Obama’s campaign manager David Plouffe spent a little over an hour briefing the Washington press corps at the DNC today. In a tone that could only be described as confident, Plouffe laid out their General Election strategy in a power point slide show. Here’s a brief summary:
1) Hold the states that Kerry won in 2004, which accounted for 252 electoral votes. Plouffe noted they are polling ahead in Michigan, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania – the three states he said McCain is targeting.
2) They will go on the offensive in 14 states Bush won in 2004, including North Carolina, Nevada, Montana and Georgia. Obama is already polling ahead in six of those states: Virginia, Missouri, Colorado, Ohio, Iowa and New Mexico.
3) An early and prolonged advertising offensive to help “fill in the gaps” and expand people’s knowledge of Obama’s biography and platform. They are already up with tv ads in 18 states and, speaking of states Bush won, those include Alaska, North Dakota and Indiana.
4) An emphasis of a 50 state strategy where they can draw every electoral vote they can, including, for example, Nebraska where they hope to break away one electoral vote in the eastern part of the state around Omaha.
5) Voter registration. They will be making an enormous push in all 50 states. “We think this is a place where we’ve going to have an enormous advantage over John McCain, it’s a place where George Bush had an advantage over Democrats in 2000 and 2004,” Plouffe said. The registration is not a random, set up a table in the mall kind of operation, “it’s highly targeted,” he added.
6) The Persuasion Army. Plouffe repeated this term often. “We’re absolutely committed to building the best persuasion army. We think that’s something Bush did really, really well in 2000 and 2004.” Plouffe said it’s much more powerful to have people from your own neighborhood not only explaining their support for Obama but being able to answer questions and correct wrong impressions. “And it’s not just about quantity, though a critical volume to get the work done is important, it’s about quality and we’re lucky that one of Obama’s strengths is that he draws some really talented people,” he said. Plouffe pointed to yesterday’s L.A. Times/Bloomberg poll: “If only 13% of your voters support you enthusiastically, your volunteer base will be very low, versus when more than 40% say they are very enthusiastic about you, your volunteer base is very high.”
Other points included reaching out to women and Latinos (polls show things are going well with both demographics) and registering African Americans and young people (big push that started more than a month ago) but these were the six he spent the most time dwelling on. Plouffe noted it’s obviously still very early in the campaign but they feel much better about defending the Kerry states than he suspects McCain feels about defending Bush states. Here is part of the slide show that the campaign released for your viewing pleasure. And for fun comparison purposes, here’s McCain’s slide-show strategy briefing from last month.