Hillary Clinton may have wait a month before she becomes the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee but that does not mean she is not getting ready to face Donald Trump in the general election. She knows that Florida will be a key swing state and so she has named a campaign director and opened an office in the Sunshine State.
Clinton has tapped the former national political director of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, Simone Ward. She is now the Florida State Director, overseeing efforts to deliver the state’s 27 electoral votes to the former first lady.
Wards resume is very impressive; she has extensive ground game experience having worked previously as campaign manager for Natalie Tennant’s Senate campaign in West Virginia as well as serving as the campaign manager for Sen. Barbara Mikulski in Maryland in 2010.
Ward served in a number of roles while working in Washington at the Democratic National Committee, including Director of African American Outreach and then National Constituency Director. She also worked for Planned Parenthood and EMILY’s List.
The Clinton campaign has also named directors in other key states with people now in place in New Hampshire, Colorado, and Nevada. Meanwhile, already in place is Brian Zuzenak, the director of Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s PAC, in Virginia; Troy Clair, chief of staff to Rep. G.K. Butterfield, in North Carolina; and Chris Wyant, Barack Obama’s 2012 Ohio director, in that state.
In addition, Clinton’s campaign has hired Meg Ansara, a former regional director for Obama working in the Midwest and the South, to work with Marlon Marshall, a top political staffer, on the battleground state team in Brooklyn.
Clinton is taking a page out of the successful Barack Obama playbook and that is to have a strong 50 state ground game. She is clearly making sure that Florida has all the resources needed to win this key battle ground state.
Showing how important Florida is the general election Clinton has been back the state twice since winning the March 15th primary. Her husband former President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton have also had events in Florida and North Carolina with more to come soon.
Looking at the Real Clear Politics poll averages in the state Clinton is leading Trump in three polls by an average of 8 percentage points and the GOP presumptive nominee is in the lead in two polls but within the three-point margin of error.