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Jim Messina: April Fundraising & Paths to 270 Update

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Published on May 16, 2012

Help build this campaign: https://my.barackobama.com/paths270up...

Hey everybody. I'm Jim Messina, the President's campaign manager. I wanted to give you a quick update on what we've been up to this month, and what that's going to mean between now and November.

We had 169,500 first-time donors in April—putting us within reach of 2 million donors this election cycle. And here's my favorite part: our average donation was $50.23, with 98 percent of those donations $250 or less. That makes our campaign different, and it's how we're going to build a winning organization across the country.

One of the most important things we can do is get our arms around that fact that this election is going to be close given the historic challenges the nation faced when the President first came into office. Oil company executives and other special interests are dumping millions of dollars in Super Pac attack ads.

In fact as this chart shows, we got almost $60 million in spending against the President and his policies so far in this campaign by the other side. The last two weeks have shown this clearly. The Koch-brothers funded Super Pac spent $6 million dollars on TV ads attacking the President. Mitt Romney's Super Pac put another $4 million on the air. That's $10 million in ads from two outside groups who can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money.

While Governor Romney has run an almost solely negative campaign tearing down the President, we started this campaign with a series of positive ads. These ads talked about where we started and what the President is doing to move this country forward. This is the kind of campaign we are running, and it's the reason your contributions are so important.

A few months ago, I walked folks through the different pathways we could take to get to 270 electoral votes. Now that we're in the general election, let's take a look at how we're doing on a few of those pathways.

As you can see, the "West Path" includes states like Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. Some of these are states that Democrats hadn't won in years until 2008. This month, we put 12 new staff members in Colorado and signed up 51 new Neighborhood Team Leaders. We opened brand new offices in New Mexico and Nevada. We can win there in 2012, but only if we can keep building great teams and opening up offices.

We can't count on Florida alone to take us to 270—but it is the easiest way to get there. That's why we're building a massive operation on the ground—opening up five new field offices in April alone and signing up 56 new Neighborhood Team Leaders.

Now let's take a look at our "South Path", which counts on some places we won big in local races in 2011. We hired 22 new staff members in North Carolina this April because we believe so strongly that we can win the south this time around. Just this month in North Carolina we registered over 15,000 voters. That's a big deal because we won the state by less than that last time. And we opened four new field offices in Virginia, which has become a major trendsetter in national politics.

The "Midwest Path" leans on Ohio—one of the places where we're doing the most work on the ground—and Iowa. And thanks to six new field offices in Ohio and 61 new team leaders and a batch of new team members in Iowa, we're well on our way to victory. And while Governor Romney's declaration that he would let Detroit go bankrupt has led to much criticism across the state of Michigan, we need to organize our way to victory through hard work every day in the Upper Midwest.

And finally, if 2008 taught us anything, it's that we can't count on anyone's old map—even ours. We need new ways to put every state into play. That's why we hired new staff in Arizona this April—it wasn't a swing state last time around, but if we can help register the hundreds of thousands of eligible voters who missed out in 2008, we can put it on the table this November.

So thanks to everyone who stepped up to support the campaign. Together, we raised more than $43 million from 437,323 grassroots supporters in April alone—helping us to open up 42 new field offices around the country. Those offices, plus the 120 new team members we were able to hire, means that we can be out there every day training volunteers, knocking on doors, making phone calls, and registering new voters.

I am sure you are as proud of the President as I am. Just in the last weeks he has laid out a plan to end the war in Afghanistan, made a historic statement on gay marriage, and kept the pressure up on Congress to take steps to improve this economy. There's no question he is the President we need.

It's going to be an exciting six months—let's go win this.

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