WASHINGTON – Entering the final 30-day stretch of the campaign, President Obama sets off for Los Angeles on Sunday for a trip that maximizes the three pillars of his reelection bid: money, the advantages of incumbency and a relentless focus on the field operation.
One day after his campaign announced that it raised $181 million in September — a sum just shy of what it raised in July and August combined — the president is expected to add at least an additional $5 million in two events Sunday night.
First, a “30 Days to Victory” concert, featuring performances from Jon Bon Jovi, Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Katy Perry and Jennifer Hudson. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Democratic convention keynoter Julian Castro and George Clooney will deliver remarks before Obama.
Six-thousand tickets were sold for the event at the Nokia Theatre, beginning at $250 each, although a limited number of $44 tickets were also sold.
A fundraising dinner later at WP24 by Wolfgang Puck features 150 guests at a cost of $25,000 per person, with the money going to Obama’s reelection fund, the Democratic National Committee and other affiliated accounts. But Obama begins his evening at an exclusive reception with former President Bill Clinton at a private home in Century City. The campaign characterized it as a thank-you event with longtime supporters.
On Monday, Obama will hold three additional fundraising events in San Francisco, which should bring in at least $4 million more.
En route to the Bay Area, however, the president will dedicate a new national monument at the home and grave site of civil rights and labor leader Cesar Chavez. Although it was announced by the White House and is classified an official event, the move comes as Obama’s campaign team seeks to solidify his advantage with Latino voters, who polls show predominantly favor the Democratic ticket.
It follows a string of official announcements made by Obama tied to key voting blocks, a tried-and-true tactic for incumbent presidents in reelection years. Last month in Ohio, he announced that the U.S. trade representative was filing a new action with the World Trade Organization challenging China on practices that disadvantage the U.S. auto sector.
Obama closes out his three-day trip in Ohio, with a campaign rally on the campus of Ohio State University. Tuesday is the state’s voter-registration deadline, and the campaign is looking to again maximize the youth turnout in the all-important Buckeye state. Even as it continues to bombard the television airwaves, the Obama campaign insist that its focus on expanding the electorate and turning out supporters on election day will be the key.
The trip comes on the heels of an unsteady debate performance by the president last Wednesday in Denver. Gallup’s daily tracking poll Saturday showed the president’s lead over Romney nationally slipping from six points midweek to just three points on Saturday.