The Hillary Clinton campaign’s decision to invest additional money into a coordinated effort, even in states where she has little chance of winning, is a welcome sign for House and Senate Democrats concerned about their ability to capitalize on a disastrous Republican presidential nominee.
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook, a former DCCC executive director, announced the new investments in a conference call with reporters Monday. That followed a New York Times report last week on a House Democratic conference call on which Assistant Minority Leader Jim Clyburn expressed concerns about Clinton pulling resources out of states she had put away, and a story in Politico that detailed how the DSCC and DCCC had each requested at least $5 million in early September to help win back the Senate and House, then received contributions totaling half that.
Their anxiety was warranted, as vulnerable congressional Republicans had been able to create separation from the top of the ticket without even disavowing their nominee. Even after Donald Trump’s lewd comments on an Access Hollywood hot mic were leaked, two recent national polls found Democrats leading on the generic congressional ballot by just 3 points—which indicates a neutral environment and no sign of a wave.
It didn’t help that as the Clinton campaign sought to pull away from Trump, it painted him as someone so far outside the mainstream that he was unrecognizable even to Republicans. That was the message at the Democratic convention, and it was reinforced in early September by a Clinton ad featuring Republicans denouncing Trump.
Trump has all but ceased reaching out to swing voters at this point. But to the Clinton campaign’s credit, their strategies have worked and she has now pulled out to a double-digit lead in a couple recent national polls—despite the candidate’s own unpopularity and vulnerabilities. If Clinton wins the popular vote by a margin similar to President Obama‘s 7-point triumph in 2008, down-ballot Democrats should have a good night.
— Kyle Trygstad
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