Obama Campaign Snapshot -- 65 Weeks to Election

ABC News' Devin Dwyer ( @devindwyer) reports:

QUOTED & NOTED: “When I said, ‘change we can believe in,’ I didn’t say ‘change we can believe in tomorrow.’ Not ‘change we can believe in next week.’ We knew this was going to take time, because we’ve got this big, messy, tough democracy.” – President Obama, Aug. 3, 2011

SWING STATE STATS: The latest national Gallup poll shows Obama with a 41 percent approval rate. But numbers which may matter more in 2012 are those in key battlegrounds. In several, his approval still stands above the national average:

--- FL: 44% approve, 51% disapprove (Quinnipiac, 8/4)

--- PA: 54% approve, 43% disapprove (Quinnipiac, 8/2)

--- MI: 47% approve, 40% disapprove (EPIC-MRA, 7/18)

--- WI: 50% approve, 44% disapprove (UW Badger poll, 7/14)


@MittRomney: “@BarackObama celebrates his 50th bday & collects $35,800 checks but IL is struggling due to his failed policies. Video: mi.tt/oTGncj”

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel: “I’d just like to note to the governor, in case he needs a rendezvous with his record, when he was governor, Massachusetts was 47th out of 50 in job production. In case he forgot that, I’d like to remind him of that.” (h/t Chicago Sun Times)

LOWERING EXPECTATIONS: Obama headlined his 36th and 37th fundraisers of the year this week, after a month-long hiatus from the money trail. But aides say the debt ceiling debate, which forced the cancellation of at least 10 fundraising events, and a typical summer slowdown in donations will mean fewer dollars in the bank by the end of September.

“We’re going to raise significantly less in the third quarter than we did in the second quarter,” campaign manager Jim Messina told AP’s Ken Thomas this week.

DOUBLE DONORS: An ABC News analysis of Obama and Romney donors shows why the concept of “maxing out” to a candidate is now virtually defunct. Many deep-pocket backers of each candidate have directly given the legal limit to the official campaign fund, and then given significantly more to outside groups run by the candidates’ friends.

These new “super” PACs have no limits on how much they can raise or spend – and while they’re technically not allowed to coordinate with a candidate’s campaign, one watchdog called the arrangement a “classic Washington wink and a nod.” More HERE.

O’s ORGANIZER ADVICE: Volunteers for the president say they’ve encountered some tough questions about his record, and simmering frustration by voters in some corners of the country. Obama, a former community organizer, gave supporters three tips for the trail:

Facing confrontation? “You’ve got to listen as much as you talk.” Tough questions on issues like taxes? “The key is not getting too bogged down in detail.” How to handle the obscure? “Sometimes it’s not so bad to say I don’t know.”

“You own this campaign. You own this country,” Obama said via video teleconference Wednesday night.

--- HIGH-TECH TOOL: The president engaged his grassroots team, gathered at 1,160 locations around the country, through a new “Skype-like” software interface designed for his campaign by Adobe Systems Inc. Check out a screen grab of the system HERE. Video of the encounter HERE.

SALON SOLICITATION: Barber shops and beauty salons are doubling as Obama volunteer recruitment centers in South Carolina, campaign aides said on their blog. Looking to kill time while that permanent sets? Why not fill out a voter reg or volunteer sign-up form! “It’s been a great exercise in spreading the campaign’s message through word of mouth,” said SC state field director Byron Wellman.

‘PIVOTING’ ON WHEELS: The White House prefers “refocusing” rather than “pivot.” But whatever lingo you choose, the president is taking his economic job-talk offensive on the road to the Midwest in two weeks. (Check out his million-dollar ride! h/t Ann Compton)

Aides say the trip is not political; RNC chairman Reince Priebus says “everything is.” Either way, the trip is a sign Obama is eager to get out of the Washington bubble, where he’s been cooped up for the last month.

FLASHBACK: Oct. 14, 2008 Gallup headline: ‘Obama Wins on Economy, McCain Terrorism’

FACE-TWEET SCORECARD: In our social media snapshot... President Obama’s Twitter following took a hit last week, losing 36,000 in one day after the campaign used his account for a messaging offensive at the height of the debt ceiling debate. But the team has steadily seen the numbers back, recouping the loss and then some.

Obama has 9,499,050 followers – a gain of 110,000 (1.1%) over the week. His sole, personally-signed tweet was Aug. 2: “‘We’ve got to do everything in our power to grow this economy and put America back to work.’ – President Obama”

Here’s a look at how some of his Republican challengers’ followings compare: Bachmann (68,565); Romney (65,143); Cain (53,651); Pawlenty (46,390); Huntsman (8,645)

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