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. Women In California For Obama

    Mr. Plouffe do you REALLY think it is wise to discuss your strategy? The unspoken word is the most powerful...

    June 25, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  2. jb from sierra leone

    keep it up david, you and your team are brilliant. but please take heed.in as much as the almighty god is on our side, we must continue to work ten times harder and not be complacent.
    we must not be too mathematical about which states we shouldn't worry about. we must treat each and every state as a must win. the message of Mr. Obama is change for America of which Ohio and Florida are a part of. GOD BLESS MR.OBAMA and the "A" team.

    June 25, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  3. peakarach,des moines,IA



    June 25, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  4. gerry

    Seeing how professional Obama runs his campaign, I expect he'll make a great president.

    June 25, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  5. roger

    obama will win. Mccain has no chance to win because all he talks about is wars wars wars terror attacks terro attacks. we are over that fear we need real people to rule our country. obama 08!!1

    June 25, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  6. Lone Democrat kid

    I a kid from Kentucky would love KY to go blue

    June 25, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  7. Tamara

    I find it interesting that we have to piece together a map for Obama. The Democratic Pary should be winning this thing by large numbers. Obama might win Indiana, might win North Carolina......... I hope we will are not be looking at McCain in November. Pick Hillary so we can win this thing.

    June 25, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  8. jb from sierra leone

    ...........and so shall it be.


    June 25, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  9. Wingit

    The biggest problem coming up in this campaign is that near the close one candidate will have such a big lead (guess which one) that voter apathy will set in. Voters won't see the importance of them going to the polls because so many others are voting for their choice also. So many elections have been lost that way.

    June 25, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. Theresa

    Mr. Plouffe, isn't it supposed to be 57-state strategy instead of 50?

    June 25, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  11. Willy

    Must have Ofays on our side

    June 25, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    Go get UM, Obama!

    No Hillary and No Bayh for VP

    June 25, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  13. No-Obambi

    Ex-Mop-There are probably more Obama signs and bumper stickers due to the fact people automaticaly see you as a racist if you are voting for McCain. Also, judging from Obamabots blogs, they would probably vandalize a car or home that has a McCain sticker. I for one will have one.

    June 25, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  14. ANON

    Victory. God just start wooing others apart from the normal liberals who are chanting about you already. There arent many i've spoken too who trust him...

    And for those that think McCain is too old etc., wont know what an IPOD is, have a think. He has 4 children aged 16 to 23, i think he knows a think or two about what is hip these days. his daughter travels with him and has her own website/blog (mccainblogette) and its great. it shows you a great side to the McCains. He has 2 sons in the military so knows the worry that parents go through when their children are at war. Here are some OTHER examples of his experience.

    June 25, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  15. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Egad, zounds like a fairy tale.

    June 25, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  16. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    If he keeps Kerry's wins and adds in Iowa, Colorado and New Mexico he gets to 269. And since a tie goes to the House, Senator Obama wins.
    For all of my Senator McCain friends, notice how I didn't add Florida, Ohio, Indiana or Virginia. All of these states are really close with at least two of them showing right now in the Obama column. And with just one, he goes over the top.

    But, we want a mandate, and with a strong showing down ballot, (already saw that in Illinois from Hastert of all people, Louisiana where the Rep tried to tie in Obama and in Mississippi where Cheney himself showed up, the Dems took all three of those seats), this country can chart a new course.

    June 25, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  17. MD

    Short of a serious melt down, McCane does not stand a chance in November.

    Just in the past week, he has come u with some bizzare ideas.

    Bush went into Iraq and ordered the CIA to spend millions of dollars to get intelligence. Now McCane is using the same strategy to get a battery! Off-shore drilling is another one of his "brilliant" ideas that can be shelved right next to his Gas Tax Holiday.

    Republicans are completely out f touch with the current mood in America. There will be a landslide in November for Obama.

    June 25, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  18. Tony

    The US abolishes century old clinton dynasty June 25th, 2008 5:55 pm ET

    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..

    What planet did the ape how posted this come from??

    June 25, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  19. BHO FTL...


    June 25, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  20. Peter E

    Victory strategy: lies, lies, and more lies

    June 25, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  21. Cynthia

    Sounds good to me. The real Democrats are behind you 100%.

    June 25, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  22. Peter E

    How about a strategy like this: talk about issues and your record... oh wait, that would lose him the election... back to cheesy slogans and negative attack ads then!

    June 25, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  23. Peter E

    Why not apply the same victory strategy that won him the primaries: 'Hillary Clinton is evil!' Oh wait, now he no longer runs against Hillary. I guess he's screwed...

    June 25, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  24. Jim

    David Plouffe is going to get the job done. Obama has the right people in place to win this November. The problem is the Republican attack Machine is geering up. To Bad they started with Dr. No.....Obama is no doctor???? ....He is going to be our next President. The First real President of the 21st centry. It so sad a republican will NEVER GET MY VOTE AGAIN.

    June 25, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  25. Peter E

    'Hillary is wrong! Hate Hillary! Hate hate hate!' Oh wait. Hillary is no longer his opponent... what can he do now?

    June 25, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
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