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What The Obama Campaign Is Thinking

An expanding electorate to counter Romney's cash, and while "media and ads mean less in the fall," says an Obama aide at a background briefing. Middle class people will frame the podium in Charlotte.

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WASHINGTON, DC -- Obama campaign officials Thursday said they remain confident they can outpace Mitt Romney’s voter turn out efforts, arguing that increases in the number of Hispanic and youth voters will more than make up for conservative anger that is fueling the GOP base.

“We continue to feel good about our efforts to expand the electorate,” one senior official told reporters during a background briefing at a Washington hotel Thursday.

In 2008 Obama used significant turnout amongst minorities and young voters as a key part of his strategy. Traditionally, those numbers dip during a president’s second campaign, and Obama has been hampered by discontent amongst both those groups with his administration’s actions.

According to the official, while Republicans are making strides in registration and there is significant anger within its base which could fuel turn out, Democrats have already begun to see payoffs from their registration efforts.

For instance, some one million new Democrats were registered in Pennsylvania, the official said, adding that the campaign has used “weekends of action” and other grassroots efforts in swing states like North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio and Colorado.

And while the campaign conceded Romney’s significant cash advantage, this official sought to downplay the significance it will play after the elections.

“Nobody knows what this unprecedented spending will do in the general election … [but] history shows us likely media and ads mean less in the fall” compared to earned media.

Still, the campaign is clearly wary of the effect anger at the president will have on turn out. Officials said they plan to use the convention to make a pitch aimed squarely at the middle class and one official said the “podium will be populated by people who look and sound like middle class Americans” rather than liberal icons.

John Stanton is a senior national correspondent for BuzzFeed News. In 2014, Stanton was a recipient of the National Press Foundation’s 2014 Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress.

Contact John Stanton at

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