NEW YORK -- One afternoon in July, President Barack Obama sat down for eight interviews with local TV anchors -- the same number he's had with the national media all year.

They say all politics is local. And in running for reelection, Obama has taken that political maxim to heart by speaking more with journalists who are outside the Beltway and whose states' electoral votes matter most this November.

In 2012, Obama has done 58 local media interviews and eight national media interviews, according to information provided by CBS News' Mark Knoller, the White House press corps' "unofficial keeper of presidential data." More than half of those local interviews were with journalists located in swing states.

For instance, Obama met that July afternoon with anchors from New Hampshire, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa and Wisconsin. He spoke to different anchors from Florida, Iowa and Wisconsin a month earlier, as well as anchors from Virginia and Colorado.

In addition to news interviews, Obama could be found last Thursday calling into a Columbus, Ohio, sports radio show, talking for eight minutes on the '92 Dream Team versus the current men's Olympic basketball team, the White Sox and Cubs, the Penn State scandal, the Jets' quarterback situation and, of course, Ohio State football.

Martha Joynt Kumar, a Towson University professor who studies the relationship between the White House and the press, said Obama focused more on national media interviews (96) than local interviews (17) during his first year in office. "What you're doing at the beginning is introducing yourself and you need a national audience to do that," Kumar said.

But Obama doesn't need cable and broadcast networks to introduce himself to the public anymore. Now, when he sits down for a major TV interview, it's typically to discuss a specific topic, such as the anniversary of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden (with NBC's Brian Williams) or to endorse same-sex marriage (with ABC's Robin Roberts).

When asked about the reelection campaign's media strategy, Obama press secretary Ben LaBolt said that "it's no secret that Americans are getting their information from a more diffuse body of media sources, and we always work to ensure that we’re reaching them where they’re getting their information."

"Some of those means are traditional -- like national and regional drivetime radio, or interviews with networks and their affiliates across the country -- the President has done interviews at almost every campaign stop," LaBolt continued, in an email to The Huffington Post. "The President has sat down with reporters from major publications and the major networks and outlined his case for reelection and will continue to do so.

"But it’s also important for us to engage digital and social media platforms, from online chats to blogger conferences (like his appearance at the BlogHer conference this week), and platforms accessed by growing constituencies to reach as many Americans as possible."

While any sophisticated campaign media operation needs to engage across media platforms, both Democratic and Republican strategists told The Huffington Post that local media can be especially beneficial as the election nears.

"Local media is much better strategically," said Mark McKinnon, global vice chair of Hill + Knowlton Strategies and chief media adviser for George W. Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaigns.

"Because they are generally so thrilled to have the access, local media [is] more likely to ask friendlier and easier questions," McKinnon continued via email. "Much better chance of controlling your message. Bottom line, you can usually drive local media like a truck."

Paul Begala, a former Clinton White House adviser, CNN analyst and media consultant for pro-Obama Super Pac Priorities USA Action, said he endorses a strategy with increased local media outreach, but with one tweak. "They have to put him on the Sunday shows more," Begala said.

Obama hasn't appeared on any of the four Sunday morning public affairs shows -- NBC's "Meet the Press," ABC's "This Week," CBS's "Face the Nation" and CNN's "State of the Union" -- since Sept. 20, 2009, when he argued for health care reform. The president hasn’t appeared on "Fox News Sunday" since the 2008 campaign (and only after host Chris Wallace started a weekly "Obama Watch" segment).

Begala said the lengthy Sunday shows, where candidates are grilled on a number of different issues, would be good preparation for the fall debates against Mitt Romney, a candidate who spent much of the Republican primary on the debate stage. Obama, he said, "needs to hit against major league pitching."

While Romney avoided the Sunday shows early on in his fight for the Republican nomination, he has recently appeared on both "Fox News Sunday" and "Face The Nation." In April, top Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom told The Huffington Post that the campaign hopes for the Republican nominee "to do them all over the course of the campaign."

Obama is no stranger to doing interviews, a format he seems to prefer over other ways of engaging with journalists. He's done 464 interviews through May 2012, according to Kumar's research, which is significantly more than predecessors George W. Bush (159), Bill Clinton (181), George H.W. Bush (232), and Ronald Reagan (197) at the same point in their presidencies.

