A major Democratic political action committee, Priorities USA, has already begun spending in Pennsylvania and other key states ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
“We have been very clear that we are expecting an incredibly close election in Pennsylvania,” said Priorities USA Chairman Guy Cecil. President Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016 by less than 1 percentage point, or about 44,000 votes.
The super PAC outlined multiple projections of the upcoming election’s outcome based on its own research, with Pennsylvania sitting squarely in the path to a Democratic victory. Priorities initially plans to spend $100 million in the commonwealth and other battleground states including Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida.
On Tuesday, the super PAC launched its first digital ad campaign that will target voters across the state, which Cecil said marks “the first time that Priorities has placed staff on the ground in key states.”
But one of the biggest challenges for the group is the political environment created by the Republican president it hopes to beat in 2020.
“There is so much coverage about Mueller and Russia and Donald Trump’s tweets,” Cecil said. “So much coverage about important issues about race and immigration, and frankly so much coverage just about Donald Trump’s behavior that it is very difficult to break through with Americans about the issues that they actually want to hear about.”
Cecil said Priorities Pennsylvania will focus on health care, economic issues and target “a pretty wide range of folks” across the state. Cecil said that the specific messaging on health care and economic issues would change based on location.
“We know, for example, there are growing challenges around doctor shortages, about making sure people can access VA benefits,” he said. “We know there are communities in Philadelphia where there is significant underinvestment in economic development, or there are challenges around school funding. I think the commonality for example on health care, is that all voters, all people, all Pennsylvanians care about health care. They’re all concerned about rising prices, they’re all concerned about access.”