Huffpost Politics

Mitt Romney Campaign's Innovative Phone-Banking Operation

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Mitt Romney's campaign is entering new territory when it comes to election-year phone banking, offering up free swag to volunteers who make hundreds, if not thousands, of calls.

The campaign's deputy political director, Dan Centinello, sent out an email to supporters alerting them to the fact that they could "earn free Mitt gear" by "making calls through our Volunteer for Mitt program."

The breakdown is as follows:

  • 100 total calls made gets you a bumper sticker
  • 250 total calls made gets you a lapel pin
  • 500 total calls made gets you a signed photo
  • 1,000 total calls made gets you a Romney T-shirt
  • 1,500 total calls made gets you a Romney half-zip sweatshirt

This may seem like standard campaign strategy. In fact, the union super PAC Workers Voice has offered up operation control of some of its budget in exchange for active volunteering. But Shaun Dakin, the founder and CEO of StopPoliticalCalls.org and, perhaps, the foremost expert on the robocall industry, emailed to say the strategy is unique.

"First I've seen of this," he said. "Earn rewards for the number of calls you make."

UPDATE: 3:43 p.m. -- It turns out this isn't the first case of a campaign using swag incentives to motivate its volunteers to make calls. The RNC, working on the Wisconsin recall, promised a "Social Victor Center Captain" fleece for the caller with the greatest number of dials.

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