You are on page 1of 6

To: Interested Parties

From: Robby Mook, Campaign Manager, Hillary for America


RE: State of the Race, Summer 2015

Winning a presidential campaign is never easy. Its not supposed to be. But while the Republicans are
mired in an increasingly bizarre and contentious primary, where even the would-be front runners are
struggling to be heard, Hillary Clinton stands in a very strong position to win the Democratic primary and
the general election. Despite an onslaught of attacks from the Republicans and an unprecedented level
and tone of media scrutiny, Hillary leads all of her would-be Republican opponents in virtually every
general election survey. Hillary for America has broken fundraising records, broken social media
engagement records and - by a wide margin - we have the strongest ground organization ever
assembled in the early states and around the country at this stage in a presidential campaign.
While we fully anticipate a competitive primary and general election, the reality is that the GOP brand
continues to erode by the day. Last weeks GOP debate put a spotlight on the problem, leading The
Washington Post to conclude that much of the Republican field has now taken positions that are at
odds with mainstream American opinion. Poll after poll shows that the positions they hold are out-ofdate and out-of-step with everyday families - and the nature of the GOP primary will only exacerbate
the divide between the candidates and the general public, particularly key swing voters. Furthermore,
many of the leading GOP candidates are relying heavily on their Super PACs rather than building a
campaign field organization they control.

STARTING FROM A POSITION OF DURABILITY AND STRENGTH


Theres no doubt that over the past few months, as she transitioned from a popular former Secretary of
State to a political candidate, Hillary Clinton has been the target of an unprecedented volume of attacks
and level of scrutiny. But if theres one thing the American people know about Hillary Clinton, its this:
when she gets knocked down, she gets back up, comes back stronger and never quits. Shes been that
way her entire life.
The proof is in the data, which shows that Hillary maintains a sizable lead in the primary and leads all
potential Republican opponents in the general. While we always have, and continue to, anticipate a very
competitive race, Hillary stands today in a very enviable position.
Fact: Hillary Clinton leads each of the Republican candidates by an average margin of 7-15
points in national polls [pollster.com]
Fact: Hillary Clinton has a higher favorable rating than any of the Republican candidates.
[pollster.com]

THE CHALLENGES AHEAD


Like any presidential campaign, we face our share of challenges. Many of those challenges stem from a
unique set of circumstances; today, there are 17 Republicans, 4 Democrats, 2 billionaire brothers,
countless Super PACs and 501(c)(4)s and an entire right wing special interest apparatus - all running
squarely against Hillary Clinton. On top of that, congressional Republicans are waging a multi-million
1

dollar, taxpayer-financed campaign against her. It has also gone on longer than the investigations of
Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy assassination, Iran-Contra and Hurricane Katrina. In the face of these
unprecedented headwinds, weve made a strategic decision to fight back and set the record straight.
The fact remains, the Democratic primary will be competitive. History guarantees it:
Fact: Aside from Tom Harkin, no Democratic candidate who wasnt a sitting President or Vice
President has won over 50 percent support in the Iowa caucuses.
Fact: No Democrat, except for a sitting president or vice president, has earned more than 40%
of the primary vote in New Hampshire in the last 25 years.

THE GOPS DAMAGED BRAND: OUT-OF-DATE AND OUT-OF-TOUCH


Its difficult to overstate how damaged the GOP brand is, as a majority of Americans view the Republican
Party as out of date and out of touch. Their increasingly backwards agenda was on full display at last
weeks debate. In addition to Donald Trumps hateful comments, the voters saw other candidates
reiterate their plans to repeal Obamacare, let Wall Street write its own rules again, defund Planned
Parenthood and even eliminate the Department of Education.
From the economy to immigration to health care to LGBT rights, the majority of Americans are in one
place - and the leading GOP candidates are in another. Simply put: America is moving forward and the
Republican candidates are stuck in the past.
Fact: Last week, NBC/WSJ released a survey that showed just 28% of Americans have a positive
view of the Republican Party. [NBC/WSJ, July 26-30]
Fact: Fifty-three percent of Americans think the Democratic Party is more concerned with the
needs of people like them, while just 31% said the GOP [Pew Research, July 14-20]
Out of touch with the middle-class: All of the Republican candidates support a top-down, trickle-down
economic approach - the American people do not. Theyre looking for a President who knows that a
strong economy is based on a strong middle class:
Fact: Sixty percent of Americans support increasing taxes on high earners in order to lower taxes
on the middle class [Quinnipiac, July 23-28]
Fact: Fifty-eight percent of Americans think its mainly just a few people who have a chance to
get ahead, while just 38% think that everyone has a fair chance to get ahead [CBS/NYT, July 1419]

