WASHINGTON -- On Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden will continue the Obama campaign's effort to turn tax equity into a general election issue, with a major address slated to touch on the Buffett Rule and other related topics.
What's interesting is not just the content of the speech but its location. Biden will deliver his remarks from the Exeter Town Hall in Exeter, N.H. -- a quiet town, home to a prominent boarding school, that's nestled in the southeast of portion of the Granite State.
Of course, New Hampshire is generally considered a swing state. But the amount of time Biden has devoted to its voters is telling. An aide to Biden said that this would be his ninth trip to the state as vice president. Thursday will mark the third trip this year alone, after a campaign event in Manchester in February and an event promoting manufacturing in January.
The Obama re-election campaign's commitment to the state extends beyond the VIP drop-in. It has 30 paid staffers on the ground in New Hampshire, according to a recent Real Clear Politics article. All of this for the sake of four electoral votes.
Every vote matters, of course. And one need only speak to a veteran of Al Gore's presidential campaign to understand how critical New Hampshire can be. Had the former V.P. won that state in 2000, Florida and its recall would have been insignificant.
Obama campaign officials subscribe to the theory that even the smallest swing states deserve heavy attention. That explains why Biden is such a frequent guest in New Hampshire, as well as why there were some raised eyebrows last week when news emerged that Republicans had passed Democrats in voter registration in Iowa.
The president's re-election team wasn't surprised by the news. Republicans, after all, campaigned in the state for months ahead of the state's primary, demonizing the president throughout. So when both parties cleaned up their voter registration rolls and the GOP showed a 4,000 voter advantage, it was somewhat expected.
Still, the news reaffirmed the need to remain committed to and invested in Iowa. Currently, Obama has eight offices in Iowa (which will award six electoral votes) including one in what used to be Mitt Romney's primary campaign headquarters. The campaign declined to discuss what additional plans it had in store for the state.
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