Obama campaign tightens focus, maybe

September 9, 2008 7:58:56 PM PDT
Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Obama's campaign is making voter registration a key part of its battle plan ? but maybe not in California.

Around the Bay Area voter registration is up significantly in Alameda County, but down in Solano County and down slightly in Marin County. Contra Costa County has just under 500,000 voters registered, up 50,000 from last year ? but none of those numbers are that significant, ABC7's political analyst Bruce Cain said.

"The registration numbers are what you would expect, given that we're just going to be on the sidelines again, we're not going to be the center of the action," Cain said.

Cain, head of the University of California's Washington Center, expects the center of the action will be shifting because national polls show it is a much tighter race than it was several months ago.

"At the time, the idea was that Obama could be aggressive, that he could look at states like Montana, he could look at Georgia, he could look at North Carolina ? places where, really, the chances weren't very high but if he did enough registration he might be competitive," Cain said.

Now it looks like Obama is holding on for dear life, Cain said, and he cannot afford to gamble on states that are marginal prospects.

"So you're going to see more resources over the next two weeks pouring into the Ohios and the Pennsylvanias and the Michigans and away from the states that are not solid prospects for Obama right now," Cain said.

But Wade Randlett, an Obama fundraiser in San Francisco, said the strategy is not changing.

"This is going to be an election where we're competing in Nevada, in Colorado, in Montana, in Georgia, in North Carolina, in Virginia," he said.

And Obama will still out-campaign Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain in the traditional swing states like Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania, Randlett said.

"We're going to be competing on the air, on T.V. and in the field with 10 times the field force that the McCain/Palin ticket is going to have," Randlett said.


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