Report: Pa. part of progressive super PAC’s $50M push to weaken Trump in the Rust Belt

The progressive super PAC American Bridge is launching a massive, $50 million push to weaken a core part of President Donald Trump’s base: voters in such Rust Belt states as Pennsylvania that helped put the Republican into the White House in 2016.

Working-class voters in Pennsylvania, along with Wisconsin, Michigan, and possibly Florida, will be targeted in the campaign by American Bridge, NBC News reported.

The campaign, which will argue that Trump has been “harmful to the economic interests” of voters in those key states, will combine paid advertising on TV, radio, and digital platforms, as Democrats embark on their quest to win back the White House in 2020, NBC reported.

“We understand that we may not win these voters back entirely, but if we don’t make inroads into these areas, we will win the popular vote, lose the Electoral College, and the Senate could be lost for a decade,” the PAC wrote in a donor memo obtained by NBC News.

More from NBC News:

“Officials with the super PAC and its affiliated non-profit, founded by longtime operative David Brock, are on a nationwide fundraising tour to expand the group’s budget nearly three-fold, from less than $30 million per two-year election cycle to $80 million for the 2020 campaign.

“… We’re going to focus on real-life testimonials and putting them in front of voters,” Brock said.

“While the strongest Democratic field in history brings their messages to primary voters and the American people, we are going to take the fight to Donald Trump, who has sold out hard-working Americans,” said Andrew Gillum, the former Tallahassee mayor who ran for Florida governor last year.

“Gillum is joining the board of American Bridge’s 501(c)4 non-profit arm, which is chaired by former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm. New additions also include former DNC Chair Ed Rendell and operative Jessica Mackler, who ran the independent expenditure arm of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in last year’s midterm elections.”

Trump carried Pennsylvania by 44,000 votes in 2016 over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, breaking a three-decade streak of Democratic presidential wins in a state rich with Electoral College votes.

The push by American Bridge comes on top of a $100 million campaign by “Priorities USA, the largest Democratic super PAC,” which recently “launched what it says will be $100 million worth of ads targeting Trump in a similar set of states,” NBC News reported.

An award-winning political journalist with more than 25 years' experience in the news business, John L. Micek is The Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. Before joining The Capital-Star, Micek spent six years as Opinion Editor at PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., where he helped shape and lead a multiple-award-winning Opinion section for one of Pennsylvania's most-visited news websites. Prior to that, he spent 13 years covering Pennsylvania government and politics for The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa. His career has also included stints covering Congress, Chicago City Hall and more municipal meetings than he could ever count, Micek contributes regular analysis and commentary to a host of broadcast outlets, including CTV-News in Canada and talkRadio in London, U.K., as well as "Face the State" on CBS-21 in Harrisburg, Pa.; "Pennsylvania Newsmakers" on WGAL-8 in Lancaster, Pa., and the Pennsylvania Cable Network. His weekly column on American politics is syndicated nationwide to more than 800 newspapers by Cagle Syndicate.


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