Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Obama campaign official says supporters are voting in bigger numbers than in 2008

Posted By on Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Obama Campaign Manager Jim Messina
  • Obama campaign manager Jim Messina
Fourteen days before the election, Team Obama is feeling just fine.

That's despite a Drudge Report story that shows a picture of President Obama holding an infant at a campaign rally while looking up at the heavens with the headline "Looking for a miracle."

However, the link to that headline is simply an Associated Press report about the state of the race.

On a conference call this morning, Obama campaign officials Jim Messina and David Axelrod gave their pronouncements of Monday night's debate (surprise, they said their guy won), and the nature of the campaign with just two weeks to go.

Senior strategist Axelrod called Florida "an incredibly competitive state," amid consternation about recent polls.

"Anybody who thinks those states are in the bag, is half in the bag themselves," he said, also referring to the battleground states of Virginia and North Carolina.

Campaign manager Messina said Obama is tied or ahead in "every battleground state." He pooh-poohed the idea that Democrats are pulling out of any of those states, saying it's just the opposite — it's Romney who's in retreat.

"We've gotten him to pull resources out of Michigan, Pennsylvania ... and New Mexico," Messina said.

Even though it's an assumed piece of reality that the president's core support from four years ago — youth and minority voters — will be voting in lower numbers than in 2008, Messina disagreed.

He said the electorate is bigger this year and "our vote margins are, too." He added that there are more black and Latino voters than there were in 2008, using New Mexico as an example for how that is changing the electoral map.

Back in 2000, the Southwestern state went for Al Gore by a miniscule 366-vote margin. But New Mexico's five electoral votes since then were for Democrats in 2004 and 2008.

Recently, CNN political analyst and Democrat Paul Begala said the Dems were ready to write off North Carolina, a state Obama took in 2008 (the first time the party won N.C. in a presidential contest since 1976). Messina said not so fast: Romney campaign officials said the state would safely be theirs by this point in the campaign, but it's not (the Real Clear Politics' average has Romney up by five points in the state, but Public Policy Polling shows it's only a two-point deficit).

Messina believes Obama is winning the early votes in the crucial battlegrounds of Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin. In Ohio, which most analysts say is the 2012 battleground state, Messina said that this time four years ago Democrats trailed Republicans in vote by mail by 250,000 ballots, whereas right now there's just a 38,000 margin.

On Tuesday, the Obama campaign formally released a new booklet listing the president's plans for a second term. It's widely assumed that it's meant as a response to growing criticism from Mitt Romney and mainstream media analysts who say the president hasn't created a specific set of initiatives that he would undertake if re-elected.

RNC Chair Reince Preibus wasn't impressed, calling it a prop to save Obama's future.

"Running to Kinko's two weeks before an election to copy a glossy pamphlet of repackaged ideas is the act of a desperate campaign, not of a visionary leader," he said.

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