Democrats in red states stress Obama's popular vote, local campaigns

Democratic officials in conservative parts of the country aren't predicting victory for President Obama in their states — but they are focused on winning the national popular vote and races at the local level.

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State Democratic parties in several Republican strongholds say they are in full campaign mode, even knowing the top of the ticket won't deliver there.

“The [Texas Democratic Party] is focused on turning out Democrats throughout the state for every race, from school board to the presidency,” Texas Democratic Party Communications Director Tanene Allison told The Hill in an emailed statement.

The party is intent "on building a strong infrastructure to support Democratic wins at all levels, and to further show the trend of Texas turning into a battleground," Allison added. "As a part of this we look forward to adding Democrats to our congressional delegation and adding strong numbers to the president's popular vote.”

The effort to drive up the incumbent president's support — even in states that are not in play  — has taken on increased significance this election cycle, amid polls showing it's possible Obama or Mitt Romney could win the Electoral College and lose the popular vote. Neither campaign relishes the scenario of a split result. 

The Democratic Party in Alaska is working along the same lines as its Texas counterpart, with volunteers working to “help get out the vote up and down the ticket,” according to a statement emailed to The Hill. 

The Georgia Democratic Party anticipates that the presidential race will be one of the closest contests in the South, with the state possibly becoming a battleground in 2016.

The only red state in which Democrats have had hopes Obama might capture an electoral vote is Nebraska, which does not have a winner-takes-all rule for its electoral votes. The state Democratic Party is working to replicate Obama’s 2008 victory in the second congressional district.

Even the Alabama Democratic Party, which has been sending volunteers to the purple-tinged state of Florida to capture its 29 electoral votes, is “working diligently to increase President Obama's vote share over his 2008 performance” in the state.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are some state Democratic parties that are not focusing on the national race at all.

The Kansas Democratic Party has get-out-the-vote efforts at the “state, county, and campaign levels,” according to Dakota Loomis, the party’s communications director, but concedes that “we are focused on close, contested elections in Kansas and not on the presidential election.”

The last time Kansas went for a Democrat in a presidential election was 1964, for Lyndon Johnson. 

The Idaho and Wyoming Democratic parties are zeroing in on local races, with the latter focusing on state legislative races and the former expanding to congressional races. The Obama campaign has not even bothered trying to activate voters in Wyoming, and the Obama for America organization in the state is primarily working on efforts in the swing state of Colorado.