In the wake of a dismal jobs report and polls that show a tightening of the presidential race, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina is telling supporters to “ignore the ups and downs” and focus on the “strategy we’ve had since day one.”
“Over the past few weeks I’ve had people asking me about all the polls I’ve seen. I say the same thing to all of them: We knew this was going to be a tough race,” Messina says in a new web video.
“You know what really matters in a really close election? The unprecedented grassroots organizing we’re doing every day in states across the country. We’re following the strategy we’ve had since day one, and we can’t afford to lose focus on that.”
The latest Gallup tracking poll, based on a three-day average, shows Obama and Romney neck and neck, 46 to 45 percent.
Democrats have also expressed concern over the Labor Department’s May employment report, released Friday, and its implications for Obama’s re-election. The report showed an anemic 69,000 jobs created last month — well below economists’ expectations — with the unemployment rate ticking up to 8.2 percent.
Messina says that despite the challenging outlook President Obama is better-situated now than he was at this point in the campaign four years ago.
“If the election were held today, we would win 243 of the 270 electoral votes we need to win. Romney would come in at 191, with 104 electoral votes up for grabs in the battleground states where we’re doing some of our best organizing, opening up offices, staffing up and registering voters,” Messina says walking through the math.
“These are states where we’ve already out-organized what we did in 2008 which, to quote the vice president, is a big – um – deal,” he jokes, referring to Vice President Joe Biden’s famous expletive during the health law signing in 2010.
Messina most notably lists Wisconsin as a “toss-up” for the general election. He also lists Arizona as a “lean Republican” instead of solid red. Snapshot of his map:
Toss up: CO, IA, WI, OH, NH, VA, NC, FL
Lean Dem: NV, NM, MN, MI, PA
Lean GOP: AZ, MO, IN
“All this is just to say one thing: the only poll that really matters is November 6, election day,” Messina says.