COLUMBUS — Ohio Democrats are building a robust coordinated field operation, according to reports this weekend from the Associated Press and Wall Street Journal, while Ohio Republicans are in disarray — in fact, the Ohio Republican Party has had no contact with the Republican presumptive nominee, Donald Trump.
Ohio Democrats have had field operatives on the ground since last fall, and they have more than 70 full-time field staffers deployed across the state now, with more coming on board. In addition, the coordinated campaign is nearing 10,000 volunteer shifts completed for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot.
Wall Street Journal: Donald Trump Lags Behind Hillary Clinton in Organizing Key State
“Mr. Trump doesn’t have any general-election staff in the state, and senior aides in New York and Washington haven’t made contact with the state Republican Party. Efforts to recruit the state’s experienced operatives who helped elect Gov. John Kasich have so far been unsuccessful, people familiar with the matter said.”
“Clinton aides are preparing to open the first campaign office in Columbus and have begun coordinating with the Ohio Democratic Party to recruit an army of volunteers made up of people who backed both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders in the state’s primary.”
“Senior Trump aides have had no communication with the Ohio Republican Party and very little with aides to Mr. Portman […] The Ohio GOP chairman, Matt Borges, who emerged during the primary campaign as one of the nation’s most strident anti-Trump voices, said he hasn’t done anything to help Mr. Trump because he hasn’t heard what the campaign would like him to do.”
“About half of the activists interviewed at the Stark County Democratic headquarters said they backed Mr. Sanders during Ohio’s primary, but each said they believe they must work to elect Mrs. Clinton.”
Associated Press: Eyeing Senate, Clinton directing money to 2016 battlegrounds
“‘This is my third presidential cycle in Ohio and we are actually starting earlier than before,’ said Rebecca Pearcey, campaign manager for former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, who is challenging Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. ‘The early work will pay off for us this fall.’”
“Hillary Clinton, seeking a governing coalition if she wins the White House, is pumping millions of dollars into key battleground states at the heart of her presidential map and Democrats’ quest to regain control of the Senate. The Democratic National Committee and state parties are spending about $2 million initially to build coordinated campaigns in eight battleground states with competitive Senate races.”
Washington Examiner: Report: Trump out-organized in Ohio
Jonathan Martin with the New York Times has previously reported on how having Trump at the top of the ticket is negatively impacting fundraising efforts. Feeble fundraising is now translating to deficits on the ground, as Martin noted Ohio Republicans have massively scaled back their field operation from previous plans.