In a conference call with reporters today, Barack Obama's campaign manager gave a detailed brief for Obama's viability in Iowa and the primaries through Jan. 5. He spent considerably time gently eviscerating (thanks, Mark Leibovich, for the phrase) John Edwards's chances after Iowa, contending that he has no organization to speak of in most of the states following Iowa and is severely limited as to what he can raise and spend.
The timing of the call isn't unusual, but some more skeptical wags will suggest that Plouffe might have been trying to pre-but the campaign's nagging snese that the Des Moines Register poll out tonight may include unfavorable news for Obama. (Does it? I have no idea.)
Plouffe asserted that Obama "has the dominant field organization in Iowa" and is well positioned to win "with even the most aggressive turnout models." And Obama is strong outside the cities, Plouffe said. "We believe we're going to be viable in every county, in every precinct."
Internal research, Plouffe said, showed that Obama is the strongest second choice preference among those Democrats most likely to caucus.
Plouffe was forward looking. On the Feb. 5:
"Sen. Edwards will have no operation to speak of in the Feb. 5 states. I believe Sen. Clinton has political or field organizations in five or six of those states. We have, I believe, 17 of the 22 states covered."
## Plouffe said his campaign number crunchers estimate that John Edwards, who has accepted federal financing and its attendent caps, can spend only $17M more between now and Democratic National Convention.
## He insinuated that the campaign's internal polling shows Obama leading in New Hampshire.
## Plouffe said that the campaign estimates turnout among African Americans in South Carolina will be well above 50%. "We don't think there's any way it's going to slip below 50," he said, referring to public polls suggesting a black voter turnout of less than 45%.
## "We believe that by Feb 6., we'll be turning our attention to the general election."
A power point presentation accompanied Plouffe's: here are the most interesting slides: