WASHINGTON—It was a hard fought campaign that secured a second term for President Obama Tuesday night, but he could not have done it without a clockwork campaign strategy.
“I think it was a careful selection of the states that would make the difference and a dramatic infrastructure investment for the campaign,” Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin (D) said at the Obama election night event in Chicago.
Obama gained a narrow win in the popular vote, gaining 50 percent to Romney’s 48 percent on the night, but he romped home in the Electoral College. As of Wednesday, Obama had secured 303 electoral votes to Romney’s 206, a win that included most of the swing states, Ohio and Virginia among them.
Building on the grass-roots success of 2008, where thousands of volunteers were recruited to promote the Obama message, the 2012 campaign amplified that process.
Around 100 offices were located in states across the country, run by staff and volunteers. The campaign used precise data to define which demographics to target, including women, Hispanics, and young voters, as well as the type of medium to use, social media, advertising, or door knocking.
Obama made a point of thanking his campaign team in his acceptance speech Tuesday night. He described them as the “best campaign team ever, the best.”
“I will always be grateful for everything that you’ve done and all the incredible work that you put in,” he said.
Durbin says the campaign focused on voter registration and early voting.
“The registration numbers are up dramatically, early voting up dramatically—all of those things were hoped for and planned, so if all those voters are actually our voters, and we think they are, it could be a victory for the president,” Durbin said just hours before results confirmed the success of the strategy.
While it is too early to tell if voter turnout will reach the record levels of 2008, early voting, which traditionally leans Democrat, was embraced this year. More than 32 million voted early, either by mail or in person, in 34 states and the District of Columbia, The Associated Press reported.
In a number of those states early voting numbers appear to have surpassed 2008 totals.
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