Liberal super PAC launches $50 million effort to flip rural Trump voters

Liberal super PAC launches $50 million effort to flip rural Trump voters
© Getty Images

HOUSTON — The liberal super PAC American Bridge is launching a $50 million effort in four swing states to flip rural working-class voters who voted for President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE.

American Bridge plans to spend millions on polling and research in swing counties in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida to identify individuals most likely to defect from Trump.

ADVERTISEMENT

The super PAC will release “hyperlocal” ads in the coming weeks featuring personal stories from rural individuals who voted for the president in 2016 explaining Trump has let them down and why they will not vote for him again in 2020. 

The goal, according to American Bridge Vice President Shripal Shah, is to create a “permission structure” for former Trump voters to come around to Democrats or to stay home on Election Day. 

American Bridge has teamed up with the liberal data and analytics group Blue Labs on the effort, which will focus on voters in the counties that voted for President Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016.

Shah said American Bridge’s polling finds Trump’s approval rating is deep underwater on key issues pertaining to the economy, trade and health care, and that the voters who propelled Trump to narrow victories in the Midwest and Rust Belt in 2016 are frustrated and looking for a reason to stay home or vote for Democrats on Election Day.

“We will 100 percent be focused on cutting into Trump’s support with rural working-class voters,” said Shah. “Over the course of this summer found a remarkable amount of opportunities. This will be unlike any paid media campaign before, it will be hyperlocal, authentic storytelling that highlights local voices to create a permission structure for Trump 2016 voters to flip back to our side in 2020.”

Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin went red in the 2016 election for the first time in decades, and Democrats believe that rebuilding that “blue wall” represents their best path back to the White House. 

Trump carried those states only narrowly over Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton3 ways government can help clean up Twitter Intelligence Democrat: Stop using 'quid pro quo' to describe Trump allegations The Memo: Bloomberg's 2020 moves draw ire from Democrats MORE, fueled in part by his ability to run up margins with white working-class voters.

If the entire Electoral College map stays the same but Democrats can win back Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, they will win back the White House.

A Change Research survey released this week sponsored by two Democratic groups found Trump’s job approval rating in rural areas of the Rust Belt and Great Plains states is at 60 percent, markedly higher than his job approval rating nationally. 

Trump is most popular in Pennsylvania, where he hit the 60 percent favorability mark. He scored lowest in Michigan and Wisconsin, where his favorability rating is at 51 percent.