TAMPA, Fla. -- In the four months before Election Day, the Barack Obama campaign registered 200,000 new voters in Florida, opened 50 state field offices, recruited 600,000 volunteers and allocated $40 million to fight John McCain. Under state director Steve Schale's direction, it amassed a grassroots organization so far-reaching that even Republican strategists say it will change the way politics is practiced in Florida.
''They've done everything right and very few things wrong,'' said Sally Bradshaw, former campaign manager for Republican Gov. Jeb Bush and now a political consultant. ``They've figured it out. They've broken the code.''
The strategy not only helped Obama rebound from his primary-inflicted wounds to win Florida, it brought him victories in key Republican strongholds such as the I-4 corridor and gave him better margins than John Kerry's 2004 campaign in 36 of 38 counties.
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