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Obama's Ground Game Swings Into Action

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Obama caught the Hillary juggernaut off guard with his ground game in the overlooked red states and built an insurmountable lead after Super Tuesday.

Can he do the same to McCain?

CHICAGO, June 12 — Moving to harness the grass-roots energy that helped win the Democratic nomination, Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign will deploy 3,600 volunteers in 17 states this weekend, each committed to six consecutive weeks of full-time political work.

The project, launched two months before the senator from Illinois became the presumptive nominee, is a measure of his determination to out-organize Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in states that could swing a close election.

The campaign put out word in April about “Obama Organizing Fellowships,” an approach that went well beyond the “y’all come” model of luring volunteers with free doughnuts for two-hour canvassing stints. Supporters were required to answer essay questions, supply references and go through a telephone interview with campaign staff members.

The only question mark? Can the campaign really organize all these people effectively? Because we’re talking about a much bigger undertaking than the primary season.

We shall see…