Report: Clinton backer heads to primary states

The political organization bent on putting Hillary Clinton in the White House in 2016 is sending a top official to the key primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire in January, The Hill has confirmed.

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The step is a big one of the Ready for Hillary super-PAC, which has not yet made inroads in the critical states. It represents a new stage in the effort to draft and secure backing for the former secretary of State and first lady.

Iowa is home to the first caucuses in the presidential primary calendar and New Hampshire traditionally holds the first primary. The two have also been considered swing states in recent races.

The super-PAC will send senior advisor Craig Smith, who served as political director under former President Bill Clinton, to New Hampshire and then Iowa. He will meet with party and labor leaders as well as prominent activists, according to a spokesman. 

The events are still in development, but they would represent an aggressive push to shore up Clinton’s support a full two years before the primary events. 

The trip was first reported by Politico.

Clinton won the New Hampshire primary in the 2008 race but lost the Iowa caucuses to now-President Obama. The surge of support Obama received in Iowa helped to raise his national profile and build the momentum of his campaign.

Recent polls have shown broad support for Clinton in the early states, should she chose to run.

A Quinnipiac poll released last week showed that Clinton would beat all potential Republican nominees in Iowa expect for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R). According to the poll, 53 percent of Iowans believe she would make a good president. 

In recent months, the super-PAC has pushed to support Democrats in down-ballot races across the country. The first effort in that campaign was in support of Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton family confidante, who was elected to be the next governor of Virginia in November. 

This story was originally posted at 10:00 a.m. and updated at 1:48 p.m.

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