Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) campaign is angling to become the first in the Democrat presidential field to open offices and hire field staff in Pennsylvania, the AP reported on Thursday.
Warren, who has been slipping in the polls in recent weeks, is reportedly preparing to dive into the late primary state, vying to become first in the field of Democrat candidates to do so.
Warren’s campaign indicated that it hired a Pennsylvania campaign strategist “to start next week and will bring on organizing staff and open a field office in Philadelphia in the coming weeks,” according to the AP. The aggressive move comes over four months prior to the state’s April 28 primary.
The AP reports:
Democratic strategists in the state characterized the moves as aggressive, considering that top field staff from the Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama primary race in 2008 recall getting hired no earlier than February or March.
They also saw the moves as the Massachusetts senator challenging former Vice President Joe Biden on friendly territory and an effort to narrow Biden’s built-in advantages in the state.
“People recognize that he starts off from a strong position here in Pennsylvania,” said Mike Mikus, a Pittsburgh-based Democratic campaign strategist who is not affiliated with a presidential campaign.
The Warren campaign said it hired Anne Wakabayashi, the chair of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s Commission on LGBTQ Affairs who is a veteran of Emerge Pennsylvania and the state Senate Democratic Campaign Committee.
The shift in strategy comes as Warren struggles to regain her frontrunner status in both national and early primary and caucus state polls.
She is currently in third place with 15.3 percent support nationally, the current RealClearPolitics average indicates. She has fallen to fourth place, behind Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), and former Vice President Joe Biden (D) in both Iowa and New Hampshire but has maintained a second place position in South Carolina and Nevada, the RealClearPolitics averages show.