Out of touch with African Americans: As we were reminded with the recent 50th anniversary of the
Voting Rights Act, none of the Republican candidates supports measures to expand access to and ease
of voting. In fact, many have worked to put up new obstacles. When asked if he thought that the
horrendous murders in a South Carolina church were motivated by race, Jeb Bush said, I dont

know. And most of the GOP field havent even addressed issues like criminal justice reform, racial
disparities in America or the racial wealth gap.
Fact: Hillary Clinton has strong support among African Americans: 83% say they have a favorable
opinion of her according to a July 2015 PPP poll, while just 9% are unfavorable. Meanwhile,
views of the GOP presidential candidates among African American voters are bleak; Jeb Bush,
for instance, has a net favorability of negative 58 points (17 / 75) and five candidates (Cruz,
Huckabee, Paul, Trump and Walker) have favorability ratings below ten.
Fact: Hillary Clinton's support in the general election horserace matchups in the July 2015 PPP
poll is even stronger than was President Obama's support against Mitt Romney at the same
point in the 2012 election cycle. In PPPs July 2011 poll, Obama had a 66 point margin among
African Americans. In PPPs 2015 July poll, Clinton leads all tested Republicans by at least 74
points.
Out of touch with Hispanics: In 2013, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said: In essence, Hispanic voters
tell us our Partys position on immigration has become a litmus test. If he was right, then the entire
GOP field is failing the test - as nearly every Republican candidate opposes a pathway to citizenship. Jeb
Bush insists only on legal status, which the Hispanic community knows is code for second class status.
Scott Walker and Marco Rubio both oppose a pathway. Meanwhile, a strong majority of the American
people support a pathway to citizenship.
Fact: Seventy-two percent of voters think undocumented workers in the U.S. should be allowed
to stay. Just 27% think they should not be allowed to stay. [Pew, May 12-18]
Fact: Fifty-four percent of Hispanic voters said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate
who supports a pathway to citizenship, only 22% of Hispanic voters think Republicans share
their views on the economy and job creation. And only 20% of Hispanic voters think
Republicans share their views on immigration. [Univision, July 16]
Fact: Among Hispanic voters, Hillary Clinton has a substantial lead in both the Democratic
primary and general election matchups. She wins 73% of Democratic primary voters. In general
election matchups, she leads five major Republican candidates (Bush, Cruz, Paul, Rubio, Walker)
by an average margin of 44 points. [Univision, July 16] For context, this is the same margin that
President Obama won the Hispanic vote by in 2012. [New York Times National Exit Polls]
Out of touch with women: One Republican candidate has said the Senate was wasting time debating
equal pay for women; another once asked, what is the Paycheck Fairness Act? and every Republican in
the field either has, or wants to, defund Planned Parenthood. Thursday nights debate clearly
demonstrated a party that fundamentally doesnt understand the challenges facing women in America.
Fact: Sixty-three percent of Americans (including 68% of Independents) oppose defunding
Planned Parenthood. [Hart Research, July 23-26]
Out of touch with LGBT Americans: All of the major Republican candidates supported an Indiana law
that allows businesses to discriminate against LGBT citizens. And none of them believe that everyone
should be able to marry who they love - here again, the American people disagree with them.

Fact: Fifty-four percent said it was wrong for businesses to refuse services to LGBT Americans,
while 28 percent said they should have that right. [Reuters, April 2015]
Fact: Fifty-four percent of Americans support legal same-sex marriage. [Pew July 14-20]
Out of touch with Millennials: Millennials are strong supporters of all the issues discussed above, so its
not surprising that Hillary holds such a commanding lead with them - according to three of the most
recent national polls:
Fact: Hillary holds a lead of 63-36 (+27) over Bush among 18-34 year-olds. [CNN July 22-25]
Fact: Hillary holds a 56-24 (+32) lead over Bush among 18-29 year olds (Marist July 22-28). This
is a wider margin than President Obamas margin of victory in 2012 among 18-29 year olds,
which according to exit polls was +23.
So Its Not Surprising the GOP Candidates Themselves Are Under Water
Given that the Republican candidates have each embraced the out-of-touch positions that have eroded
the party brand, its easy to understand why theyre not faring much better.
Fact: In terms of favorability, nearly every candidate in the field is significantly underwater and
neither Bush, Rubio nor Walker even cracks a 35% approval - and most are viewed favorably by
less than a third of voters [pollster.com]
Fact: Even establishment favorite Jeb Bush has limited appeal. In last weeks NBC/WSJ poll, his
favorability is tied with that of Donald Trump - each man is at 26% favorability [NBC/WSJ July 2630]

THE GOP BRAND AND THE MAP


In an electoral map that already skews towards Democrats, the Republicans out-of-touch agenda puts
those 270 Electoral College votes even further out of reach. Assuming the Democrats continue to win
Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan (all of which theyve won in every election since 1992),
Democrats will need 23 out of the 85 electoral votes in remaining swing states Nevada, New Hampshire,
Iowa, Colorado, Virginia, Ohio, and Florida. Minority voters represent key voting blocks in five of these
states and the GOP is doing virtually nothing to appeal to these voters.

