A top Democratic super PAC that spent $133 million in support of Hillary Clinton in 2016 said it no longer considers Ohio a target state for the 2020 presidential election, as it looks to align with an increasingly socialist Democratic Party.
In a memo, Priorities USA, a moneyed super PAC that supported both President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign and Clinton’s 2016 run for the White House, downgraded Ohio’s importance and labeled the state a “GOP Watch,” along with states such as Texas and Iowa.
The PAC now sees Ohio as less likely to flip than other swing states, such as Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and even traditionally red states like Georgia and Arizona, according to Cleveland.com.
“It’s not in our initial spending plans,” Josh Schwerin, a spokesman for Priorities USA, told the outlet. “It is in the states to watch-and-see if an investment is worth making.”
“It’s not in our initial spending plans. It is in the states to watch-and-see if an investment is worth making.”
“That doesn’t mean we don’t think Ohio is winnable for a Democrat,” Schwerin added. “What we think that means is if Ohio is in play, we’ll have already won the easier states and have 270 electoral votes. Our investment strategy is how to get to 270 electoral votes.”
Democratic presidential candidates generally depend on the work provided by Priorities USA, which spent $126 million against President Trump and around $6.5 in support of Clinton in 2016, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Trump won Ohio by 8 percentage points in 2016, while Obama won the state by 3 percentage points in 2012.
The PAC’s announcement comes as the Democratic Party shifts its platform to more progressive measures – with most 2020 Democratic candidates subscribing to the utopian Green New Deal – that most Ohio residents are unlikely to embrace.
Still, some local Ohio Democrats mocked the notion that their state -- the so-called "Mother of Presidents" -- was no longer a swing state that a White House hopeful must carry to seal a victory.
“Any look at the actual hard-nosed data of 2018 belies what they’re saying,” Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper told Cleveland.com. “We were closer being blue in 2018 than we were in 2010, and two years after 2010 we were blue.”
“There are two views about the best path forward,” Pepper added. “One is, go all Midwest and the other is sort of Sun Belt. I think the best campaign tries to do both. We’re being approached by people who think if you’re going to go (to Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania), you go into Ohio too.”