Clinton Pivots to General Election Campaign

HillaryClintonAs Donald Trump was named the presumptive nominee by none other than the RNC Chairman, the Clinton campaign revealed that they’ve been preparing for him for weeks.

According to Gabriel Debenedetti of Politico, the Democratic front-runner began assembling general election teams after the New York primary on April 19th.

“In recent days, the Clinton campaign has finalized a series of senior hires around the country, expanded the size of her central swing-state planning team in New York, and hundreds of thousands of dollars have been transferred to strategically important state parties from the Democratic National Committee,” Debenedetti writes. “She’s also scheduled a series of public speeches and private meetings in states that will be crucial to her general election campaign.”

The campaign is hiring top staffers and making stops in general election swing states even as a month remains on the primary calendar. The Clinton team plans on maintaining a close coordination with state parties and other Democratic campaigns.

“Some state operations — particularly those in states where a Senate seat is up for grabs, such as Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – have already built up large teams, even before they are further expanded with campaign staffers moved over from primary states,” Debenedetti explained.

PoliticsPA reached out to Debenedetti to ask how many staffers the Clinton campaign currently has in Pennsylvania. He did not have a precise number.

Meanwhile CNN’s Dan Merica and Jeff Zeleny are reporting that Corey Dukes, the head of Clinton’s PA primary effort, will be staying on through the general election campaign.

We made a query to Clinton’s PA spokesman, who stated he could not confirm any staff besides Dukes.


20 Responses

  1. Now political clout comes from being among the handful of battleground states. 38+ states and voters are ignored by presidential campaign polling, organizing, ad spending, and visits. Their states’ votes were conceded months before by the minority parties in the states, taken for granted by the dominant party in the states, and ignored by all parties in presidential campaigns.

  2. In 2008, voter turnout in the then 15 battleground states averaged seven points higher than in the 35 non-battleground states.

    In 2012, voter turnout was 11% higher in the then 9 battleground states than in the remainder of the country.

    In the 2012 presidential election, 1.3 million votes decided the winner in the ten states with the closest margins of victory. But nearly 20 million eligible citizens in those states—Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin—are missing from the voter rolls.

    Overall, these “missing voters” amount to half, and in some cases more than half, of the total votes cast for president in these states.

    Analysts already conclude that only the party winner is not a foregone conclusion in only a handful of states in 2016. So, if the National Popular Vote bill is not in effect, less than a handful of states will continue to dominate and determine the presidential general election.

    With National Popular Vote, presidential campaigns would poll, organize, visit, and appeal to more than 7 states. One would reasonably expect that voter turnout would rise in 80%+ of the country that is currently conceded months in advance by the minority parties in the states, taken for granted by the dominant party in the states, and ignored by all parties in presidential campaigns.

  3. Under the current system, the electoral votes from all 50 states are comingled and simply added together, irrespective of the fact that the electoral-vote outcome from each state was affected by differences in state policies, including voter registration, ex-felon voting, hours of voting, amount and nature of advance voting, and voter identification requirements.

    Federal law requires that each state certify its popular vote count to the federal government (section 6 of Title 3 of the United States Code). You can see the official certifications of the popular vote at

    Under both the current system and the National Popular Vote compact, all of the people of the United States are impacted by the different election policies of the states. Everyone in the United States is affected by the division of electoral votes generated by each state. The procedures governing presidential elections in a closely divided battleground state (e.g., Florida and Ohio) can affect, and indeed have affected, the ultimate outcome of national elections.

    For example, the 2000 Certificate of Ascertainment (required by federal law) from the state of Florida reported 2,912,790 popular votes for George W. Bush and 2,912,253 popular vote for Al Gore, and also reported 25 electoral votes for George W. Bush and 0 electoral votes for Al Gore. That 25–0 division of the electoral votes from Florida determined the outcome of the national election just as a particular division of the popular vote from a particular state might decisively affect the national outcome in some future election under the National Popular Vote compact.

    that neither the current system nor the National Popular Vote compact permits any state to get involved in judging the election returns of other states. Federal law (the “safe harbor” provision in section 5 of title 3 of the United States Code) specifies that a state’s “final determination” of its presidential election returns is “conclusive”(if done in a timely manner and in accordance with laws that existed prior to Election Day). National Popular Vote is based on the same legal mechanisms and standards that have governed presidential elections since 1880.

