In a video to supporters Thursday, Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina made public the many paths to 270 electoral votes he sketched out for reporters last month.
The major highlights: Messina says the campaign is working with more than 40 pathways to victory next year, including strategies that run through Florida and the Midwest (where team Obama has pointed to Democratic organizing in Ohio during the SB5 fight as a key to holding the Buckeye State.)
Perhaps most interesting is the campaign’s continued confidence in the South and the confirmation that the Obama campaign thinks Arizona is in play.
Messina describes a “New South map,” which retains Obama’s electoral victories in North Carolina and Virginia. Despite hardening opposition to Obama among Republicans in recent years, polls have shown Obama running fairly strong in North Carolina against his potential Republican opposition and still performing well in Virginia.
Messina says the campaign is confident those trends will continue, and has put a lot of stock in hanging onto the two southern states.
“We put the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC in part because we believe so deeply in this map,” Messina says in the video. “We’ve had big electoral wins in 2011 on the ground, we have great neighborhood teams in North Carolina. And Virginia is one of the bellwethers of national presidential politics now it’s a place that we’ve worked very hard in.”
“I feel good about what we’re building,” he adds.
Arizona, which Messina says was only off the table in 2008 because the Republican nominee, John McCain, was the state’s senior Senator, is the main target in an Obama path to 270 that expands on his 2008 tally of states. Arizona Democrats certainly say the state’s nasty fight over SB 1070 has led to a fired up base that could flip the state into Obama’s column next year, especially with a GOP nominee running with Romney’s baggage when it comes to the Hispanic vote. (Someone like Newt Gingrich may have less of a problem with that slice of the electorate.)
The video is a sign of how far along the Obama campaign is. While the GOP has engaged in a tough primary fight, Obama’s forces have slowly built up strength, putting people on the ground and building up their headquarters staff in Chicago to more than 200.
The real goal of the video — which was sent via email to Obama supporters Thursday morning — is to raise money for the Obama campaign coffers. And to that end, Messina turned to the bleep button.
“People have speculated that this is a billion-dollar campaign,” Messina says, before asking for donations. “That’s bullshit.”