How to win an election: Plan ahead

I’m a bit fascinated by this Obama campaign video from 10 months ago. Campaign director Jim Messina describes five different geometries for a 2012 victory, each building on the states John Kerry won in 2004, which the Obama camp took as given (ouch). Of the nine states Messina names in the video, Obama won seven, and Romney must have spent a mint holding Arizona and picking up North Carolina.

It’s not really the voodoo it seems: Obama did not gain any states last night over the ones he held in 2008, and he let North Carolina and Indiana slip to Romney. Basically he won 2012 on the 2008 map. But it’s a demonstration of the Obama camp’s eerie confidence: before the year began, before the GOP had held the Iowa caucuses, Obama had a plan. He spent 2012 executing it.