February 12, 2016

Desperation Time For Clinton and Her SuperPAC

After Clinton’s blowout victory in New Hampshire and Sanders’ record setting fundraising, Clinton’s campaign is in desperation mode. The same is true of her SuperPAC, Priorities USA. When Clinton still thought she was on a glide path to the nomination, the plan for Priorities USA was to hold all their cash for the general election:

“Clinton gets support from unions and superPACs representing the National Education Association, Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood, among others. But the superPAC aligned with her campaign, Priorities USA Action, is saving its money for the general election. As of Dec. 31, it had $35.8 million on hand and had spent just $5.7 million – less than $400,000 of it for Clinton.”

Yet new reports from the Washington Post show that Clinton’s struggles have changed the plan.

“The main super PAC supporting Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is making its first significant foray into the 2016 primary, launching a radio campaign in South Carolina and spearheading a $4.5 million effort to drive early turnout of African American, Latino and female voters in states that hold contests in March. The early engagement by Priorities USA Action — which originally planned to hold its fire for the general election — marks the first major infusion of super-PAC money on Clinton’s behalf and underscores how crucial South Carolina has become in her battle with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.”

Even Guy Cecil, chief strategist for Priorities USA, acknowledges that Clinton’s struggles have led them to change their spending plans. Cecil confirms that the general election was once the PAC’s focus, but after they assessed Clinton’s position in the nomination fight they felt it necessary to step in to bail out Clinton’s flailing campaign:

“’We have always seen as our primary responsibility the general election, making sure that Hillary wins, and we have always thought we would assess where we were, to make sure we were doing everything possible to build a long-term coalition for her campaign,’ Cecil said.”