Ohio Republican Party Headquarters

Early Oct. 2004--Ohio Republican Party executive director Chris McNulty, at the party's headquarters at 211 S. Fifth Street in Columbus, expressed confidence in the outcome of the election.  "We feel great about our plan; we feel great about the number of volunteers that are signing up...," McNulty said.  He said the campaign has involved 60,000 volunteers. (read more below)

Chris McNulty: We have upwards of 30-plus Victory Centers around the state.  Actually more than that, probably in the neighborhood of 42 Victory Centers, now that I think about it.  We will be making well over half a million volunteer phone calls in the last three or four days; we will be knocking on hundreds of thousands of doors in the last few days.  We have already tested it.  We've got the capability.  We're going to do it.  We've got, I think, in the top 31 counties we've got 26,000 volunteer shifts to fill to do all the things that we want to do, a shift being a three-hour walk shift or a four-hour call shift; and we're well on our way to filling all those shifts too...

Democracy in Action: Looking at the results on Election Night, how will one be able to tell that you [Bush-Cheney] are doing well?

Chris McNulty: You want to--in Southwest Ohio if the returns are coming in 58 to 60 percent of the vote for President Bush, that means we're doing well.  On the flip side, if the numbers in Cuyahoga County are where they were before, in 2000, 160,000 margin of victory for Gore at the time; if its that or less we're doing well.

Democracy in Action: How about the whole Youngstown area?

Chris McNulty: The Youngstown area, the Mahoning Valley, I think again is generally speaking is not a great place for Republicans historically, but I think we're going to do better that we did in the past up there.  We have Youngstown Mayor George McKelvey, Democrat, endorsing President Bush, strongly endorsing President Bush, along with a couple other Democrats from that area, so I expect we'll do slightly better up there and I'm looking forward to it.

Democracy in Action: What's yor biggest challenge at this point?

Chris McNulty: I think the biggest challenge is...the unknown.  We feel great about our plan; we feel great about the number of volunteers that are signing up to take these shifts.  The biggest concern that I think we have is the unknown and what the other side has started to show in this voter intimidation that they've been embarking on.  I mean the AFL-CIO I think two days ago sent some people to multiple Victory Centers or Bush Centers around the states, in key states.  They burst in in Florida; I saw a report in Orlando they burst in and there was actually injuries as a result of the AFL-CIO bursting in.  They were here in Bush-Cheney headquarters here in Ohio and they were throwing stuff at the windows...  And there are a number of stories around the country that this is a coordinated thing that the AFL-CIO is doing, and it's a shame because here you've got kids and volunteers basically for the most part working in these Victory Centers and the AFL-CIO sends people on a bus to intimidate workers.  And if that's the way they think they're going to win, that's a shame, by kind of slowing up our efforts.  I think that they'd be better served working in their own campaign to get their own voters out...

Copyright © 2004, 2005 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.