Sources in the Democratic Party have a mixed reaction to what they see as the Obama Campaign’s Chicago Strategy for New Jersey.
The strategy focuses New Jersey volunteers on Pennsylvania, a battleground state, rather than a mobilization of big events here.
A July 9th Quinnipiac Poll showed Obama leading Romney in New Jersey, 49-38%. A July 19th Rasmussen poll of Pennsylvania voters showed Obama leading Romney by four points: 48-44%.
The Obama Campaign would not comment, but two sources close to the campaign confirmed a November plan to expend significant resources on Pennsylvania and few on New Jersey, where former Organizing for America state director Jackie Cornell-Bechelli helms the campaign.
A third source told PolitickerNJ.com as far back as a year ago that Philadelphia Democrats were already organizing to drive record numbers out of Philadelphia to offset a GOP showing in the rural parts of the state.
For his part, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) plans to run his own statewide operation, with little or no apparent connectivity to Obama’s.
The Chicago Strategy does not depart radically from other Democratic Party general election candidates in recent times, which likewise focused attention on the neighboring swing state. But with the President failing to get to 50% in both polls cited earlier, no one close to Menendez appears to be clamoring for a greater Presidential campaign presence.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, one Democrat told PolitickerNJ.com that he understands the strategy and expects the President to win New Jersey over Republican challenger Mitt Romney. But the source questions the absence of a legitimate New Jersey theater of operations to excite people about Obama’s re-election and the resulting perception in New Jersey of nothing happening.
Others accept the reality of the battlefield.