June 25th, 2008
04:50 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama campaign manager outlines victory strategy

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/25/art.plouffe.ap.jpg caption="Plouffe is Obama's campaign manager."]WASHINGTON (CNN) – Obama campaign manager David Plouffe held a press conference at the Democratic National Committee headquarters on Wednesday to illustrate the campaign’s path to victory in November.

Plouffe said that the primary goal is to hold on to the 20 states that John Kerry won, netting him 252 electoral votes. To win the additional 18 needed to reach 270 for the victory, Plouffe outlined a variety of strategies and initiatives, several already underway.

Check out CNN's electoral map

He emphasized a likely victory in Iowa, believing that the momentum created by the January caucus victory could hold and add seven votes to the Obama column.

Plouffe said that contrary to popular belief, victory in Ohio and Florida isn’t necessary to reach 270 but that they would “fight like heck” for the pair.

He pointed to two previously solid Republican states – North Carolina and Virginia – as examples of states they think can be turned blue, saying they plan to put some of their best staff there and if they win either on top of the Kerry states and Iowa, it’s “game, set, match.”

Watch: CNN's John King takes a look at the battleground states

Despite claiming to not put much stock in many national and state polls, Plouffe noted recent polls in important swing states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio to emphasize the number of ways of reaching 270.

Obama’s 50-state strategy is a centerpiece of his general election effort. Plouffe acknowledged that several core Republican states, like Texas, won’t be in play but said they will staff them nonetheless to help with the large grassroots efforts that have arisen.

He added that word of mouth at the grassroots level – as opposed to just advertising – is very powerful, especially if it’s coming from independents, Republicans or previously inactive Democrats that have decided to work for Obama.

The importance of African-Americans and young people was underscored, especially in a typically Republican state like Georgia that has a big black population that could help Obama take the state, particularly if Libertarian candidate and Georgia native Bob Barr, were to peel votes away from John McCain.

The PowerPoint presentation included a poll that showed 61 percent of Democrats being more enthusiastic than usual about the election, while just 35 percent of Republicans said the same.

Plouffe said that the goal going forward was to play off the enthusiasm to recruit volunteers, solicit donations and – perhaps most importantly – register voters and make sure they turn out in November. He also reiterated the need to educate voters not only about Obama’s personal history, but McCain’s stance on key issues that Plouffe believes will bring swing voters like women to the Obama camp.

Republican National Committee spokesman Alex Conant dismissed Plouffe's predictions.

“Like so much about Barack Obama’s campaign, his campaign manager’s words don’t match reality," he said. "Obama wheezed across the finish line of his party’s nomination, losing the majority of primaries since March 4, including key general election battleground states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Obama continues to struggle with conservative Democrats and independents, and a new poll today shows the race a dead heat.”


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (143 Responses)
  1. Enlightened Voter

    Obama has run a brilliant campaign and expertly managed his finances. He has chosen smart people around him and guides them expertly. Not sure about mcwar's strategy other than trashing Obama. Have no idea what mcwar thinks about anything because it changes daily. Not sure he knows really, I guess it's what the repugs tell him.

    June 25, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. Alex in TX

    They need to stop talking about states like they aren't made of people.

    Address the issues near and dear to people in all states and you will win. Let the votes fall where the will. Stick to the message of change and don't alienate people in states by saying "we don't need you."

    June 25, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  3. Barack Attack

    I'm on board, David. Count me in. When Hillary's debt is paid, I'll send another check, maybe two to catch up.

    June 25, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. DJ Los Angeles

    Blue states are a lock from 2004. Makes sense to focus on winnning back the red states – especially in the South, MI, OH and PA. No sense wasting time or $ on the blue states.

    June 25, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. Belle

    Clinton on the ticket would ensure WV, KY and ARK, and FL....something that should NOT be ignored.

    June 25, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. Shane

    ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS "IS HE HIGH?" OHIO AND FLORIDA ARE MUST WIN STATES FOR THE PRESIDENT.

    June 25, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. aware

    Also inconsequential! Disgusted Democrats, Conservatives, and Independents will give the victory to John McCain! 🙂

    June 25, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  8. Catty

    Counting your chickens before they hatch?

