's political history."
Campaign officials pegged Prince William County as a battleground in the larger tug-of-war that is Virginia. And Snyder pointed out Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell's win of 51 percent of the vote in Fairfax County in 2009 as proof that even Democrat-heavy Northern Virginia is in play.
"We are paying a ton of attention to Northern Virginia," he said, before laying blame for billions of dollars in looming defense cuts under the auspices of sequestration at the feet of President Barack Obama's administration.
Snyder also cited a measure authored by Ryan designed to avoid sequestration that the House of Representatives passed earlier this year and accused Obama of "turning a blind eye" to Northern Virginia's economy.
He said he hoped the issue would come up in tonight's debate, the first of the 2012 election season between Obama and Romney.
The Victory campaign has 30 offices in Virginia, including its state headquarters at 3811 N. Fairfax Drive. In the Old Dominion, volunteers work toward the election of Romney for president, former Gov. George Allen for Senate and other Republican candidates.
Last week, Virginia volunteers made 260,867 phone calls and knocked on 113,629 doors, according to Victory spokesman Michael Short.
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