A good sign for the eventual GOP presidential nominee: Team Obama is finding it harder and harder to get to 270 electoral votes on the map. According toÂ The Wall Street Journal’s Laura Meckler and Carlos E. Lee,
President Barack Obama starts a three-day bus trip Monday through North Carolina and Virginia that brings fresh attention to the kinds of voters he will rely on as he works to assemble a majority next year in the Electoral College.
Those two states hadn’t backed a Democrat for president for decades, but their large numbers of minority voters and an influx of white, professional workers helped Mr. Obama carry them in 2008. Now, they have re-emerged as potential leverage in the hard-fought battle to come.
They are among a number of states that Obama campaign officials see as a major focus. Mr. Obama will visit another key region, the Mountain West, next week, where Hispanic voters helped put Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico in the president’s column in 2008.
The focus on both regions is meant to give the president multiple routes to victory and to reduce his dependence on Ohio and Florida, the giant electoral prizes that have long defined presidential politics. The Obama campaign still plans to fight for both, but its climb has become steeper, as polls show that many working-class white voters have soured on the president.
The 2012 strategy is a contrast to 2000 and 2004, when Democrats needed either Ohio or Florida to win and took neither.