    I'm sure Dukakis was playing the same senarios in his head!

    June 25, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  9. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    I live in North Carolina, and I sense much greater enthusiasm here for Obama than for McCain. (For example, I think I've seen one McCain bumper sticker and zero yard signs, versus countless numbers of both for Obama.) I think he has a respectable chance of taking the state in November. He's got my vote.

    June 25, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. Darth Vadik, CA

    Heck, even a washed up Mike Tyson would knock McCain out.

    McCain?

    For real?

    Ok go with it Republicans and watch the landslide, God I can't wait. After what you have done to this country in the last 30 years, God I cant wait.

    June 25, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  11. richard

    brilliant campaign. i personally think that colorado and new mexico create new opportunities not previously available to democrats. let's get richardson to start campaigning hard for obama in those states to secure them now.

    and david was right, if virginia OR n. carolina goes blue, game over.

    June 25, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  12. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    Hahaha...bring it on!

    June 25, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  13. KHAL

    Good....better a plan..than no plan...I think that the old man McCain needs to go to an old soldier's home......

    June 25, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  14. Ian

    Sounds good. Obama will definitely hold onto Kerry's 252, unless, by a miracle, NH goes to McCain, which would bring Obama down to 248. If he gets Iowa, which he's leading in by 8%, he's up to 259. He's leading in Colorado, that gets him to 268. Then he just has to win one of the following:

    Florida
    Georgia
    Missouri
    New Mexico
    Nevada
    North Carolina
    Ohio
    Virginia

    I think he'll win at least ONE. Then he's the President.

    June 25, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. Brian, Pittsburgh

    What's the Panamanian word for "Landslide"?

    Obama '08!

    June 25, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. Crush Rush

    Florida for Obama would give that poor state a much needed boost in self respect.

    June 25, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  17. Susan from Scotts Valley

    There are people in every state of this great country that want change. And whether he can win every state or not, the more people on board and excited when he does win the better it will be for his presidency.

    Yes we can!

    Susan

    June 25, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  18. Candy - West Virginia

    Obama campaign – brilliant all around
    mccain campaign- solely consists of trashing Obama
    Will take that sound judgment any day over mccain's so called 'experience'

    June 25, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  19. From a True Democrat

    I love it!! I can smell the victory right now!!!

    Obama 08

    June 25, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  20. puff

    BOY WILL HE BE SORRY WHEN NOBAMA LOSES BY A LANDSLIDE. CAN HE REALLY BELIEVE THAT NOBAMA WILL STILL BE STANDING IN NOVEMBER? HE WILL BE BUT A MEMORY COME NOVEMBER BECUASE HE IS GOING TO BURY HIMSELF.
    AND YES, YOU DO NEED OHIO, PENN AND FLA TO WIN THE ELECTION. THIS GUY IS A BIG A CLOWN AS HIS BOSS IS.
    MCCAIN 08

    June 25, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  21. Ardnuas

    Choose William Cohen or Joe Biden to be VP.... this is the winning ticket
    Obama/Cohen08 ( OR )
    Obama/Biden08

    June 25, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. The US abolishes century old clinton dynasty

    just dont bring the hillarys, billaries or mcbushes, please

    these people can not be trusted...

    just let people make their choices..

    if billary is involved, trust me she will make sure Obama does not win,
    remember "this is personal,
    she rather see Mcbush than young black Obama..

    June 25, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  23. frank

    not so fast
    yhe party didnt start yet
    or is the DNC giving this to o –no brain obama

    June 25, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  24. al

    ************************************

    THE BEST STRATEGY IS TO HAVE A PLAN TO FIX THE ECONOMY, GAS PRICES. IF THAT MEANS ENDING THE COSTLY WAR, SO BE IT. ANYWAYS, I THINK OBAMA'S PLATFORM IS BETTER THAN MCCAIN. STOP THE MADNESS. VOTE OBAMA.

    June 25, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  25. independent

    our brilliant organization will change america,for the good of all americans.

    June 25, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
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