RICHMOND — The bluster and counter-bluster about who’s really winning the presidential election continued Wednesday in Virginia, where the Obama campaign trotted out a series of statistics to argue that the president retains the advantage in this crucial swing state.
President Obama’s national field director, Jeremy Bird, and Virginia state director Lise Clavel told reporters on a conference call that voter registration, phone calls, door-knocks and ballot requests are the “real numbers” that matter in this race — and by those measures, they said, Obama carries the advantage.
Clavel noted that the campaign hosted 1,012 canvasses and phone banks last weekend across Virginia, and 662 the weekend before that. She said that, notwithstanding “the misinformation and political spin from the other side,” the Obama team is seeing in Virginia “the exact race we planned for and built for,” and they are ready with the largest grass-roots campaign in Virginia history.
Bird added that, since 2008, the campaign has registered more than 100,000 African American and Latino voters. Half that number were registered just in the last three months, along with 105,000 new voters under the age of 35 and 87,000 women.
Those are all groups amongst whom Obama leads Republican Mitt Romney, and they represent 87 percent of all new registrants over the past three months, Bird said.
“We’ve never stopped building the grass-roots campaign that we started in 2008,” Bird said. “We all know, and we’ve said from the beginning, that this will be a close election, and our grass-roots organization is going to make the difference.”
The Virginia effort comes in response to a push by the Romney campaign to project confidence that momentum in the swing states is in their favor. It also comes on the same day the Obama senior adviser David Plouffe gave a rare group interview with reporters on the campaign trail in Iowa making a similar point about the national race. “I believe they are overstating their electoral college situation, whether that is consistent with their data and their data’s flawed, I don’t know,” Plouffe said.