RALEIGH — Amid new indications that North Carolinians remained deadlocked on their presidential choice, Democratic chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Friday the Obama campaign is prepared to wage a vigorous campaign through the November election here.
Dismissing suggestions from Republicans that the presidents campaign was looking to reduce its effort in North Carolina, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee said the ticket was not backing off from what many observers have suggested is Obamas most difficult battleground state.
On the contrary, we are fully engaged here, Wasserman Schultz said in an interview. We are going to be fully engaged every step of the way. So far we have only been rewarded by the progress from the organization we have here.
In spite of every recent poll that has had the president slightly behind, the Florida congresswoman said, todays two polls have the president up. We are seeing the fruits of our labor. We are staying fully in the game here.
Her remarks came as two new independent polls the nonpartisan High Point Poll and the bipartisan PurplePoll both showed President Barack Obama leading his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney. The High Point Poll had Obama leading 46-43, and the PurplePoll had him leading 48-46. Both leads were within the margin of error.
TV spending, personal appearances
Once again on Friday, as they have in recent days, Republicans suggested the Obama campaign had one foot out the door. The state Republican Party distributed to reporters an article in the Washington Examiner, a free daily paper owned by conservative billionaire Philip Anschutz, that suggested the Obama campaign was preparing to cut back its TV advertising in North Carolina.
Both campaigns have reduced TV advertising from midsummer levels, but the Obama campaign has purchased $194,000 in advertising on WRAL in Raleigh alone beginning Oct. 1 and has not reduced its purchase, according to files on record with the Federal Communications Commission.
State Republicans also are pointing out that Obama has not campaigned in North Carolina since April, with the exception of the Democratic convention held in Charlotte earlier this month.
Obama and Romney both have been focusing their attention on more high profile battleground states such as Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Colorado. Romney has not been in North Carolina since the two conventions and has yet to make a public appearance east of High Point.
Sending in surrogates
Wasserman Schultz noted that first lady Michelle Obama was in Durham and Greenville this week, and she said the Obama campaign is devoting significant resources to North Carolina.
Wasserman Schultz was in town to attend a Women for Obama rally held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Raleigh and was to kick off a get-out-the-vote effort in Winston-Salem on Saturday morning.
The Romney effort also is active here. On Saturday morning, it will hold a veterans/defense cuts rally in Garner with Anthony Prinicipi, a former secretary of Veterans Affairs, and Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Veterans Committee. On Monday, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley will speak at a Romney breakfast in Apex.
Wasserman Schultz said that each state has to be viewed differently, and campaign organization is more important in a state like North Carolina, while personal campaigning by the candidates is more critical in a state the size of Florida.
Because the ground game is strong here, she said, it has given us an opportunity to use our top-tier surrogates. Because we have such a strong organization, we do not have to rely solely on bringing in the big guns.