COLORADO SPRINGS — About 4,200 people of all ages and colors spread across a green at Colorado College on Thursday in this conservative city for a rally with President Obama. Hours earlier, 3,500 supporters did the same in smaller Pueblo, Colo.
Together with two events on Wednesday in Denver and Grand Junction, Colo., an estimated 14,100 people in this battleground state turned out over the past two days to cheer Mr. Obama.
Good crowds, especially compared with the hundreds that typically turn out to see Mitt Romney. But four years ago Mr. Obama often was drawing five-digit throngs, filling arenas’ nosebleed seats and overflow rooms and regularly requiring shutdown orders from the local fire marshals.
Which raises a couple of questions: Where are the crowds now? And what does it mean for the results in November?
“We have plenty of time for big rallies,” a campaign spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said between the rallies on Thursday. “Our focus right now is on exciting our supporters and winning over undecided voters and the smaller and medium-size events are the best venue to accomplish that because the president can closely engage with the crowd.”
Big rallies are expensive, especially given the logistical and security challenges for a president as opposed to a mere United States senator. And Obama campaign operatives, both at the Chicago headquarters and in swing states where Mr. Obama recently has stumped, say the campaign intentionally limits crowds by restricting tickets. The reason is to allow the president to better connect with supporters, aides say.
Pettie Quintana, an employee at the Holiday Inn Express in Pueblo, said on Thursday that she had gone earlier in the week to the state fairgrounds to get a ticket, but the ticket office was closed, its allotment gone.