David Plouffe, national campaign manager for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, said Wednesday the candidate currently had no plans to visit West Virginia University.Were obviously making our scheduling decisions day-by-day, based on where the states stand, said Plouffe.He said Obamas running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, had plans to campaign in Charleston on Friday.He added that the campaign has plans to send surrogates and other forms of support all over the state following Bidens visit.Obviously were doing very well with younger voters, Plouffe said, acknowledging the candidates strengths on college campuses.Plouffe took questions from members of the West Virginia media on where the candidate stands on state issues.He said the race is razor close at this point, and many national media outlets have speculated on his intentions with West Virginia in recent days.National attention has followed his campaigns decision to purchase television advertising in the state with some of the campaigns $150 million collected from donors in the past month.Similar nationwide interest has surrounded the candidates campaign here following a poll earlier this month, which had Obama pulling ahead of Republican candidate Sen. John McCain for the first time in the campaign.McCain has since regained his lead in the state again by over five points, according to most polls in West Virginia.Obamas interest in West Virginia follows his overwhelming defeat in the states primary against democratic rival Sen. Hillary Clinton, taking only 25 percent of the vote. Clinton took 66 percent.Should come down to the wire, Plouffe said.Plouffe prefaced questions from reporters with the Obama campaigns confidence the election would be decided on economic concerns.The first question from reporters addressed whether that was necessarily true of West Virginia.Reporters questioned the campaigns viability in the state when voting records so heavily favored social issues over economic policy.Plouffe said that Obama had been addressing social issues throughout his campaign and pointed to the candidates stance on abortion as it came up during last weeks final presidential debate.What Sen. Obama believes is that we should all work together to find common ground to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. We all want to see abortion as rare as possible. He does believe in a womans right to choose, and even in West Virginia, most people hold that view, Plouffe said.He added that Obama believes in the Second Amendment rights of Americans that he would protect them and did not differ much McCain on that issue.One reporter asked about McCains recent gains in state polling.Plouffe said that he has seen the McCain campaigns lead from early in the election erode and reiterated the closeness of the race here.I guess I would term ourselves the underdog in West Virginia.
This story was written by Colin Booth, The Daily Athenaeum