WASHINGTON (CNN) – Barack Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, engaged in some serious expectations-lowering heading into next Tuesday’s "Potomac Primary," made up of contests in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
“You’re not going to see any of these states go 70-30 to anybody,” he said on a Thursday conference call with reporters.
Obama is expected to do well in those contests, all of which feature sizeable Obama-friendly demographics: African-American voters and well-educated, higher-income Democrats.
Still, several Hillary Clinton advisers told the Washington Post today that they will contest Virginia in particular, targeting women as well as working class white voters in the southwestern part of the state.
Plouffe said the Clinton campaign was “telegraphing” their Virginia strategy in the article and declared Virginia a “must-win” for Hillary Clinton, although many observers might say the same thing for Obama.
A campaign spreadsheet “inadvertently” leaked to the media yesterday showed the Obama campaign predicted a 50-48 victory over Clinton in the state on Tuesday.
Obama has several prominent endorsements in Virginia, including Gov. Tim Kaine and two Democratic congressmen. Virginia is also a purple-trending state – the kind of contest Obama hopes to win to prove he can re-shuffle the electoral map in November.
Plouffe said next Tuesday will be a “very big delegate day” (there are 168 pledged delegates at stake, divided proportionally) and that he expects Obama to add on to what he said was currently a 28-delegate lead over Clinton.
– CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby