Clinton not counting on winning white men

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Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign feels confident it can win the White House even if it doesn’t put a bigger dent in Donald Trump’s core support of white, blue-collar men.

Democrats believe their national convention and subsequent two weeks have lifted Clinton’s support among several demographics that were part of President Obama’s successful coalition of black, Hispanic and young voters.

{mosads}“We’re in even better shape than we were before the convention with every Obama coalition demographic,” said one Clinton surrogate. “The proof is in the poll numbers.”

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll out last week showed that only 1 percent of black voters support Trump and revealed that Clinton had a significant lead with non-white voters, 69-17 percent; millennials, 46-34 percent; and white voters with a college degree, 47-40 percent. 

The only demographic where Trump still holds an edge is with white working class voters who don’t have a college degree.

Team Clinton is hardly ceding that group to the GOP nominee.

Vice President Biden on Monday made his first campaign appearance with Clinton at an event in Scranton, Pa., that was scripted to reach out to male, working-class voters.

He offered a personal testimonial in the working-class town in northeast Pennsylvania.

“Hillary understands the hopes and aspirations of everyone in Scranton and Claymont and every Scranton and Claymont in America,” said Biden, who was born in Scranton and raised in nearby Claymont, Del. “If you care about your job decent pay, if you worry about your children’s education … there’s only one person in this election who will possibly help you, and that is Hillary Clinton. She’s always been there. That’s her life story.”

It is unclear if Biden can lift Clinton with blue-collar men in Pennsylvania, a state seen as close to must-win territory for Trump.

But polls suggest Clinton might not need the help.

A Quinnipiac University poll released last week found Clinton leading Trump by 10 points in the Keystone State.

The Clinton camp also believes that, even before the Biden event, they were closing the gap with Trump among white, working-class voters.

Trump leads Clinton, 49 percent to 36 percent, among white voters who don’t have a college degree, according to last week’s NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.

But 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney won 61 percent of those voters in 2012. 

Separately, polls have shown Clinton doing better with white, college-educated voters.

Democratic strategist Jim Manley acknowledged Clinton needs to “plant a flag and work it hard” in places like Pennsylvania.

“She’s got a good lead in Philadelphia,” he said. “The goal now is to expand the base and show the folks who have some real concern about Democrats that she’s not the threatening figure they see on TV, and if anyone can break the code, it’s Biden.” 

Aides say the vice president plans to spend a lot of time in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and other battleground states in the coming weeks and months. 

He’s also planning to campaign for Democratic Senate candidates across the country as the party looks to retake control of the chamber where Biden served for four decades.

Political observers say that while a Clinton victory doesn’t depend upon the white working-class demographic, the party needs to continue to court them for the down-ballot elections.

“It’s important for her psychologically to try and repair some of the slippage,” said Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University. “She’s never going to win back West Virginia, but it’s important for the Democratic Party to try and restore some of its messaging toward white middle-class voters.”

As for Biden, Clinton still plans to deploy him in the coming weeks in an attempt to keep cutting into Trump’s margins.

Biden’s office says the vice president, once seen as a potential rival to Clinton for the Democratic nomination, is ready to step in.

The vice president will “continue to speak directly to working families to make the case that Hillary is the candidate in this race who understands their lives,” said Kate Bedingfield, the vice president’s communications director.

Tags Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Pennsylvania

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