Obama camp: We’re not pulling out of any battleground states

October 23, 2012

President Obama isn't pulling out of any battlegrounds and believes he is winning or even in all the swing states, with early voting and turnout among young people and Latinos outpacing the historic levels of 2008, advisers told reporters on a conference call Tuesday.

"The electorate is bigger this year, and our vote margins are too," campaign manager Jim Messina said, citing polls and early-vote turnout numbers from Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin and Florida, among others. As an example, Messina noted that Democratic turnout in Florida at this point four years ago was 250,000 votes behind Republicans, whereas today Democrats are just 38,000 votes behind. Obama won Florida in 2008.

"I’ve heard a lot of gossip about which states campaigns are staying in or leaving," Messina said. "We are tied or ahead in every battleground state, and we're not leaving any state where we're tied or ahead."

 He added: "The math by which Republicans have to beat us on election day gets harder and harder." Adviser David Axelrod jumped in to note that the campaign has increased TV ad spending millions in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia in the last couple weeks -- three states where the campaign is rumored to be pulling out. Asked specifically about North Carolina, Messina said the ground operation remains "huge," and he noted that the youth vote is bigger in North Carolina than four years ago -- and than in other swing states.

"I do think there’s a bit of mythology being spun up on the other side about some of these states and North Carolina is one of them," Axelrod said. "Anybody who thinks these states are in the bag is half in the bag themselves."

Axelrod finished with this boast: "We’ll know in two weeks. I’m just telling you guys: We know what we know, and they know what they now. I’m confident that we’re going to win this race. We’ll know who’s bluffing in two weeks and I’m looking forward to it."

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Ryan Kellett | October 23, 2012