How Dems Are Laying Swing-State Groundwork for ‘16
Phil Mattingly | Bloomberg, April 21, 2014
The refrain from Ohio State Senator Nina Turner's campaign manager was familiar -- one that all candidates embrace, if warily, over the course of a race.
"Call time, call time, call time," repeated Turner, seated across a desk at state party offices a few blocks away from the Columbus, Ohio, Statehouse, as the two reviewed her campaign schedule for the next day.
For Turner, a Democrat challenging a well-funded Republican incumbent for Ohio secretary of state, call time -- campaign shorthand for fundraising -- is a crucial element in a state where political advertising isn't cheap.
Yet this year, national Democrats laying the groundwork for their 2016 presidential candidate are working to ensure Turner won't be on her own as she tries to pull in millions of dollars needed to make up the seven-to-one cash disadvantage she faced against incumbent Jon Husted at the end of January.
Turner's race is one of a handful of secretary of state contests drawing attention from the Democratic National Committee and two outside groups sending money, organizing infrastructure and the vaunted digital expertise of President Barack Obama's campaigns to boost state-level candidates.
The central issue for Democrats is voting laws -- a matter that has become increasingly divisive in recent years amid a state-level push by Republican legislatures to make changes across the country. All involved, to varying degrees, point to what may be the ultimate goal of this year's effort: Putting friendly faces in these key offices which administer elections in advance of the 2016 presidential election.