St. Louis – Hoping to get a head start that will translate into capturing Missouri’s 10 coveted electoral votes, President Barack Obama's re-election campaign has officially opened its St. Louis campaign office at 1925 Washington Ave, at the edge of downtown.
[frame src="https://labortribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Obma0opening.jpeg" width="250" height="150" align="left" style="2" linkstyle="none" title="About 50 volunteers showed up at Obama headquarters at 1925 Washington Avenue in St. Louis to be briefed about the campaign and get a briefing on the President’s proposed Jobs Act. Carl Walz (standing left), Midwest Director for Obama For America, answered questions and asked each of the volunteers to dedicate themselves to the campaign for the next year. Labor Tribune photo"]Missouri’s role as a Presidential battleground state is likely to remain through the 2012 campaign, and despite the President’s declining popularity among voters here and elsewhere, Democratic leaders believe Obama can still win Missouri in 2012.
They point out that Republicans have yet to come up with strong candidates to run against U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill and Gov. Jay Nixon, who will lead the state ticket. Both are popular Democrats who can help Obama in Missouri.
Matt Teter, executive director of the state Democratic Party, says he is confidant Obama can win Missouri. “They will be here and they will win,” he recently told Roll Call, an influential political newspaper in Washington.
Volunteers got a briefing on Obama’s jobs proposals before Congress, and state Sen. Robin Wright-Jones gave an overview of projects in Missouri financed by the President’s stimulus program, and other projects slated for Missouri under the President’s jobs proposals.
To volunteer for Obama, call Erin McCann, director of the St. Louis office at 314-578-9708. Volunteers may text JOIN to 62262, or follow @BarackObama on twitter. Email the campaign at barackobama.com, and you may “Like” Barack Obama on Facebook.
At a grand opening of the headquarters a few weeks earlier, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay praised Obama for the jobs his stimulus program has brought to St. Louis.
In a subsequent blog by the mayor, he said, “For the next year, the campaign headquarters will be one of the most important buildings in the City of St. Louis. It will never be dark. It will never be empty. There is so much work to do. It is time to get started.”
Heading the St. Louis office is State Director Erin McCann, a regional field director for Obama in Missouri in the 2008 campaign.
Missouri field director for the 2012 campaign is Josh Harris, also a former member of Obama’s staff in 2008.
In 2008, McCain was an early favorite with a long lead over Obama in Missorui. But by election day, Obama had cut the lead to less than one percent, with McCain winning by 4,000 votes. Missouri was the only one of the nation's swing states that did not go for Obama.
McCain’s victory broke a record among Missouri voters, who had supported the winner in every presidential election going back to 1960.
According to CBS News, in 2008, Obama won the under 40 age group and lost the over 40 vote. However, among this older vote, Obama performed best among Baby Boomers (age 50-64), carrying 48 percent of their vote compared to 43 percent of all other voters over the age of 40. Given that the Boomers are the largest age group of voters in the state, if Obama had secured just 1 percent more of this group's support, he would have carried Missouri in 2008.
In 2012, his operation here will be back in the field aiming at those voters again, in addition to women, African Americans and union members, the traditional base of the Democratic party.