Jodi Rave: Sen. Obama eyes Democratic nomination
"While Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama bulks up his campaign for Montana's pivotal June 3 primary, he's also looking ahead to the general election and being competitive here against Republican John McCain, Obama's campaign manager said Wednesday.

“We're pretty much going to roll (our effort) right into the general election,” David Plouffe told Montana reporters in a conference call. “We believe Montana will be a competitive general-election state.”

Plouffe also said it's likely Obama will return to Montana to campaign before the June 3 primary election - his third visit to the state in the past two months. Obama, a U.S. senator from Illinois, is battling Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., for the Democratic presidential nomination.

He needs only 62 delegates to clinch the nomination, and 17 Montana delegates will be awarded based on the June 3 primary election results.

Obama announced his South Dakota rural initiative on May 12.

The Montana rural initiative will be unveiled next week. “We are anxious to share that with everybody,” said Plouffe. “We are also encouraging people in Montana to go online and share their stories and their ideas and their priorities about what should be in that plan.”

Obama reached deep into the Montana rural vote on Monday when he rallied on the Crow Reservation, marking his first campaign visit to an Indian reservation, speaking to an estimated 4,000, mostly Native, voters.

“We have an active and effective Native Americans for Obama steering committee,” said Plouffe. “We had a terrific visit on Monday with the community and we want to keep building in that community. We're trying to talk to as many people as we can through every mechanism.”"

Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: Obama takes aim at general election (The Missoulian 5/22)

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