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Obama Campaign Kicks Off In Virginia

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Volunteers for Obama's 2012 presidential campaign kick off the battle for votes this weekend.
Matt Laslo
Volunteers for Obama's 2012 presidential campaign kick off the battle for votes this weekend.

President Barack Obama's presidential campaign opened offices in Virginia this weekend kicking off the battle for votes in a state which will likely have a close race in the 2012 election.

Republicans don’t have a presidential nominee yet, but that hasn't stopped the President from spending a lot of time touring across the Commonwealth and other swing states touting his jobs bill and painting congressional Republicans as obstructionists.

But Obama's biggest reelection tool is the web of volunteers who helped propel him to the Oval Office in the 2008 election. Fairfax volunteer Sue Langley says they never relaxed their ground game after the inauguration. 

"We have been so active in Virginia since 2009, the day after the president took office, and we work with the local committee and build the grassroots, continue to build the grassroots," Langley says.

 

Through online and cell phone messaging the Obama campaign has transformed contemporary politics, but volunteer Kimberly Smith says they’re also trying to win Virginia the old fashioned way. 

"We know the message and we're getting the message out quietly amongst our peers, amongst our neighbors, and amongst our friends," Smith says.

 

Virginia is expected to be a challenge for the President. Republican strategists believe the eventual GOP nominee will capture Virginia's votes because the state trended toward Tea Party conservatives in the last election. They point to the strong gains GOP congressional and gubernatorial candidates made in the state in the past two years, which experts say foreshadows a heated and costly 2012 contest. 

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