Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is using President Barack Obama's campaign strategy rather than the one that got her husband, Bill Clinton, twice elected to the White House, The New York Times reports.
That's because the electorate has changed, former Clinton strategist James Carville told the Times.
"The highest-premium voter in '92 was a voter who would vote for one party some and for another party some," Carville said. "Now the highest-premium voter is somebody with a high probability to vote for you and low probability to turn out. That’s the golden list. And that’s a humongous change in basic strategic doctrine."
That shift means focusing on certain states where the party's liberal base is strong, but perhaps not motivated to get to the polls, while ignoring more conservative states with a larger number of swing voters.
That method worked for Obama, but isn't as effective as helping the party down ticket, something the former secretary of state and New York senator says she wants to do.
It also alienates Americans who felt ignored during the campaign, making them feel they are not a part of the White House's vision.
Despite his two victories, that has been exactly what Obama has faced, and the Times said Clinton's campaign staff seems little concerned with trying to avoid it.
"If you run a campaign trying to appeal to 60 to 70 percent of the electorate, you’re not going to run a very compelling campaign for the voters you need," said top Obama strategist David Plouffe, who also has worked informally with Hillary Clinton.
Democrats in Congress aren't too optimistic of retaking control on Capitol Hill even if Clinton wins the White House. Some from conservative districts fear her strategy won't help whatever chances they have and might even make the margin for herself slimmer.
"Go ask Al Gore,” West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin told the Times. "He'd be president with five electoral votes from West Virginia. So it is big, and it can make a difference."
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