Election 2020

Clinton Wants Arizona as Campaign Dials Up 'Intensive Operations' in New Battlegrounds

Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign event at Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix on March 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The Clinton campaign said this morning that they’re pouring a big investment in cash and surrogates into Arizona as they see early-voting indicators working in their favor.

Campaign manager Robby Mook told reporters on a conference call that they’re focusing on a “coordinated campaign” to not only put Hillary Clinton in the White House but to put congressional Democrats in the best position to push her agenda.

Offices that are coordinating operations between the Dem presidential, gubernatorial and congressional campaigns are up and running in all 50 states, with “intensive operations” in 12 states including New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and Nevada, as “it’s in those states that the Senate majority will be won or lost,” Mook said.

He called the resources extended to the collaborative effort “unprecedented ” and includes 455 offices in battleground states alone reducing costs to down-ballot candidates.

“Donald Trump is becoming more unhinged by the day,” Mook said, thus “increasing prospects” for Democrats down the ballot as they’re seeing indicators of the “biggest turnout in election history,” exceeding trends of the 2012 campaign.

The campaign manager said Clinton volunteers are being asked to put in more time and donors are being asked to give more money “to make that biggest turnout in history as big as possible.”

Mook said the campaign is seeing “big proportional increases in vote-by-mail, particularly among communities of color.”

“We’re very encouraged by the early signs we see,” he added.

A federal judge ruled on the side of the Democratic Party in Florida late Sunday in ordering the states to give voters whose voter registration and mail-in ballot signatures don’t match a chance to fix it before Election Day; before the ruling, mismatching ballots were trashed.

“It is illogical, irrational, and patently bizarre for the state of Florida to withhold the opportunity to cure from mismatched-signature voters while providing that same opportunity to no-signature voters,” U.S. District Judge Mark Walker wrote in his ruling. “And in doing so, the state of Florida has categorically disenfranchised thousands of voters for no reason other than they have poor handwriting or their handwriting has changed over time.”

The Clinton campaign is dumping $6 million into its get-out-the-vote advertising in key swing states, and will be “dramatically expanding” ads by more than $2 million in Arizona — along with sending high-profile surrogates this week to the state they now see in play.

The RealClearPolitics polling average has Trump a point over Clinton in a four-way race and with even a narrower margin in a two-way race.

Mook said the campaign feels Trump’s “deeply disrespectful remarks about Sen. John McCain” have made Arizona even more competitive, and a win there would definitively seal off any path Trump may have to his needed electoral votes.

As Mook was speaking, the campaign sent out an announcement that first lady Michelle Obama would be speaking in Phoenix on Thursday. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Chelsea Clinton are also campaigning in Arizona this week.

The Clinton campaign is also showing more interest in Indiana and Missouri, where Trump has enjoyed a healthy lead but a $1 million get-out-the-vote investment will aim to help Dems “gaining ground” in Senate and gubernatorial races.

Mook said they will “continue to monitor other states” like Georgia, where Trump has held a 5 point to 6 point lead in the polls.

“Donald Trump’s erratic behavior and spiraling campaign have left the GOP in a civil war,” the campaign manager said. “…Voters are now seeing through GOP candidates who made last-minute conversions and tried to save themselves politically.”

Democrats lead by 5 points in the polling average of the generic congressional ballot.

The Trump campaign had not issued comment on the Clinton camp’s latest assessments.

Asked about Trump’s claims that the election will be rigged, Mook accused the GOP nominee of “trying to shift attention from his own disastrous campaign.”

“He knows he’s losing and trying to blame that on the system,” he said. “This is what losers do.”

Mook dismissed protesters showing up to Hillary campaign events to call Bill Clinton a rapist “part of the Trump campaign’s scorched earth policy.”

“Alex Jones will continue to pay people to wear shirts and hold signs,” he added.

On Sunday, the Clinton campaign put out a video linking Trump to the Infowars host: