Reasons The Obama Campaign Is Optimistic

While the polls show the presidential race as close, First Read described one advantage for Obama (and weighted in on the claims from Republicans that Obama is suffering from poor turn out):

By the way, speaking of what happens in “close” races; one other thing that jumped out at us at the weekend rallies was just how far ahead the Obama campaign is of the Romney campaign when it comes to organizing on the ground. It’s not even close on this front; It’s amazing how in just eight short years, the Republicans have allowed one of their great strengths from 2004 (field organizing) to simply disappear. If a close election is decided on mechanics: advantage Obama. By the way, with all this back-n-forth on crowd sizes — it’s fair to say Obama ’08 would have out-drawn Obama ’12 in both cities. But the problem for the GOP is that Obama ’12 still outdraws Romney ’12… and by a LOT. Will Romney address a crowd as large as Obama did on Saturday before Tampa?

Hopefully the Obama campaign uses its advantages in the ground game to solve the problem of large numbers of potential Obama voters not being registered to vote.

Mark Halperin gave his take on why the Obama campaign is optimistic:

In a series of interviews with campaign officials in Chicago, it is clear that the entire re-elect operation likes its odds of winning a second term. The informal slogan is essentially “Be confident, but take nothing for granted.” Presidential senior adviser David Plouffe, the 2008 campaign manager now overseeing the enterprise from his perch steps away from the Oval Office, Jim Messina, Plouffe’s 2012 titular successor in Chicago, and their deputies in both cities believe that, despite the dangers of high unemployment and gas prices, Mitt Romney faces four major barriers to winning the big prize.

First, in the view of the Obamans, Romney is still a weak candidate. His stump skills continue to be uneven at best, with speeches plagued by awkward jargon and passionless rhetoric. They believe his tenure as head of Bain Capital and his term as governor of Massachusetts conceal vulnerabilities yet to be unveiled. “No one’s ever looked at Romney’s record, and there’s a lot there,” said one senior campaign official. “He developed this set of values at Bain about what the economy is all about … Whatever it took to make money … He took that same philosophy to Massachusetts [as governor].” Obama’s team is sitting on a multimedia treasure trove of research about both phases of Romney’s career and expects to launch powerful missiles at key moments throughout the campaign, discombobulating the Republican each time.

Second, they maintain, their research suggests Romney has exactly one rhetorical path to victory, as a can-do businessman able to fix what’s broken. Chicago intends to focus as much of its formidable firepower as necessary to dismantle Romney on that front and prevent the election from becoming a referendum on the President’s economic tenure.

Third, the Obama team argues, Romney has taken many positions to the right of public opinion. The President’s team plans to throw two years’ worth of provocative statements in Romney’s face, using sophisticated micro-targeting to impacted demographics. On an unrelenting messaging loop, Hispanics will hear about Romney’s ties to the country’s most controversial anti-illegal immigration leaders and laws. Senior citizens dependent on Medicare will be told again and again about Romney’s backing of Paul Ryan’s House budget plan. Women will be warned about the threat to reproductive freedom. And on and on.

Fourth and finally, presidential politics, in the end, is all about the Electoral College. The Obama campaign’s analysis, matching recent media number crunching, indicates that Romney has a paper-thin margin of error to get to the magical 270. The map is littered with states the Republicans must take from the 2008 Democratic column in order to win, and in many of them, such as Ohio and Virginia, they are behind.