Today, I shared a new poll that has McCain with a small lead in the Show-Me State. Now I find that Obama is making unprecedented moves to capture the most reliable general election bellwether in the past 100 years.

The word is that staff will increase from 50 to 150 volunteers in 30 field offices across the state. For some historical perspective about what a big deal that is, I turn to the KC Star:

Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 Missouri campaign had around 15 offices and 80 full-time workers, who ultimately were dispatched to other states deemed more competitive weeks before Election Day. President Bush had 50 staffers and about the same number of offices as Kerry.

So Obama will have the amount of offices and paid campaign workers that both presidential candidates had in 2004 combined.

Meanwhile, the McCain camp calls this move “desperate,” but can the GOP’s candidate be this blaise about such a classic toss up state?

McCain’s operation expects to have 12 to 14 full-time workers and 10 offices. The Arizona Republican now has four people on the ground.

At the very least, shouldn’t McCain match Bush’s numbers from 2004? Does he actually think being outnumbered by Obama 10 to 1 in people and 3 to 1 in offices will work?

One thing’s for sure…this phase of the campaign is shaping up to look exactly like what Obama did to Hillary in the primaries. He has more people on the ground to get out the vote, and so he’ll win by bigger margins than expected in blue states, capture certain purple states some never thought he had a shot at and make things closer in red states you wouldn’t think he’s competitive in, and thus force his opponent to spend more money than he otherwise would’ve.

More as it develops…

Politics Obama Camp To Triple Paid Staff In Missouri