Obama's 50-state strategy, from the latest campaign email:
People like you have been the heart of Chairman Howard Dean's 50-state strategy to rebuild our party and empower Democrats to compete everywhere. We've all seen the energy and enthusiasm at the grassroots level impact races up and down the ballot over the last three years.
I am proud to announce that our presidential campaign will be the first in a generation to deploy and maintain staff in every single state.
That's incredible. It's revolutionary.
Much was said last week about "Obama keeping Dean at the DNC". That much was never in doubt. No nominee has ever booted a sitting chairman. It would reek of civil war. Even Clinton would've kept Dean. There really was no story there.
What is a story, however, is that Dean's 50 State Strategy and Obama's 50 State Campaign are now coming together in this fashion. Campaign offices in every single state? Obama's is the only campaign that promised this type of effort, and they're delivering.
So what's that mean? It doesn't mean Obama will win 50 states, obviously. But it does mean a commitment to 1) an expanded presidential battleground, 2) long-term party building, and 3) attention to the down-ballot races that will ultimately decide whether the Obama Agenda will see the light of day. The more seats Obama's Democratic Party can amass in the House and in the Senate, the stronger his influence and the bolder his legislation can be.
In other words, this is much bigger than the presidential race, and I'm extremely encouraged that a presidential campaign has decided to take such a broad approach to these coming elections.
As far as the presidential race itself is concerned, let's go back to my battleground map from last week:
This map can and will evolve over the coming months. But as of now, the yellow states are those that are within single digits in the polls and thus are considered "battlegrounds". And right now, Obama is competitive in
13 14 Bush states -- Alaska, Nevada, Montana, North Dakota, 1-2 EVs in Nebraska (which splits its electoral votes), Colorado, New Mexico, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. In contrast, McCain is competitive in just six Kerry states, and Massachusetts and New Jersey will solidify putting them out of play.
What's more, heavy African American populations in Mississippi and Georgia can put those states within reach, while continued strong Latino participation in Texas could likewise throw the Lone Star State into contention, forcing the McCain campaign to play even wider defense than this map would suggest.
Beyond those states not in yellow or Blue above, Senate races in Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Texas can be positively influenced by Obama's organizing, as well as House races in just about every single state. Throw in state-level races for good measure, and you suddenly have the biggest nationwide organizing effort perhaps in the party's entire history.
That is tremendous stuff, and something to look forward to in the coming months. It's an effort, as well, that will require lots of volunteer power, so keep your eyes open for local opportunities to lend a hand. Millions of new Democrats won't register themselves or turn out to vote on their own!