By Justin Sink
Obama traveling press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that the campaign was "absolutely not" giving up efforts in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, three battleground states where the president has slipped behind Mitt Romney.
The Obama campaign spokeswoman said the president's ground game in North Carolina was among its best nationwide, and that the campaign expected supporters in crucial swing states to be energized by Obama's performance in Tuesday night's debate.
“We’re still going to run in every state like we’re five points behind," Psaki said.
An Obama victory in any of the three states, paired with holding onto his lead in Ohio, would almost assure the president of reelection. An ARG poll released this week gave Romney a 1-point edge in Virginia, while a Gravis Marketing poll gave the GOP nominee an identical lead in Florida. Romney fares better in North Carolina, where a poll released this week by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling gives Romney a 2-point lead.
But according to Psaki, the campaign still sees those states as in play, despite reports that the Chicago team is looking to build a firewall by focusing efforts on a sweep of Ohio, Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire. Winning those four states would likely be enough for Obama to retain the White House, even if he were to lose Virginia, Florida and North Carolina.
The Obama spokeswoman added that she believed the president's performance had improved because he had studied the first debate, and called the exchange Tuesday night with Romney over the administration's handling of a terrorist attack in Libya “one of the best moments in recent debate history.”