"Obama likes doing interviews because he can speak at length on individual issues," Kumar said, adding that "short question and answer sessions is not something he's good at."

Indeed, Obama generally avoids taking questions from reporters before, say, a cabinet meeting or after a bill signing. He has taken fewer such questions than all four previous presidents -- 99 through May 2012 compared to Clinton's 538 at the same time in his presidency.

It's not so uncommon for an incumbent president to try and steer clear of the national media stage in the months before an election, a reluctance that may only increase given reporters' obsession with covering candidate gaffes in 2012.

"Bush was equally or even more distant from reporters during 2004," Knoller said in an email. "Unless you had an authorized interview, we rarely if ever got a chance to question him about anything."

Obama has only had one formal, solo news conference with the national media so far in 2012, the same as Bush at this point during his reelection year.

Peter Baker, a New York Times reporter who has covered the Obama, Bush and Clinton administrations, said in an email that there's "no question incumbents tend to go further into the bubble the closer they get to elections, and that’s certainly the case here."

"But it seems to me candidates for the highest office in the land ought to make themselves more available for questions, not less, as voters are evaluating them," Baker added. "I realize that’s probably quaint and old fashioned."

Related on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen

    President Barack Obama hugs singer Bruce Springsteen after he performed at a rally for the president, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Scott Bauer)

  • Peruvian shamans bless President Barack Obama using a poster of him during a ritual to predict the winner of the U.S. presidential election in Lima, Peru, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. The shamans routinely predict outcomes for elections and sporting events, and on Monday predicted Obama will win. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

  • Michelle Obama

    First lady Michelle Obama walks off stage after speaking to supporters at a campaign event at the Loudoun County Fairgrounds, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, in Leesburg, Va. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Barack Obama

    People take photographs as President Barack Obama shakes hands at a campaign event at The Ohio State University Oval, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at The Ohio State University Oval, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama returns a Marine's salute as he steps off Marine One helicopter on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, as he returns from campaigning in Ohio and California. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Barack Obama

    In this Oct. 8, 2012, photo, President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign event in San Francisco. The last campaign got the glory. This one is the grind. For all the many ways that Obama's bid for a second term is different than his first, the one that stands out now is the feel at the finish. The crowds are behind him, but this is not the 2008 "Fired Up, Ready To Go!" Obama's admonition to supporters might as well be turned around _ be ready to go, or I may get fired. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

  • Barack Obama

    FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2012 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. It's more than President Barack Obama's lackluster debate performance that has some Democrats on edge a month from Election Day. Party loyalists, both in Washington and in battleground states, are fretting that Obama's campaign has been slow to rebound after Republican Mitt Romney's commanding debate. They're worried that the Democratic ticket isn't aggressive enough in blocking Romney's post-debate pivot to the political center. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama waves with Latin pop band 'Mana' during a campaign event September 30, 2012 at Desert Pines High School Campaign in Las Vegas, Nevada. The band members from left are: Sergio Vallín, Fher Olvera, Alex Gonzalez, and Juan Calleros. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama makes his way onto the stage for a campaign event September 30, 2012 at Desert Pines High School Campaign in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama speaks at a presidential election campaign event at Desert Pines High School in Las Vegas, Nevada September 30, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama hugs Chasstiry Vazquez after she indroduced him at a presidential election campaign event at Desert Pines High School in Las Vegas, Nevada September 30, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama hugs a worker during an unannounced stop at a campaign office October 1, 2012 in Henderson, Nevada. Obama took time out from debate preparation to stop by the local campaign office where he dropped off pizza for the workers. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama greets a volunteer as he makes an unannounced stop at a campaign office October 1, 2012 in Henderson, Nevada. Obama took time out from debate preparation to stop by the local campaign office where he dropped off pizza for the workers. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama smiles as he calls campaign workers during an unannounced stop at a campaign office October 1, 2012 in Henderson, Nevada. Obama took time out from debate preparation to stop by the local campaign office where he dropped off pizza for the workers. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama smiles as he calls campaign workers during an unannounced stop at a campaign office October 1, 2012 in Henderson, Nevada. Obama took time out from debate preparation to stop by the local campaign office where he dropped off pizza for the workers. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama calls campaign workers during an unannounced stop at a campaign office October 1, 2012 in Henderson, Nevada. Obama took time out from debate preparation to stop by the local campaign office where he dropped off pizza for the workers. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama speaks to campaign volunteers and staff as he makes an unannounced stop at a campaign office October 1, 2012 in Henderson, Nevada. Obama took time out from debate preparation to stop by the local campaign office where he dropped off pizza for the workers. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • President Obama Returns To White House

    WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 9: U.S. President Barack Obama steps off Marine One as he returns to the White House on September 9, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama spent the day on a campaign trip through Florida. (Photo by Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images)

  • President Obama Campaigns In Florida For Two-Day Swing

    WEST PALM BEACH, FL - SEPTEMBER 09: U.S. President Barack Obama addresses a campaign event at the Palm Beach County Convention Center September 9, 2012 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Working with the momentum from this week's Democratic National Convention, Obama is on a two-day campaign swing from one side of Florida to the other on the politically important I-4 corridor. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • President Obama Campaigns In Florida For Two-Day Swing

    WEST PALM BEACH, FL - SEPTEMBER 09: U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with supporters during a campaign event at the Palm Beach County Convention Center September 9, 2012 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Working with the momentum from this week's Democratic National Convention, Obama is on a two-day campaign swing from one side of Florida to the other on the politically important I-4 corridor. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • President Obama Campaigns In Florida For Two-Day Swing

    WEST PALM BEACH, FL - SEPTEMBER 09: U.S. President Barack Obama addresses a campaign event at the Palm Beach County Convention Center September 9, 2012 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Working with the momentum from this week's Democratic National Convention, Obama is on a two-day campaign swing from one side of Florida to the other on the politically important I-4 corridor. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN

    US President Barack Obama boards Air Force One prior to departing Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida, on September 9, 2012 at the end of a 2-day bus tour across Florida. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN

    US President Barack Obama greets supporters after speaking at a campaign event at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, on September 9, 2012 during the second day of a 2-day bus tour across Florida. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama stops for breakfast with auto workers Heather Finrock (R, rear) Daniel Schlieman (L, rear) and and James Fayson (R, front) at Rick City's Diner on September 3, 2012 in Toledo, Ohio. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama stops for breakfast with auto workers (seated at table with him) Heather Finrock (R, rear) Daniel Schlieman (L, rear) and and James Fayson (R, front) at Rick's City Diner on September 3, 2012 in Toledo, Ohio. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Toledo Express International Airport ON September 2, 2012 in Toledo, Ohio. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • President Barack Obama University of Colorado

    BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 2: President Barack Obama shakes hands with University of Colorado senior Ryan Case after Case introduced the President at a Grassroots Rally on September 2, 2012 on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder, Colorado. Obama discussed his plan to help the middle class, Obamacare's impact and the importance of the youth of America getting out to vote in the upcoming election. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

  • President Obama Campaigns In Colorado Ahead Of Democratic National Convention

    BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 2: President Barack Obama shakes hands with supporters after speaking at a Grassroots Rally September 2, 2012 on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder, Colorado. Obama discussed his plan to help the middle class, Obamacare's impact and the importance of the youth of America getting out to vote in the upcoming election. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama makes his way to board Air Force One on September 2, 2012 at Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama chats with Barbara McCluskey, 78, of Loveland, Colorado during a stop at The Buff estaurant in Boulder, Colorado on September 2, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama walks across the tarmac to greet well-wishers upon arrival at Toledo Express International Airport on September 2, 2012 in Toledo, Ohio. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • President Obama Answers Questions During Daily White House Press Briefing

    WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 20: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during the daily press briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House August 20, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama made a surprised visit to the briefing and answered questions from the White House press corps. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  • US-POLITICS-OBAMA-KIDS

    US President Barack Obama speaks during a Kids' 'State Dinner' hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama (R) in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, August 20, 2012. This first time event includes 54 children, ages 8-12, from all US states, three territories and Washington, DC, to a luncheon in support of the Let's Move campaign, featuring healthy recipes and a performance by Nickelodeon's Big Time Rush. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-POLITICS-OBAMA-KIDS

