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“The other team does bus people in,” he said. “If they wanted to get 100 people to a rally they have to pay them.”

Mr. Norquist said that none of the major business or commercial groups that might have played a role in stirring up grassroots opposition has come out against the president’s plan, as the White House has worked hard to keep all the major industry stakeholders at the table.

“They cowed K Street but forgot about Main Street,” Mr. Norquist said. “And Main Street is angry and Main Street doesn’t like this.”

John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, said industry groups are “caving in, selling out.”

“I can’t think of a single industry group that is not ready to cut a group with Obama tomorrow,” he said. “So this is real grass roots.”

A Quinnipiac poll of 2,000 people showed that 72 percent do not think Mr. Obama will keep his promise of not adding to the nation’s projected $1.8 trillion budget deficit.

“The guts of this poll was people say if health care reform means running up the deficit they don’t want it, and they don’t believe Obama when he says he won’t run up the deficit in doing health care reform,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“That’s a pretty big fringe group,” he said.

A separate CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll of 1,136 people found 50 percent approval and 45 percent opposition to Mr. Obama’s plan to reform health care.

But the poll also showed that 44 percent thought Mr. Obama’s reform plan would help other people and their families but not them, while 30 respondents thought the president’s plan would help them personally, and 20 percent did not think reform would help anybody.

Mr. Obama appeared Wednesday at an event in Elkhart County, Ind., conveyed an optimistic message about the U.S. economy but did not talk about town hall protesters.

“I believe our ability to recover, and to prosper, as a nation depends on what happens in communities just like this one,” Mr. Obama said, announcing a $39 million grant for two automobile plants in Elkhart that will fund the building of 400 fuel-efficient trucks.

In their push to get volunteers out to local events, OFA also promoted a video of Mr. Obama that showed the president giving a rousing speech, complimented by pictures of younger, smiling, optimistic-looking people and inspiring music. It was a stark contrast to the images of older Americans chanting slogans and holding signs in the DNC attack ad.

Mr. Woodhouse, the DNC spokesman, said in an e-mail about the protests against Mr. Obama’s reforms that “people are scared because they are being fed frightening lies.”

In Indiana, Mr. Obama guaranteed the passage of health care reform this year.

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