    The National Popular Vote compact is patterned directly after existing federal law and requires each state to treat as “conclusive” each other state’s “final determination” of its vote for President. No state has any power to examine or judge the presidential election returns of any other state under the National Popular Vote compact.

  4. The National Popular Vote sounds nice but it leads to an authentication headache. With the Electoral College, the people of each state agree on how to count their votes, they vote, and they send their decision to Washington. With the National Popular Vote, Mississippi (for example) is agreeing to give the validity of their own residents’ votes the same force as the voters in the furthest part of the US. How do the people of Mississippi know whether turnout was inflated or not by the election boards of Hawaii, Washington state, Maine, US armed forces places, or any other place? I think that turnout-as-political-power works for political parties, but it’s a real problem for turnout to increase or decrease the political power of states against each other.

  5. Clinton is an awful candidate, I have no love for the “Clinton” brand of democratic politics. This election has become “I don’t care” on a national level now.

    I can happily turn off every single political station and ignore the stupidity.

    Someday soon the Boomer generation will die off and GenX, the Millennials, and GenZ is going to have to clean up their mess. Not to mention, we’ll get to rewrite history to show how awful the Boomer generation turned out to be for America.

  6. In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).

    Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in every state surveyed recently. In the 41 red, blue, and purple states surveyed, overall support has been in the 67-81% range – in rural states, in small states, in Southern and border states, in big states, and in other states polled.
    Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 34 state legislative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, Democratic, Republican and purple states with 261 electoral votes, including one house in Arizona (11), Arkansas (6), Maine (4), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), New Mexico (5), North Carolina (15), and Oklahoma (7), and both houses in Colorado (9).
    The bill has been enacted by 11 small, medium, and large jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.
    Based on the current mix of states that have enacted the National Popular Vote compact, it could take about 25 states to reach the 270 electoral votes.


  7. Supporters of the National Popular Vote bill include former Senator Fred Thompson (R–TN), Governor Jim Edgar (R–IL), Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R–GA)

    Newt Gingrich summarized his support for the National Popular Vote bill by saying: “No one should become president of the United States without speaking to the needs and hopes of Americans in all 50 states. … America would be better served with a presidential election process that treated citizens across the country equally. The National Popular Vote bill accomplishes this in a manner consistent with the Constitution and with our fundamental democratic principles.”

    On February 4, 2016 the Arizona House of Representatives passed the bill 40-16-4.
    Two-thirds of the Republicans and two-thirds of the Democrats in the Arizona House of Representatives sponsored the National Popular Vote bill.
    In January 2016, two-thirds of the Arizona Senate sponsored the National Popular Vote bill.

    On February 12, 2014, the Oklahoma Senate passed the National Popular Vote bill by a 28–18 margin.

  8. The National Popular Vote bill would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state. Now their votes are counted only for the presidential candidate they did not vote for. Now they don’t matter to their candidate.

    In 2012, 56,256,178 (44%) of the 128,954,498 voters had their vote diverted by the winner-take-all rule to a candidate they opposed (namely, their state’s first-place candidate).

    And now votes, beyond the one needed to get the most votes in the state, for winning in a state, are wasted and don’t matter to presidential candidates.
    Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004.
    Oklahoma (7 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 455,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004 — larger than the margin generated by the 9th and 10th largest states, namely New Jersey and North Carolina (each with 15 electoral votes).
    8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

  9. With National Popular Vote, big cities would not get all of candidates’ attention, much less control the outcome.

    16% of the U.S. population lives outside the nation’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Rural America has voted 60% Republican. None of the 10 most rural states matter now.

    The population of the top five cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia) is only 6% of the population of the United States and the population of the top 50 cities (going as far down as Arlington, TX) is only 15% of the population of the United States. 16% of the U.S. population lives in the top 100 cities. They voted 63% Democratic in 2004.

    Suburbs divide almost exactly equally between Republicans and Democrats.

