Public opinion polls indicate Missouri remains a battleground state this presidential election, but nearly all have Republican John McCain up. Barack Obama’s campaign , though, isn’t ready to concede the state any time soon.
Obama’s campaign has opened 40 offices throughout the state, many in rural Missouri, a weak spot for the Democratic Party in general and Obama’s campaign in particular. During the February presidential primary, Obama won convincingly in the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas. Hillary Clinton won suburban and rural Missouri.
Obama has visited the state several times, including a tour through part of rural Missouri. His wife, Michelle Obama, visits Kansas City tonight. Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden has also made stops in the state.
Melissa Nitti, Obama’s Regional Press Secretary stationed in Kansas City, says the campaign wouldn’t spend that much time in the state if it didn’t believe it could win the state in November.
Though most polls have Missouri leaning McCain, Nitti says the Obama camp believes Missouri is there for the taking. A decision by the John Kerry campaign four years ago to pull out of the state with six weeks left before the election infuriated Missouri Democrats who claim that move killed the chances of Democrats up and down the ballot. Nitti says the Obama campaign knows the history and vows not repeat it. She says the campaign will be in the state through the November election.
Nitti says the Obama campaign will use everything at its disposal: personal visits, broadcast ads and a strong ground game in its effort to win Missouri.