Clinton Campaign Boosting Help for Other Democrats, Eyeing Arizona
Hillary Clinton’s campaign is bolstering support for Democratic congressional and gubernatorial candidates and making a fight for the Republican stronghold of Arizona as it seeks to exploit what her advisers see as a downward spiral for Donald Trump's campaign.
The Democratic nominee's campaign announced plans Monday to spend an additional $6 million on direct mail and digital outreach for coordinated Democratic committees in presidential battlegrounds that also have competitive Senate races – Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The campaign also is adding $2 million to its budget for television and digital ads, as well as mailings, in Arizona, while deploying Clinton's most prominent advocates to the state.
“Donald Trump is becoming more unhinged by the day, and that is increasing prospects for Democrats further down the ballot,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said Monday on a conference call with reporters.
With Trump still feuding with top Republican officials and polls showing Clinton holding a consistent lead in the race nationally and in several swing states, Democrats see an opportunity to make gains in Congress and in states that would help push her agenda forward.
First lady Michelle Obama, widely seen as the most effective surrogate for Clinton, will visit Phoenix on Thursday. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is making two stops in the state on Tuesday and Chelsea Clinton will campaign for her mother there on Wednesday.
“We do see opportunity in Arizona,” Mook said, while adding that it would be “an uphill climb.”
Most recent polls in the state show Trump and Clinton essentially tied. Arizona has gone for the Democratic presidential candidate only once in the past 64 years. That was in 1996 when then-President Bill Clinton was running for re-election.
One of the clearest signs that a campaign really sees a state in play is to send the candidate there in the homestretch of the race. A trip for Clinton to Arizona could be on the horizon. “We certainly hope to get her there,” Mook said.
Trump has been escalating dark warnings that the election will be rigged in Clinton's favor, which Mook said is a sign that Trump "knows he’s losing and he’s trying to blame that on the system."
Democrats would need to gain five Senate seats to guarantee a majority and Republicans are having to defend 24 of 34 seats on the ballot in 2016. There are at least eight Republican seats considered competitive. The task for Democrats is tougher in the House. Republicans hold 247 districts out of 435, their biggest majority since Herbert Hoover’s presidency, and Democrats need a net gain of 30 seats for a majority.
The Clinton campaign is also kicking $1 million to the coordinated campaign committees in Indiana and Missouri, states she’s unlikely to win but that have tight Senate races. It’s also spending $250,000 on two congressional districts in Maine and Nebraska that each award an electoral vote and also have House races that have been prioritized by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.