(CHICAGO) -- With John McCain's traveling press corps cooling their heels here as they waited for McCain to wrap up a fundraiser, Barack Obama's campaign knew a captive audience when they saw one. The Obama campaign extended an invitation for us to drop by Obama's campaign headquarters for a briefing by their campaign manager David Plouffe.
Sitting under a charcoal sketch of the Obama family that was donated by a supporter, Plouffe said that they weren't concerned by the bump in poll numbers that McCain has experienced after the Republican convention and the announcement of Sarah Palin as his running mate.
"There's a lot of hyperventilating about national polls," Plouffe said, which wasn't a surprise since both a CBS News poll and the Gallup daily tracking poll showed McCain taking the lead nationally in the presidential race. "When you look at battleground states, we feel very good about where we are."
Plouffe argued that McCain has "jettisoned the idea" that this election is about experience with selection of first term governor Sarah Palin on the ticket. McCain is now trying to make the election about change, Plouffe said, and "that's a debate we're happy to have."
Plouffe said the election would boil down to which campaign could appeal to undecided voters in battleground states and who could bring out the highest turnout numbers. "We have a huge ability to grow turnout," he said. "We have a more credible path to 270 [electoral votes, the number it takes to win] than McCain does."
Both campaigns have attempted to take race out of the campaign, and Plouffe rejected the notion of a "Bradley effect" – voters telling pollsters they would vote for a black candidate, but changing their mind in the voting booth. "Swing voters that are up for grabs are not going to factor race into the equation," he said.