    A nationwide presidential campaign of polling, organizing, ad spending, and visits, with every voter equal, would be run the way presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida, under the state-by-state winner-take-all methods. The big cities in those battleground states do not receive all the attention, much less control the outcome. Cleveland and Miami do not receive all the attention or control the outcome in Ohio and Florida. In the 4 states that accounted for over two-thirds of all general-election activity in the 2012 presidential election, rural areas, suburbs, exurbs, and cities all received attention—roughly in proportion to their population.

    The itineraries of presidential candidates in battleground states (and their allocation of other campaign resources in battleground states, including polling, organizing, and ad spending) reflect the political reality that every gubernatorial or senatorial candidate knows. When and where every voter is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.

    With National Popular Vote, when every voter is equal, everywhere, it makes sense for presidential candidates to try and elevate their votes where they are and aren’t so well liked. But, under the state-by-state winner-take-all laws, it makes no sense for a Democrat to try and do that in Vermont or Wyoming, or for a Republican to try it in Wyoming or Vermont.

  10. Now, no one spends a dime in the Red Fly-over states.

    Presidential candidates concentrate their attention on only the handful of closely divided “battleground” states and their voters. There is no incentive for them to bother to care about the majority of states where they are hopelessly behind or safely ahead to win.

    Because of state-by-state winner-take-all laws, analysts concluded months ago that only the 2016 party winner of Florida (29 electoral votes), Ohio (18), Virginia (13), Colorado (9), Nevada (6), Iowa (6) and New Hampshire (4) is not a foregone conclusion.

    One analyst is predicting two million voters in seven counties are going to determine who wins the presidency in 2016.

    Since March, ASSUMING a Clinton vs. Trump campaign, some analysts believe there will be no swing states. States with 347 electoral votes are leaning, likely, or safe Democratic, and 191 Republican.

    The indefensible reality is that more than 99% of presidential campaign attention (ad spending and visits) was invested on voters in just the only ten competitive states in 2012.

    Two-thirds (176 of 253) of the general-election campaign events, and a similar fraction of campaign expenditures, were in just four states (Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Iowa).

    38 states had no campaign events, and minuscule or no spending for TV ads.

    The only states that received any attention in the 2012 general election campaign for President were states within 3% of the national outcome.

    The predictability of the winner of the state you live in, not the size of the population of where you live, determines how much, if at all, your vote matters.

  11. Observer – She’s your next POTUS. Deal with it. Stop holding out hope for miracles.

    “President Hillary Clinton” …. Say it 10 times.

  12. It would be helpful to her campaign if she were able to avoid Indictment.

  13. oldgulph-

    If there was a national vote, no one would spend a dime in the Red Fly-over states whose population is barely that of a major city. Also, the black votes in the southern red states would start to count, driving up minority turnout.

    The GOP would never go for it.

  14. A survey of Pennsylvania voters showed 78% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

    Presidential elections don’t have to continue to be about a narrowly focused barrage of attention by the media, candidates, pollsters, strategists, organizers, and ads in the handful of swing states that dominate and determine the general election, while most of the country is politically irrelevant.

    The National Popular Vote bill is 61% of the way to guaranteeing the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country.

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps of pre-determined outcomes.

    The National Popular Vote bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes—270 of 538.
    All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC)—thereby guaranteeing that candidate with an Electoral College majority.

    The bill has passed 34 state legislative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 261 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 11 small, medium, and large jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.


  15. During the course of campaigns, candidates are educated and campaign about the local, regional, and state issues most important to the handful of battleground states they need to win. They take this knowledge and prioritization with them once they are elected. Candidates need to be educated and care about all of our states.

    Bush White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer acknowledging the reality that [then] more than 2/3rds of Americans were ignored in the 2008 presidential campaign, said:
    “If people don’t like it, they can move from a safe state to a swing state.”

    The number and population of battleground states is shrinking.

    Issues of importance to non-battleground states are of so little interest to presidential candidates that they don’t even bother to poll them.

    Charlie Cook reported in 2004:
    “Senior Bush campaign strategist Matthew Dowd pointed out yesterday that the Bush campaign hadn’t taken a national poll in almost two years; instead, it has been polling [the then] 18 battleground states.”

    Over 87% of both Romney and Obama campaign offices were in just the then 12 swing states. The few campaign offices in the 38 remaining states were for fund-raising, volunteer phone calls, and arranging travel to battleground states.

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