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The 'most innovative grass-roots campaign' ever? Dems say so

October 11, 2012|By Kathleen Hennessey
  • President Obama waves as he arrives at a campaign event at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla.
President Obama waves as he arrives at a campaign event at the University… (Lynne Sladky / Associated…)

President Obama may be playing humble these days, but his campaign isn’t afraid of puffing its chest a bit.

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina on Thursday declared the campaign’s operation the “largest and most innovative grass-roots campaign in American political history.”

The fact check on that statement will come on Nov. 6.

But as the Obama campaign tries to recover from the president’s ugly debate performance against Mitt Romney, it’s clear the campaign is relying on its ground game as a backstop against bad news.

On a conference call and in a newly released memo, the Obama campaign unleashed a string of stats that appeared to show the fruits of its labor in the battleground states. Democrats have a voter registration advantage in Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, the campaign said. Republicans outnumber Democrats in Colorado. (Voters in Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin don’t register by party.)

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In states where voters are already casting ballots, more Democrats than Republicans appear to be voting. Perhaps more remarkable, the tallies are exceeding those from four years ago, the campaign claimed.

“Voter registration and early voting in nearly every battleground state -- our margins on both counts are bigger than they were in 2008. Quite simply, we’ve registered more voters than in 08, we’ve knocked on more doors, and we’ve talked to more people,” Messina said.

In most states, it’s not usual for more Democrats to be taking advantage of early, in-person voting. Democrats were quicker to seize on early voting as a get-out-the-vote tactic that can insulate a campaign from late-breaking shifting in momentum or events. Republicans acknowledge they are playing catch-up. See Paul West’s story on the strategy at play.

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Twitter: @khennessey

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