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Obama campaign to open five more offices in Colorado

Published January 26, 2008 at 12:30 a.m.

Barack Obama's national campaign manager said Friday the campaign will open another five offices in mostly rural areas of Colorado in an effort to target those voters in the Feb. 5 caucus.

Campaign manager David Plouffe said the offices will be in Durango, Greeley, Grand Junction, Pueblo and Telluride. An existing office in Fort Collins will be expanded.

That would bring the number of Obama offices in the state to 12. "Colorado is a caucus state and so organizing is absolutely essential," he said.

While the state accounts for less than 2 percent of the total delegates to be awarded to the eventual Democratic nominee at the convention this August, Plouffe anticipates a robust effort in Colorado to help Obama win the caucus.

The campaign, he said, has focused on a grass-roots effort, making more than 100,000 phone calls and having volunteers knocking on doors and canvassing neighborhoods. In a caucus state, Plouffe said, that's the approach that's proved to work best.

When it comes to offices in the state, Obama trounces Hillary Clinton's campaign, which has only one office in Denver. John Edwards' campaign also has one office in Denver, but both campaigns are active with caucus training parties, phone banking and recruitment of volunteers.

Tyler Chafee, Clinton's Colorado campaign director, said opening offices throughout the state isn't a good indicator of how caucus-goers will respond. "Clearly, they've taken the Starbucks approach to the campaign," he said of the Obama camp. "Pretty soon, they'll have one on every corner."

U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., will headline a Latinas for Hillary event today hosted by the Colorado for Hillary Hispanic Leadership Council. The Clinton campaign has made a huge effort to appeal to Hispanics in Colorado.

"We understand we start from behind there," Plouffe said of attracting Hispanic voters. "But we have room to grow. Latinos really want to change Washington, and they're sick and tired of partisanship."

The Obama campaign has enlisted former Denver Mayor Federico Pena, who will be holding town-hall events today in southern Colorado, as well as getting help in the state from U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., and U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif.

On Wednesday, former President Clinton will visit Colorado, as well as former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. Clinton will campaign on behalf of his wife, while Daschle will campaign for Obama in Colorado Springs.

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