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. Hispanic For McCain

    HERE WE GO AGAIN MORONS. OBAMA IS NOT GOING TO WIN MI, YOU CAN COUNT ON THAT REMEMBER COUNT ALL THE VOTES!!!!!!! HE IS NOT GOING TO WIN NH, AND HE NOT GOIING TO NJ, THAT IS THREE BLUE STATES ALREADY. HE IS NOT A LOCK TO WIN CT, MN, PA. MCCAIN WILL WIN PA, OH, FL, MI AND THAT MY FOLKS IS VICTORY FOR MCCAIN FOR ALL YOU MORONS!!.ALSO MCCAIN WILL WIN THE MOJORITY OF THE HISPANIC VOTE JUST ASK THE PUERTORICAN PEOPLE, THE CUBAN PEOPLE, THE MEXICAN PEOPLE LA RAZA THE COLUMBIAN PEOPLE AND ETC ETC. MCCAIN WILL WIN THE MEXICAN VOTE DOWN AT NV, NM, AZ, ETC ETC

    June 25, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  2. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Catty.

    "Counting your chickens....?

    No Catty........In this case it is called...PLANNING AHEAD!

    You really should be familiar with this by now. Remember? This is what Hillary's Big Wigs..... FAILED TO DO...This is what Barack's managers did and what they will...... CONTINUE TO DO!

    June 25, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  3. EDW

    Obama has Cali – I've seen nothing but bumper stickers for Obama out here. Nothing for McCain.

    June 25, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  4. NoBushThirdTerm dot Com

    I predict a landslide in Obama's favor, no matter what happens.

    June 25, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  5. EDW

    Obama has Cali – I've seen nothing but bumper stickers for Obama out here. Nothing for McCain!

    June 25, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  6. Denial

    Brilliant Strategy ...........

    I'm 80% confident at this present moment that NC & VA ... will be going blue ..... IN is in play too .... but not that much .... hell even TX ...

    Obama just needs to compete in red states so Mc Cain will have to spend loads of Pac, Lobbyist money to defend them .. talk about strategy ..

    Democrats 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 25, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  7. INDEPENDENT for OBAMA

    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. .............This was a meeting to discuss VICTORY STRATEGY ............the issues will
    be discussed on the campaign trail GO OBAMA

    June 25, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  8. paul halvorson

    Obama fever is stronger than ever. Every Obama sign you see really says, "We've had more than enough, we are more than ready for something new." McCain will go down like Dole did. OK guy but old and not inspiring. He probably would have lost to Hillary as well but would have had a slightly better chance in that race.

    June 25, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  9. captain

    I'm an Obama supporter but I wish Plouffe would stop talking about strategy publicly. Every time he mentions North Carolina and Virginia, he increases Republican turnout there.

    June 25, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  10. CLINTON 08 VP

    UNITED WE ARE STRONGER

    OBAMA (P) & CLINTON (VP) 2008-2014

    NO TO MR. BUSH II (MCCAIN), MR. WAR, MR. KILL, MR. NO BRAINS...

    June 25, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  11. Ken j

    the American people should take a serious look at the state of our country. FRom economics to race we are in dire straits. The 3rd World has bought the 2nd World and put a firm down payment on the 1st (America). Mr. Nader is nothing but a trader of the Constitution of the United States. The President of the United States is for all the people and not a select few. I guess we have to take a page out of Momma Gumps book, "Stupid is as Stupid Does".
    When 9/11 happened, no one who needed help refused that help. We are all Americans. Some just have a pigmentation of their skin. We have never had a more perfect President and we will "never" have one. However, I firmly believe Barack Obama will not only make history as the first African-American president, but his presidency will give hope to many young people (regardless of ethnicity) to realize regardless of the odds, "I can do this." The America public is far too intelligent not to know that politics and the media are a strange bedfellow.

    June 25, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. Mike in Scranton, PA

    Thank you, aware! I couldn't have said it better myself. And I'm right there with you.

    Disgusted Democrat for McCain '08.
    Just say Nobama.
    PUMA

    June 25, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  13. The Oracle, MD.

    I like Obama's chances in Nov. I'd go with the young stallion if I was a betting man......

    June 25, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  14. Dems be dopes

    "Change you can believe in, especally if I can get into your pockets."

    June 25, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  15. Brandon Hillary Democrat for Mc Cain

    June polls are far from accurate historically from the final outcome. Obama will lose the critical larger swing states that Hillary won because of Reagan Democrats.

    The electoral college will be his downfall.

    June 25, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  16. Vig

    All Blacks across the country rallying for their guy Obama need to look behind the scenes – it's all young white males running his campaign. Obama will never be his own man – draw your own conclusions, sterotypes and social meanings.

    June 25, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  17. John in Iowa

    Keep dreaming girlie-man!

    June 25, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  18. Nic Ledoux, Burlington VT

    I lose all respect for anyone who refers to McCain as McWar, McSame, McBush...etc.

    I personally can't stand the man, but anyone who refers to him by those names seems like they are permanently stuck in 5th grade. Let's attack his policies, his flip-flops, his stance on the economy, NAFTA, and energy. 'Cleverly' switching out the 'cain' portion of his name is just annoying and not necessary.

    Obama '08!

    June 25, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  19. JG from MA-Obamabot and proud of it

    Its easy to win without Florida or Ohio. They would be very nice, but Obama can win:

    Virginia
    Nevada
    North Carolina
    New Mexico
    Iowa
    Colorado

    With Hillary, He has a shot at Arkansas, Kentuckey, and West Virginia

    Obama/Clinton, or someone else 08

    Clinton '16

    June 25, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  20. Val

    In your dreams, baby, in your dreams.

    June 25, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  21. Terry, Dallas Texas

    You don't need both OH and FL to win. If they can keep the states Kerry carried in 2004 and flip OH or FL back blue then that makes 270 although I would say OH is a safer bet than FL..

    If you check the polls at places like Real Clear Politics you will find Obama is gaining ground or slightly ahead in places like VA and CO so there really are a lot of ways to win this thing. As of today if the swing states voted based on who is ahead in state polls Obama would have a little over 300 EC votes. And thats with McCain taking FL!

    June 25, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  22. Jaye

    I guess Plouffe wants that janitorial job in the White House badly.

    June 25, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  23. Frank

    Ah, how shocking defeat will be for Obama and his camp! Makes the rest of us work even harder to make sure that they see that defeat! We have to show them that they can not buy the Presidency, when their candidate is a no good, inexperienced, no body!

    June 25, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  24. lindajones

    Georgia for Obama 08

    June 25, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  25. TF

    Shane-
    Turn your capslock key off and explain your position. With McCain taking Florida, Obama still wins the electoral college 317-221 right now.

    June 25, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
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