The Obama Team hit NC today to start laying the groundwork for their campaign operations here. By standing in for a well-connected friend, I managed to attend. We heard a great presentation from Obama campaign manager David Plouffe and some of their top fundraising staff.
Dome already scooped me with gossip on some of the heavy-hitters who were there. But I want to tell you about some of the more interesting details.
We got a great overview of the delegate math. They feel that if they can win or pull a draw in Texas and Ohio the race should be over. Basically if they can net delegates on March 4, it would be nearly impossible for Clinton to win enough delegates. Of course they hope she'd pull out. If not, they're planning for a long hard fight.
More tidbits on delegates and moving forward:
-If Hillary can't win after March 4, they hope that Pelosi, Gore, Edwards and other party leaders will pressure her to withdraw.
-If the race continues on after March 4, they plan to have field organizers on the ground in North Carolina by mid-March.
-Over 940,000 people have now donated to the campaign (200K new donors in January alone).
-Only 2.4% of their donors have maxed out.
What's more amazing than their fundraising numbers is that over 50% of their donors also volunteer for the campaign. I'm so impressed with their strategy to organizing. Plouffe said the reason why they do the huge events (like the one at NCCU) where 5000 people pay $25 is that they know those donors will also volunteer. Those events are the beginning of their field organizing in any given area.
I'm not a big donor (I work for the local school district!), but I'm committing to raise $10,000 for the campaign. I'm very excited about electing Barack Obama to be our next president. If you want to help me meet my goal, just let me know.
I've got lots more to tell (especially about poll numbers and Plouffe's thoughts on down-ticket impact), but I'm off to the Carolina Hurricanes game. Post your questions and I'll answer them after the game!