President Obama's message to voters in new DNC ad: 'It's going to be close'
Former President Barack Obama sent a message to the Democrats in the final days of the campaign. "It's going to be tight," he says in a new digital ad that talks about voting - a subtle nod to efforts to avoid a similar fate to 2016.
The warning is part of the Democratic National Committee's wider drive to get voters involved before election day. Votes are already taking place in 48 states and in the country's capital.
"The 2020 elections are not a few weeks away. They are already here. Millions of Americans are already voting. Make sure you get up and join them," Obama says in the ad. "It's going to be tight. It could boil down to a handful of voters like you. So I'm asking you to bring this thing home. Leave no doubt. Vote early."
Democrats anxious to thwart the grassroots complacency of the party that helped deliver the White House to Donald Trump four years ago are using Obama's leverage to animate voters who may have sat before or to first time choose.
"There will always be reasons to believe that your vote doesn't matter - it's not new," says Obama. "What is new is a growing movement for justice, equality and progress on so many issues. This is really a turning point, and that dynamic will only continue if we win this election."
Part of a seven-digit advertising campaign according to a Democratic adviser, the ad is aimed at voters on 11 battlefields: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. It will also reach voters in Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District, a seat in the Omaha region that the Democrats are watching this cycle. (Nebraska splits its votes and gives two votes to the winner in each congressional district and the remaining two to the statewide winner.)
MORE: Obama will "soon" step down the campaign trail for Biden as the race gets into the final weeks
Earlier this week, Obama appeared on a DNC video asking voters to learn about their voting options with country-specific tutorials in 24 states.
More than 15 million Americans have voted ahead of schedule, an unprecedented number just three weeks before election day, according to the US election project led by Professor Michael McDonald of the University of Florida. That figure is now almost five times higher than the 3.2 million or so who voted four years ago at a similar point in time when then-candidate Hillary Clinton had a less-than-outstanding turnout, especially among the party's core constituencies, according to the Pew Research Center .
PHOTO: President Barack Obama concludes his speech during a campaign stop in Mentor, Ohio on Nov. 3, 2012. (Nikki Kahn / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
For Obama, his recent foray into electoral politics calling for "bring this thing home" reflects his accelerated role in the crucial final weeks of the campaign aimed at winning the White House back for its former vice president.
He is expected to campaign "soon" for the party's standard bearer Joe Biden, a former president's aide told ABC News.
While Obama has not blunted Biden in any of the battlefield states - largely due to the greatly reduced personal footprint that the former Vice President's team has held onto amid the ongoing pandemic - he has been actively stepping up the ballot up and down his ex-comrade and his Democrats .
Between several fundraisers on behalf of Biden's campaign, a prime-time speech during the virtual National Democratic Convention in August, podcast appearances, and emails to supporters, Obama has served as one of Biden's most recognizable character witnesses and vouched for his leadership after eight years together in the White house.
PHOTO: Suspected Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama takes the stage with Vice President Senator Joe Biden at the Old State Capitol on August 23, 2008 in Springfield, Illinois (Joe Raedle / Getty Images).
As the most sought-after figure in the Democratic Party, he has also boosted lower-profile Democrats as part of their efforts to retake the Senate and defend their majority in the House of Representatives with endorsements and fundraising.
On Friday, he joins five Senate candidates for a grassroots fundraiser, including Senator Gary Peters, D-Mich .; Theresa Greenfield challenging Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; MJ Hegar trying to oust Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas; Jon Ossoff, who will face Senator David Perdue, D-Ga; and Ralph Warnock, who will vote in Georgia's special election against Senator Kelly Loeffler and Rep. Doug Collins.
MORE: Democrats rely on the late rep. John Lewis in the new voter registration boom
Democrats, very conscious of his post-presidency popularity, hope Obama can lay a foundation on which recent polling shows are not as enthusiastic about their candidate compared to Trump and his supporters.
"President Obama is a strong voice - he motivates every part of the coalition that will help elect Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Democrats at all levels of the vote," said David Bergstein, a spokesman for the DNC. "His message of the urgency of this election will reduce the noise in the final weeks of the campaign and will help ensure that every American has a plan to vote and have their voice heard."
ABC News' John Verhovek contributed to this report.
President Obama's message to voters in DNC's new ad, "It will get tight," originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
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