    US President Barack Obama greets guests during a Kids' 'State Dinner' hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, August 20, 2012. This first time event includes 54 children, ages 8-12, from all US states, three territories and Washington, DC, to a luncheon in support of the Let's Move campaign, featuring healthy recipes and a performance by Nickelodeon's Big Time Rush. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-POLITICS-OBAMA-PRESSER

    US President Barack Obama answers questions from the press during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington on August 20, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Obamas Go To Sunday Service

    WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 19: (AFP OUT) (R-L) U.S. President Barack Obama, Malia Obama, Sasha Obama, and first lady Michelle Obama walk from the White House to St. John's Episcopal Church August 19, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama is embroiled in an election race with Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (Photo by Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images)

  • US-POLITICS-OBAMA-CHURCH

    US President Barack Obama walks across Lafayette Park to St. John's Episcopal Church to attend Sunday services with daughters Malia(2nd-L), Sasha(2nd-R) and First Lady Michelle Obama in Washington DC, August 19, 2012. AFP Photo/ Chris Kleponis (Photo credit should read CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • President Obama Returns From Campaigning In New Hampshire

    WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 18: (AFP OUT) President Barack Obama walks across the South Lawn to the White House after returning from campaigning August 18, 2012 in Washington D.C. President Obama returned from New Hampshire with a bag of green apples and a caramel apple making kit from Mack's Apples in Londonderry in New Hampshire. (Photo by Martin H. Simon-Pool/Getty Images)

  • US-POLITICS-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama greets supporters after speaking at a campaign rally in Rochester, New Hampshire, on August 18, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-POLITICS-OBAMA

    People cheer US President Barack Obama as he speaks at a campaign rally in Rochester, New Hampshire, on August 18, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US President Barack Obama boards Marine

    US President Barack Obama boards Marine One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on August 4, 2012. Obama celebrated his 51st birthday by playing golf before traveling to the Camp David presidential retreat to spend the night. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Obama Urges Congress To Preserve Middle Class Tax Cuts

    WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 03: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about tax legislation facing Congress at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building August 3, 2012 in Washington, DC. Earlier in the day a new employment report was released indicating that 163,000 new jobs were added to the U.S. economy and the unemployment rose slightly to 8.3 percent in the month of July. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • US President Barack Obama delivers remar

    US President Barack Obama delivers remarks during a campaign event in Leesburg, VA, August 2, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US President Barack Obama waves as he ar

    US President Barack Obama waves as he arrives to deliver remarks during a campaign event in Leesburg, VA, August 2, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US President Barack Obama delivers remar

    US President Barack Obama delivers remarks during a campaign event in Leesburg, VA, August 2, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • A supporter holds up a placard as US Pre

    A supporter holds up a placard as US President Barack Obama delivers remarks during a campaign event in Leesburg, VA, August 2, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Obama Holds Campaign Event At Virginia High School

    LEESBURG, VA - AUGUST 2: President Barack Obama shakes hands with supporters at the end of a campaign rally at Loudoun County High School on August 2, 2012 in Leesburg, Virginia. The president campaigned earlier in the day in Florida. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

  • President Obama Discusses Economy At Florida Campaign Event

    WINTER PARK, FL - AUGUST 2: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign stop at Rollins College August 2, 2012 in Winter Park, Florida. Obama urged Congress to immediately prevent a tax increase and spoke about his plan to cut the deficit by more than $4 trillion through spending cuts and reforms. (Photo by Edward Linsmier/Getty Images)

  • President Obama Discusses Economy At Florida Campaign Event

    WINTER PARK, FL - AUGUST 2: U.S. President Barack Obama greets people after speaking at a campaign stop at Rollins College August 2, 2012 in Winter Park, Florida. Obama urged Congress to immediately prevent a tax increase and spoke about his plan to cut the deficit by more than $4 trillion through spending cuts and reforms. (Photo by Edward Linsmier/Getty Images)

  • President Obama Discusses Economy At Florida Campaign Event

    WINTER PARK, FL - AUGUST 2: U.S. President Barack Obama waves after speaking during a campaign stop at Rollins College August 2, 2012 in Winter Park, Florida. Obama urged Congress to immediately prevent a tax increase and spoke about his plan to cut the deficit by more than $4 trillion through spending cuts and reforms. (Photo by Edward Linsmier/Getty Images)