While President Donald Trump trails the major Democratic candidates in most national polls, there is a major early challenge for the Democratic Party to contend with: The Daily Beast reports some officials are concerned Trump has a head start on voter outreach in many battleground states, and particularly in the Midwestern states that gave him a path to victory in 2016.
Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez has vowed a campaign-everywhere approach, on par with Howard Dean's old "50 State Strategy" in the mid-2000s. Thus far, however, some committee members feel the results are coming up short.
"I am frustrated beyond belief at the sheer neglect of the constituencies I represent," said James Zogby, co-chair of the DNC Ethnic Council, who believes the organization is not doing enough to target Irish, Italian, Polish, Eastern Central European, Arab, and Armenian-American communities in the Midwest. "That's why Biden and Bernie do well, because they talk to those folks," he added.
Some state party directors, like Wisconsin's Ben Wikler, dispute the idea the DNC is neglecting these battlegrounds, noting the recent DNC-funded hiring of a regional director in rural northern Wisconsin.
Others, like Ohio's David Pepper, who complains that Trump is "carpet-bombing" his state with online ads, suggest the problem is something more basic: Democrats are tied up with their gigantic primary, leaving Trump free to engage in general election outreach a year early.
"We can't wait until next May to make the case if he's already talking to them now," Pepper warned.