The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Obama Counting on College Students, Leno to Save Him?


Friday night I appeared on CNBC’s “Kudlow Report” with Jim Pethokoukis and Sam Seder, pointing out that the Obama message since the first debate sounds like something out of The Wizard of Oz: “Big Bird and binders and Romnesia, oh my! Big Bird and binders and Romnesia, oh my!”

Right now, in the RealClearPolitics average, Obama trails, 47.3 percent to (ahem) 47 percent. Most recent polls show three to seven percent undecided left. Admittedly, these remaining folks may not be receptive to the president’s message; if you’re not on the Obama bandwagon by now, you’re probably not getting on. But the president’s campaign strategy is clearly now all-base-motivation, all-the-time.

Take a look at Obama’s campaign stops since that first debate – almost all of them have been on college campuses:

October 4: University of Madison-Wisconsin

October 5: Cleveland State University, Ohio

October 5: George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

October 9: Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

October 11: University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida

October 17: Ohio University, Athens, Ohio

October 17: Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa

October 19: George Mason University (AGAIN), Fairfax, Virginia

Obama did one event at Veterans Memorial Park in Manchester, New Hampshire, and did a rally in California.

Some might wonder if this is because only college campuses have venues large enough to accommodate a crowd coming to see the president, but we all remember the arena rallies and giant crowds in public parks from the 2008 campaign. No, the relentless focus on college campuses is no accident, and it becomes clearer once you throw in his appearance on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and he’ll be appearing with Jay Leno Wednesday night. He’s aiming for the maximum turnout from a demographic that was, until 2008, among the least likely to turn out to vote.

It’s as if the Obama campaign realizes their candidate has maxed out in the high 40s, and they’re hoping they can get every last one of their 47 percent or so to turn out, and hope that Romney can’t get his high-40s total to turn out at the same rate.

Tags: Barack Obama


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