Fred Hudson, vice chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party, said OFA would inevitably weaken the traditional party structure.

“We need a unified organization that will bring about victories in 2013 and 2014, and we don’t need to be splitting our efforts,” said Hudson, alluding to his state’s high-stakes race for governor this year. “It’s a recipe for how to lose an election. We’ve been told there will be no competition for fundraising, but that’s difficult for me to accept, and there will certainly be competition for staff and volunteers.”

Other Democrats say Obama’s second-term ambitious agenda, including gun control, immigration reform and climate change, demands a separate organization. “I’m thrilled there’s an activist-oriented organization that’s already developed relationships at the grassroots level that will get these issues passed,” said Cindy Lerner, a Miami-area mayor and longtime party leader.

In keeping with the spirit of the Obama campaign, Organizing for Action is been regularly blasting out e-mails and asking for input. More than one thousand people attended its first meeting on Sunday.