“I don’t want to just win by a little, I want to win by a lot.”
That was Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook talking late last month. A little over three weeks later, the Democratic nominee’s White House ambitions seem well on the way to being realized.
Energized by the polls and her dominating performance in this week’s final presidential debate, Clinton is looking for a smashing victory on November 8, one that would bring more Democrats into Congress, and possibly take away control of the Senate from Republicans, reports BSS.
Hillary Clinton speaks to attendees at the annual Alfred E Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria on October 20, 2016, in New York City
Her ambitions go beyond winning the battleground states that are key to capturing the White House, and now extend to longtime Republican bastions that suddenly seem within grasp.
In a conference call this week, Mook told reporters that her Republican rival Donald Trump’s “hateful rhetoric has opened new doors for the Democratic party.”
So Clinton has decided to dramatically expand her campaign efforts in Arizona, a state that has gone Republican in 15 of the last 16 presidential elections.
Mook said two million dollars are being invested in ads on television, and in digital and print media in Arizona, making the western state Clinton’s new frontier.
She has already sent emissaries to stump for her there. On Thursday, First Lady Michelle Obama — who has emerged as Clinton’s most potent surrogate — campaigned in Phoenix, the state capital, denouncing Trump’s vision for America as “completely and utterly lacking in hope.”
On Wednesday, Clinton’s daughter Chelsea went to neighboring Tempe, Arizona. On Tuesday, former Clinton primary rival Bernie Sanders was brought in to rouse supporters in Flagstaff.
Thirty percent of Arizona’s population is Hispanic, and sensitive to the issue of immigration. Polls show that Trump, who has vowed to build a wall on the Mexican border, is trailing Clinton.
The most recent public opinion survey, by the Arizona Republic, puts Clinton at 39 percent, and Trump 33.9 percent. One in every five voters, however, say they are undecided.
“This is a state that would really foreclose the path for Donald Trump to win the White House,” Mook said.
The Clinton offensive is also targeting elections for Senate and House seats and for state governors. A third of the Senate (34 seats), all 435 House seats, and 12 governorships are up for grabs on November 8.
A million dollars is going to get out the vote in senatorial and gubernatorial races in Indiana and Missouri, both solidly Republican states.
Another six million dollars is being put toward similar efforts in the battleground states of Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina, Iowa and New Hampshire.
Besides being key to winning the White House, elections in these states could also determine which party emerges with a controlling majority in the US Senate. Clinton is favored to win all those states, except Iowa and Ohio, which is too close to call.
Her campaign is keeping an eye on other states — such as Georgia — that traditionally vote Republican but where part of the electorate has been turned off by Trump’s abrasive rhetoric.
That is particularly true of Utah, where Evan McMullin, a Mormon who is running as an independent, is polling at 24.4 percent, against 30.8 for Trump and 25.2 for Clinton.