President Obama spoke with urgency about the state of the presidential race late Monday at a fundraiser in San Francisco, telling donors he would only win if his supporters were “almost obsessive” over the final month of the campaign.
“I am pretty competitive and I very much intend to win this election,” Obama said, according to media pool reports. “We're only going to win if everybody is almost obsessive for the next 29 days.”
Speaking to a group of about 100 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Obama urged donors, who paid $40,000 per person to attend, to make phone calls, knock on doors and even travel to nearby swing-state Nevada to recruit voters.
The Obama campaign has been scrambling to reboot after his flat performance at last week’s debate, where Mitt Romney scored a historic victory.
According to Gallup, 72 percent of viewers said Romney won the debate, compared to only 20 percent who said Obama. It was the biggest margin of victory Gallup has ever recorded.
Romney has since made significant gains in many polls.
Obama had been pulling away, opening up about a 4-percentage-point lead nationally over Romney leading up to the debate. The RealClearPolitics average of polls now shows the candidates separated by only .5 percentage points.
A surprising Pew Research poll released late Monday showed Romney with 49 percent support, over Obama at 45.
Romney has also closed the gap in a number of the swing states that will be critical in determining the outcome of the election.
Speaking Tuesday on NBC’s “Today" show, Obama’s GOP rival from 2008, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), warned Romney not to underestimate the president in the next debate.
“I think Mitt has got to understand the president is an excellent debater; he’ll be much stronger in the next debate,” he cautioned.