Hillary Clinton’s campaign is swooping in on red-state targets across the map in a show of force to put away Donald Trump. Yet for all the Democratic hopes of flipping Georgia, Clinton’s camp appears to be bypassing the Peach State for now.
Campaign manager Robby Mook said Clinton’s camp will spend $1 million to drive voter turnout in the “uphill battle” states of Indiana and Missouri. She’s pumping campaign cash into congressional districts in Nebraska and Maine where she can pick off a presidential electoral vote. The campaign has readied an ad blitz in Texas and sent vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine to Utah. And it’s spending another $6 million in seven competitive states with close Senate and House campaigns.
But the biggest push is in Arizona, where Clinton’s campaign is backing a $2 million new advertising push and sending First Lady Michelle Obama, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and her daughter Chelsea over the next week. The candidate is also expected to visit soon, Mook told reporters, saying “we certainly hope to get her there.”
Left out of the pack is Georgia, where a flurry of internal and public polls show Trump with a narrow, if consistent, lead over Clinton. She hasn’t visited Georgia since February, top surrogates who trek here – including former President Bill Clinton and vice presidential running mate Tim Kaine – mostly focus on fundraising and the campaign’s six-figure investment in Georgia is a pittance compared with money pouring into battleground states.
Democrat Jim Barksdale’s campaign against U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson – he trails the Republican by double-digits in some recent polls – is also not helping to convince Clinton operatives who want a double-whammy by also influencing close Senate races.
Mrs. Clinton’s aides were intrigued by both Arizona and Georgia, and they surveyed voters in each state. Arizona appeared more promising, officials said, because of its combination of Mormons, Hispanics and Native Americans and because the officials found white voters in Georgia to be more resistant to Mrs. Clinton.
Clinton’s Georgia boosters said the campaign has left open the prospect of more investment in Georgia in the closing chapter of the presidential race. They note that the campaign orchestrated a five-figure ad buy featuring former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland in September, and that the Democratic National Committee scheduled its national bus tour to visit Georgia for three days this week.
“We’re in constant contact with the Clinton campaign, and what I can tell you is that from our talks, they are constantly reevaluating their investment from here until Election Day, as they do across the entire country,” said Michael Smith, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “They’re fantastic partners and they know we’re committed to delivering Georgia for Hillary.”
The state party and the DNC have assembled a long list of events to keep the pressure on Trump in Georgia. Monday brought a “Millennial March” led by U.S. Rep. John Lewis while Tuesday will feature a bus tour with stops in Macon, Lawrenceville and Atlanta to encourage early voting.
The early signs are encouraging to Democrats: