UPDATE: New releases from the Obama campaign:
Statement from Barack Obama:
"We're proud of the campaign we ran in Nevada. We came from over twenty-five points behind to win more national convention delegates than Hillary Clinton because we performed well all across the state, including rural areas where Democrats have traditionally struggled. The reason is because tens of thousands of Nevadans came out to say that they're tired of business-as-usual in Washington and ready for a President who can bring this country together, take on the lobbyists and special interests, and end the politics of saying and doing whatever it takes to win an election. It is the kind of politics that feeds our cynicism and distracts us from taking on the real challenges facing America - an economy that's left working families struggling, a broken health care system, and a war in Iraq that must end.
"We ran an honest, uplifting campaign in Nevada that focused on the real problems Americans are facing, a campaign that appealed to people's hopes instead of their fears. That's the campaign we'll take to South Carolina and across America in the weeks to come, and that's how we will truly bring about the change this country is hungry for."
Statement from Obama campaign manager David Plouffe:
"We currently have reports of over 200 separate incidents of trouble at caucus sites, including doors being closed up to thirty minutes early, registration forms running out so people were turned away, and ID being requested and checked in a non-uniform fashion. This is in addition to the Clinton campaign's efforts to confuse voters and call into question the at-large caucus sites which clearly had an affect on turnout at these locations. These kinds of Clinton campaign tactics were part of an entire week's worth of false, divisive, attacks designed to mislead caucus-goers and discredit the caucus itself.
"We will investigate all of these thoroughly and would encourage anyone who had concern about actions at the caucus sites to call (866) 675-2008."
TO: Interested Parties
FR: David Plouffe
DA: January 19, 2008
RE: The Clintons and the Discredited Caucus
Barack Obama is very proud of the effort that he and his campaign have made in Nevada. As people head to their Caucus sites this morning, we have closed over a 25-point gap in a state where Hillary Clinton was the choice of much of the political establishment and enjoyed huge advantages in terms of name identification. In a very short period of time, our campaign has built an amazing grassroots network and has brought thousands of Independents and disillusioned Republicans into the Democratic Party. These efforts will go a long way to ensuring that Senator Obama wins this critical swing state when he is the nominee.
We expect to do well today and a win in Nevada for Obama would be a significant upset. As University of Nevada Reno Political Science professor put it - "If she loses Nevada, it's not just a loss. It's a collapse."
Our hope is that today's caucus comes off without a hitch and as many people as possible participate, however we remain concerned that the tactics of the Clinton Campaign and their allies in recent days have confused voters and could lower participation.
And now, according to Jon Ralston, allies of the Clinton Campaign may be planning to challenge voters at the at-large precincts. It is a sad day when Democrats start trying to suppress the vote of other Democrats.
Beginning with the lawsuit filed by their allies to suppress turnout among union members, the Clinton Campaign has been engaged in a systematic effort to discredit the process - a process which was pushed, developed, and approved by their supporters at the Democratic National Committee and in Nevada. It wasn't until Obama began gaining strength in a state they expected to win by at least 20 points that they began their attempts to delegitimize the process.
Former President Clinton said that this caucus "was not like an election" and that it disenfranchised voters. Even though the lawsuit was rejected as completely meritless by a federal judge, we remain concerned that the specter of the lawsuit has confused voters and threatens turnout at the at-large precincts, which may have been the intent of the Clinton allies all along.
The Clinton Campaign has also repeated the efforts it made in the closing days of the New Hampshire primary by launching knowingly false attacks on Barack's opposition to Yucca, his 100-percent pro-choice rating, and position on Social Security. There have been push polls and robocalls pushing these false attacks.
And just last night, former President Clinton made two false and outrageous allegations, distorting a radio ad that does not even mention Senator Clinton and accusing the Culinary workers, whose support both Clintons furiously sought, of engaging in deliberate voter suppression. (See full story on the comments below.)
The conduct of the Clinton Campaign in recent weeks essentially makes the case for why we need Barack Obama - it's the same old-style say anything or do anything to win, divisive attacks that have prevented progress in this country for so long.