Newsweek's Andrew Romano has written an in-depth article from inside President Obama's re-election campaign. The journalist gives a rare (but highly chaperoned) tour from the heart of the beast in the Chicago National Campaign Headquarters. The article gives a 'who's who' of the campaign and alternative strategies that are being reviewed. While all the attention has been focused on the Republicans, Team Obama is getting its act together in a very impressive way.
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire sums up from Newsweek's "Yes We Can (Can't We?)" article the five paths that the Obama team are reviewing in preparation for an election where people start voting in just over ten months.
He sees five paths to the 270 electoral votes needed: "The West Path would add Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada to the Kerry states, for 272 electoral votes. The Florida Path would add just Florida, for 275. The South Path runs through North Carolina and Virginia (274 electoral votes), while the Midwest Path includes Ohio and Iowa (270 electoral votes). Finally, there's the Expansion Path: Obama carries all the Kerry states except blue-collar Pennsylvania and libertarian New Hampshire, then compensates with victories in Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and John McCain's home state of Arizona, which was uncontested in 2008, for obvious reasons.
Romano writes how much has been done while the Republicans have at knocking each other out of the race. He writes:
Consider the numbers. In January 2004, George W. Bush’s aides bragged that they’d held a grand total of 52 training sessions around the country for precinct leaders. The Obama campaign, by comparison, held 57 ... in a single December week ... in a single state, Iowa. Right now, there are more than 200 paid staffers working in Chicago—double Bush’s head count at the beginning of 2004, and more than double Romney’s current total. (Bill Clinton employed only 40 people at this point; the first President Bush was still stuck in the single digits.) Messina has already hired an in-house design crew, an in-house gear team, and in-house tech developers, who are tinkering away on a top-secret application that will track every conversation that every single Obama volunteer has, every door they knock on, every action they take. (More on that later.) As one returning staffer put it, “This is what we looked like toward the end of the 2008 primary season, in June. Not at the beginning.”
Meanwhile, Obama’s fundraising brigade hit the million-donor mark in six months flat, or twice as fast as last time around, with nearly half of the campaign’s cash now coming from donors giving less than $200—a much higher percentage than in 2008. Even the corner-office crowd is sticking with the president, at least for the moment: together with the Democratic Nation-al Committee, Obama raised $15.6 million from financial-sector workers through September, more than the entire Republican field. All told, Chicago and the DNC have raked in an estimated $190 million to $200 million to date, which is roughly quadruple Romney’s projected 2011 haul, and analysts expect the campaign could reach $1 billion by November.