Romney bus visits Provo

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[Jamison Metzger] The Mitt Romney campaign bus was spotted at the Brick Oven in Provo Wednesday afternoon.
Diners at the Brick Oven were treated to an unexpected special Wednesday afternoon with the Romney bus rolling into town.

The Romney campaign is seeking volunteers in Utah to help reach people in swing states, and they’re using Romney’s campaign buses to get these volunteers. One of these buses visited Logan, Layton and Midvale before coming to Utah State University, Orem and Provo on Wednesday. Thursday, the bus visited Cedar City and St. George.

Using local call centers, Romney campaign supporters of Utah call residents of swing states, such as Colorado, Nevada and Ohio, to spur support for Romney.

“We want to make sure that people are able to effectively help the campaign,” Cory Drumright, state director of Romney’s victory operation, said.

Katie Clark, a senior from Littleton, Colo., studying communications, has been volunteering at the Orem call center this election.

“I’ve liked doing it,” Clark said. “People are kind of mean sometimes, but it’s all just about getting support for Romney and getting people to vote for him.”

Volunteers at the victory call centers ask people they call two questions: how President Obama is doing at his job and who they would vote for today. Talking to voters in swing states helps the Romney campaign figure out where to focus their efforts.

Clark said with a lot of out-of-state students here at BYU, it is important to gain votes even though Utah voters largely support Romney and Ryan already.

Taylor Smith, a communications study major from Layton, has worked at election call centers in the past.

“There are so many people out here who want to volunteer and be involved and so I think this is a great place to do it,” Smith said. “Their victory center is doing really great.”

Others are getting involved in different ways.

David Dickson, a native of Seattle, Wash., has volunteered time for various campaign efforts over the years. This week he is traveling with the Romney bus and selling buttons that read “Mitt Romney for President 2012.” Dickson understands the need for volunteers because the race is so close.

“We need these swing states. We win Florida, we win Ohio, we win the election. That’s what it’s basically coming down to,” Dickson said.

The Romney bus that’s been touring Utah is one of five buses on tour.

Romney and Ryan use the buses throughout campaign season.

“When the governor or Congressman Ryan is on, it is considered our mobile campaign headquarters,” Drumright said.

The inside is decorated with black leather armchairs, granite countertops, TVs and a kitchenette, properly suited for travelling and managing a campaign.

Drumright believes the work of Romney’s victory operation provides more of a connection with voters as opposed to TV ads and mail because it’s human-to-human interaction.

“With the race being as close as it is with razor-thin margins, the way you win those races are through grassroot efforts,” he said. “Coming into the phone banks and talking to those swing voters will help put us over the top.”

There are four victory offices in Utah — Midvale, Logan, St. George, and Orem. They are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“There’s always an open seat for anyone who wants to come in,” Drumright said.

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