In recent presidential elections, the South has reflected a strong reddish hue as most of the region’s electoral votes have gone to the Republican candidate. In 2008, Barack Obama was able to make breakthroughs in North Carolina, and Virginia, but the rest of the South was solid GOP. Ben LaBolt, President Obama’s re-election campaign press secretary, says that the president is not conceding any Southern state including South Carolina to the eventual GOP nominee.
LaBolt says North Carolina is a focal point of the president’s re-election strategy and that is the main reason Charlotte was chosen as the host city for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.The convention will be held at the city’s Time Warner Cable Arena during the week of September 3, 2012.
AUDIO: LaBolt says the president will battle for Southern vote
Current South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian has taken an aggressive tone in his attacks of Republican office holders including Governor Nikki Haley. He has also sparred with conservatives on Fox News and has made appearances on MSNBC. LaBolt says Harpootlian will be a point man for the president’s 2012 campaign efforts in South Carolina.
Marking the one year mark prior to the 2012 election, volunteers have already started efforts to carry the president’s message throughout the state of South Carolina.
AUDIO: LaBolt sees Harpootlian as an asset for the campaign
New laws requiring voters to show photo identification are set to take effect in Kansas, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas and South Carolina. South Carolina’s law is still under scrutiny by the U.S. Justice Department. Opponents of the law see it as a form of voter suppression. LaBolt says Democrats are already ramping up their efforts to combat the new laws.
LaBolt says the president is not tailoring a message specifically for the South; he is offering a consistent message that he will continue to battle to put America back to work.
AUDIO: LaBolt says efforts will be made to make sure eligible voters get to vote
While recent polls show Obama’s approval ratings at 44 percent, the latest Wall Street Journal/ NBC News poll shows Obama leading the GOP frontrunners. The president edges Romney 49 percent to 43 percent in the national poll of registered voters. Obama leads Herman Cain 53 percent to 38 percent.