OUR PLAN
Winning campaigns have a plan and stick to it, in good times and bad. President Obama endured
significant pressure in 2007 to abandon his strategy, but his campaign remained focused on winning in
Iowa and ultimately prevailed.
It is therefore critical that Hillary Clintons campaign continues to focus three priorities: (1) delivering a
clear message, (2) raising the right kind of resources, (3) understanding the importance of data, analytics
and technology, and (3) building the type of robust ground and online organization it takes to win
primary states and the general election.

(1) Delivering Message: Over the past four months, Hillary Clinton has delivered a clear message: at a
time when the deck is stacked for those at the top, shell fight to help everyday families get ahead and
stay ahead. Because she believes that when families are strong, America is strong.
The campaign has laid out her message systematically in the following ways:

The campaign recently launched its first two TV ads in Iowa and New Hampshire, to clearly lay
out where Hillary comes from, what motivates her to serve and the fights she has won for
everyday families. The timing has allowed her to take advantage of the relatively uncluttered
airwaves to define herself before the GOP Super PACs ramp up their attacks.

While Republicans continue to drive their brand further under water by out Trumping each
other at debates, Hillary is laying out how shell be the tenacious fighter for everyday Americans
that voters want. Shes laid out specific policy proposals on:
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o

Economic growth
Wage growth
Small business growth
College affordability
Holding Wall Street accountable
Immigration reform
Voting rights
Criminal justice reform
Climate change
Pre-K
Campaign finance reform

These issues are true to Hillarys core principles, popular with Democratic primary voters and
appeal to a general election audience.

(2) Raising the right kind of resources: Hillary Clinton has raised more primary money in her first quarter
than any other candidate in history, with 94% of those donations coming in amounts of $250 or less.
Whereas we are raising campaign money from grassroots donors, most of the leading Republicans have
chosen to focus their fundraising efforts through Super PACs, which has clear downsides. In 2014, TV
rates for Super PACs in competitive markets skyrocketed, while candidates are guaranteed the lowest
unit rate. In 2014, some stations in competitive markets sold out of inventory and Super PACs were
unable to buy time altogether. By relying on Super PACs, Republicans are not only surrendering
strategic control of their message, they risk being priced out of TV or potentially not even having the
opportunity to buy time when it matters most. By focusing on raising campaign dollars, our campaign
will get more TV time for those dollars and well have access to the most coveted slots.
(3) Data, Analytics and Technology: The campaign has already retained many of the nations most
talented analysts, software engineers and digital strategists recruiting some of these key staff
members from leading private sector companies. They are developing strategies and building
technologies to reach voters in a more effective and efficient way than ever before. These early
investments will reap rewards in fundraising, targeting and voter turnout for many months to come.

(4) Building the ground game: Simply put, the campaign has organized and mobilized more volunteers
in more places that any candidate ever has at this stage in a presidential campaign.
The early states:

Iowa: the campaign has secured a committed caucus-goer in all 1,682 precincts and has been
endorsed by a third of the states county chairs. The campaign has over a dozen offices open more than any candidate, Democrat or Republican - and has thousands of active volunteers.

New Hampshire: We are building a town-by-town volunteer infrastructure and have opened six
offices more than any other candidate.

Nevada: Hillary is the only candidate with offices in northern and southern Nevada. The
campaigns state leadership just completed a 17-county tour to secure committed caucus-goers
and recruit volunteers in every precinct of the state. Reno Gazette-Journal reporter Ray Hagar
said Hillary is the most organized candidate on either side right now.

South Carolina: Hillary was the first Democratic candidate with staff on the ground and remains
the only one with offices in the state. This head start has provided an organizing advantage in
the Palmetto state - Hillarys team has already organized 400 events across the state and
volunteers have contacted more than 50,000 voters.

Organizing nationwide for the primary and beyond:

The campaign has active volunteer leaders in every state, the District of Columbia, the U.S.
Territories, and Democrats Abroad.

At the campaigns official launch in June, the campaign held over 650 organizing meetings,
including at least one in every congressional district in the country (delegates in the Democratic
primary are allotted by Congressional District).

Throughout the summer, volunteers have participated in monthly Days of Action, during
which volunteers have signed up over 25,000 new supporters at over 500 community events
across the country.

Building an unprecedented online community:

Our digital community is growing faster than either then-Senator Obamas or then-Senator
Clintons did at this point in the 2008 campaign, with more donors and supporters than either
campaign had 8 years ago.

Hillary has more followers on social media than all other candidates Democrat or Republican
combined, with the exception of Donald Trump. She currently has more than 5.4 million social
followers.

More than 1 million supporters have joined the campaign on Facebook since the campaign
launched in April.
###
6