Sep 2, 2012 Comments Off Pat Dollard
(POLITICO) SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Election Day isn’t for another two months, but President Obama is pushing his fans not to wait that long.
Following his standard exhortation to register, Obama told the 10,000 people gathered to see him in Urbandale that they should take advantage of the state’s early-voting rules.
“In Iowa, you don’t have to wait until Nov. 6 to vote,” he told 10,000 people in Urbandale. “You can be among the first to vote in this election starting, Sept. 27.”
Obama’s summer focus on Iowa – this is his seventh trip this year – is built in part to drive up voter registration and push people to vote early.
Here, the push has already begun to pay dividends. More than 50,000 more Democrats than Republicans have requested Iowa absentee ballots, according to Jennifer Jacobs of the Des Moines Register.
“We do feel we have an on-the-ground advantage; that our on-the-ground campaign is very strong,” Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters aboard Air Force One. “It is going to be a huge help and a deciding factor when it comes to November.”
In North Carolina, where Democrats will gather starting Tuesday for their national convention, the early vote begins Thursday, the day Obama will formally accept the party’s nomination. In Colorado, where Obama will host a rally Sunday, early voting begins Oct. 22.
“Early voting and encouraging people to vote by mail, get engaged and involved early has always been a big part of our focus,” Psaki said. “And our investment has focused on building our grassroots campaign, making sure we have staff on the ground to organize neighbor-to-neighbor programs, to get the community leaders involved at an early stage. And in many of these states we’ve had people on the ground since 2008, and that’s where we felt it was important to invest.”