$40 million for Florida

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The Obama folks have a new video out today with David Plouffe asking for money not just to defend against “McCain’s latest lies” but to fund their ground game. In the video Plouffe “opens up the hood a little bit” and tells supporters that they’re budgeting a whopping $39,300,000 for the state of Florida alone – just one of the 17 swing states they’re focusing on.

Plouffe justifies the expenditure like this:

Bush won in Florida by 380,000 votes in 2004. If you look at the number of registered African Americans who did not turnout in 2004, it’s over a half million; 900,000 registered young voters in 2004. So, there’s over 1.4 million registered voters who we consider to be base voters for us who were registered but didn’t turnout and obviously there’s a couple of million unregistered targets. So Florida’s a place where the grassroots campaign that we’re building in terms of registration, in terms of turnout and persuasion could make all the difference in the world. We have enough base voters in Florida to win the election if we can just turn them out.

Plouffe says that money will go to television and radio ads, turnout, staff, literature, office space and paid phones. Clearly they won’t be spending $40 million in all 17 swing states – that would mean they need to raise $680 million. But this may put to rest speculation that they aren’t investing enough there or may pull out of Florida. Though, they should also heed Rudy Giuliani’s lesson: you can pour money down the drain in Florida and still not make a dent if the momentum isn’t behind you.

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