Democratic Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's fledgling presidential campaign operation is strategizing for a strong finish in next January's Iowa caucuses through recruiting huge numbers of Iowans who have seldom or never participated in the caucuses before, according to an aide on his exploratory committee.
"The question for us will be whether we can get those people who are outside the voter file," says the aide, referring to the vast databases that presidential candidates typically buy from political parties and construct their ground games around. That has been particularly true in Iowa, whose caucus system requires more of voters than simply pulling a lever at a polling place. The Obama team plans to build its own file by gathering E-mail addresses from Iowans who attend Obama rallies, which they believe will draw many who up until now have been apolitical.
By Dan Gilgoff