Though Obama has disappointed many on the Latino left by failing to deliver on his promise of immigration reform, "clearly the Democrats talk about it in a tone that is much more appealing to Latinos than the way Republicans talk about it," Guerra said.
Strategists for Obama hope to do more than just energize women supporters. They are convinced the positions Romney took in the primary season on issues such as birth control and healthcare access for poor women will not only complicate his attempted move to the middle but serve to drive some Republican women and GOP-leaning independents into the president's camp.
That remains to be seen, but if so, it could hurt Romney in places such as Virginia, Colorado and Pennsylvania, all battleground states with large numbers of the suburban women that both candidates covet.
Wedge politics may seem a long way from the uplift of Obama's 2008 hope-and-change campaign or, going back further, the message of healing and reconciliation that launched the young Illinois state senator's political ascent with a galvanizing speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
But Obama has often been underestimated, or misconstrued, by supporters and critics alike. Though he has ideals and principles, and the eloquence to give them flight, he understands one thing: To get things done, you have to win.
Michael A. Memoli in the Washington bureau contributed to this report.