Obama kicks off 2012 campaign in Richmond

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The battle for Virginia has officially begun. President Barack Obama kicked off his re-election campaign in Richmond. It is a state, and town, the president needs to win.

The rally atmosphere was electric, exactly the start that the Obama campaign wanted, but after all the crowds have left and all the music has stopped, each individual voter is going to have ask themselves the same question. And the answer may determine who they vote for in November.

That question came about mid-way through the president's speech to a raucous VCU crowd.

"How well is the typical family doing?" asked Obama.

The typical family and their view of the world, could determine the election.

Four years ago then Senator Barack Obama made a pledge to turn things around. He now returns asking for a chance to keep the progress going.

"It is going to take sustained consistent effort, yours and mine," he said.  "For America to fully recover, for us to be where we need to be."

But republicans, like Romney supporter Pete Snyder are happy to have people judge where they were 4 years ago, and determine if things are better.

"Gas prices are up over $2 since 2008, we are all feeling that pain and higher education costs are up 25%,' he said.  "That's not hope and change. That's doom and gloom."

According to NBC news political director Chuck Todd, the place where both sides need to win that argument, more any other place in America, is right here in Richmond, Virginia.

"When you look at this area from the Richmond suburbs, City of Richmond, the larger media market in general, it is 50-50 as you can get," he said.

Todd said this rally wasn't about convincing the people at the event to vote for the president. It was about getting them to go tell ten of their friends and creating a ripple effect that will lead to Obama's re-election.

So that is why the president was here today, and that is why he'll be back again many more times hoping to re-ignite a fire that led to victory four years ago.

"We are going to win this thing, door by door, block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood," Obama said.

In perhaps the election's most important battleground.

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