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Saturday March 25, 2017
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Turning Blue

 

continued

Ouimet raised more than $325,000, while Driskell raised just $195,000. In a race where the two candidates got a total of 50,257 votes, that's about $10 per voter. But as in the presidential contest, the Democratic candidate's campaign force dwarfed the Republican candidate's. "We had four or five paid staffers, and maybe ten interns," says Keenan Pontoni, Driskell's campaign manager. "Our core volunteer list included over 500 names, and we were probably getting 100 people consistently."

On the Republican side, Ouimet says he had "one paid staffer, a campaign manager, and about 100 volunteers locally and statewide." Pontoni thinks Ouimet's financial advantage helped him, but Driskell's advantage in labor helped more.

"We observed them early on spending a lot of money on visibility and media," he says. "They had huge signs and billboards and television commercials and newspaper ads, things we didn't have at all at the time. But we observed that they were hitting a smaller number of doors. With state house races, the game is on the ground, in knocking on doors and making phone calls. We had 20,000 targeted voters, and we talked at least three times to every one."

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