DNC - Obama And Dean Team Up To Recast The Political Map

Washington, DC--Today, the Huffington Post's Sam Stein reported on how the Obama Campaign and DNC are joining efforts to help presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, a candidate who "seems perfectly equipped to test-drive the party's 50-state vehicle," become the next president of the United States.  As Stein reports, investments made by the DNC that have funded State Party staff and improved the Party's voter file could reap huge benefits for Senator Obama, who is well-poised to compete and win in states not considered traditional Democratic strongholds in the past.

The following are excerpts of today's story:

Obama And Dean Team Up To Recast The Political Map
Huffington Post
By Sam Stein
June 5, 2008

"For all of the hoopla surrounding the candidates, the 2008 presidential election will be the first truly national test of the viability and prescience of Howard Dean's 50-state strategy.  Four years ago, when Dean was vaulted to the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee -- following a failed presidential bid months earlier -- he pledged to rewrite the rules concerning where and how Democrats would compete. In the subsequent months, resources and staff were invested into unconventional and even previously untouched locales. The idea was that the party simply couldn't compete without a margin for error…Now, four years have passed. And the Democrats have nominated a candidate that seems perfectly equipped to test-drive the party's 50-state vehicle…On Thursday, Obama symbolically endorsed the DNC's efforts, declaring that Dean would remain party chairman heading into the general election…

"Obama will likely start the general election with 180 or so 'reliably Democratic' electoral votes. With the goal of getting to 270, the DNC believes it could play a role in carrying the rest of the burden. The party already has more than 200 field staffers on the ground, and grassroots training programs in all fifty states. In addition, new Internet and communications operations have been started with the goal of facilitating participation in, and donations to, Democratic causes…Perhaps the most significant, and controversial, move made under the 50-state strategy has been the modernization of the party's voter file, in which Dean has invested more than $8 million dollars…

"The potential beneficiaries of the Obama-Dean alliance could be numerous. Down-ticket Democrats are not only banking on an influx of resources into their races, but are hoping that a synthesized effort between the presidential candidate and campaign committees provides a political boost even in traditionally hostile locales. The environment is certainly ripe. Already Democrats have ripped three congressional seats away from the GOP in special elections. The Cook Political Report list 27 seats GOP House seats that will be in play, in addition to seven in the Senate.  'It is not that Obama needs what the DNC under what Dean has done,' said Thomas Mann, a scholar at the Brookings Institute. 'It is that the Obama nominating campaign has reinforced what the DNC was doing. And all of this will be primarily helpful down ticket. It gives Democrats some opportunities to win Senate, House and other legislative contests and over time puts them in the position of turning around some truly red states.'"

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