Clinton Role in 2014 to Lay Foundation for 2016

Image: Clinton Role in 2014 to Lay Foundation for 2016

Monday, 16 Dec 2013 11:13 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Hillary Clinton is expected to play a major role in the fortunes of her party in the 2014 midterm elections and the super PAC formed to support her possible presidential bid is already laying the groundwork to capitalize on those efforts.

The group, Ready for Hillary, expects Clinton will be on the campaign trail in 2014 to support Democratic candidates. It is hoping to use those endorsements to harvest more supporters for her widely-expected 2016 candidacy, while securing the election of lawmakers who could push her policy agenda and also return the favor by campaigning for her two years later, USA Today reports.

"We anticipate there will be some appearances . . . on the campaign trail and some testing in some of these races for themes and things that might work for the prospective Clinton campaign," Brad Dayspring, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told USA Today.

While Clinton's office has refused to comment on whether she will indeed stump for candidates in 2014, pundits are expecting she will play a significant role in the fortunes of Democratic candidates, as she did in helping to score victories in November for Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Ready for Hillary meanwhile expects she has much to gain by doing so, having seen money pour in during 2013 from supporters of the campaigns she backed.

"We know that we have an opportunity to take the energy and excitement that people have about a potential Hillary candidacy and communicate with those supporters in a way that's helpful to the Democratic Party as a whole," Ready for Hillary spokesman Seth Bringman told USA Today.

The group has also made major investments in building high-tech databases of voters for sophisticated micro-targeting in 2016. The tools could give Clinton a significant edge over rivals, as they did President Barack Obama in his campaign to defeat her in 2008, and again over Romney in his re-election in 2012, Politico reports.

The PAC has already engaged data companies to amass a 50-state voter file with historical election data for every registered voter in the country, overlaid with rich information from social media and email records. The database could be used as early as January to mobilize supporters and ultimately build influential voter coalitions to deliver a victory for 2016.

Several data firms with some of the country's leading tech experts are already jockeying to get contracts to carry out various aspects of the work, among them, NGP-VAN and Catalist. Campaigns and committees then pay to utilize the technology.

"Presidential campaigns have big budgets and so they can be a source of innovation and that innovation ends up trickling down through the entire market," NGP-VAN CEO Stu Trevelyan told Politico.

Obama's mega-database, which includes detailed information about issues, voting, volunteering donating, and social media activity of almost every voter in America, has already been transferred to the Democratic National Committee.

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