Veteran GOP strategist Doug McMarlin joined SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon on Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily to talk about the state of the 2016 presidential race in the battleground state of Ohio, where polling shows Hillary Clinton’s vast financial advantage helping her take the lead against Donald Trump, who has spent virtually nothing yet.
“I don’t care about the dollar amount spent,” said McMarlin, adding:
The fact is that if you look at the race in 2004 between John Kerry and George W. Bush … we must win Ohio, and what’s going on there is, Mr. Trump has, I think, been very, very tactical in what he’s doing. He’s brought on a fantastic director in Ohio named Bob Paduchik, and what they’re doing is building the ground game. That’s what’s going to win it.
“Ohio, as you well know, is a weird state, of the many weird states we have. It gave us the McRib sandwich because they taste test things all over Ohio because it’s such a broad spectrum of the population,” McMarlin explained. “You’ve got what we call ‘agrillionaires,’ which are the local farmers that have done extremely well, but it depends on the time of year. We have the blue-collars. We’ve got people who are out of work. We have the former industrial aspect.”
“I don’t like the ‘Rust Belt’ term for Ohio because the steel industry actually is still very active,” he continued. “Trump appeals to a great many people in all those populations. I think that the more ground game that’s done, the better that they are.”
Bannon asked if Trump’s campaign would be able to integrate with the formidable political machine Governor John Kasich built in Ohio. As Bannon put it, “Out in Ohio, it’s not sound; it’s ground.”
McMarlin observed that Kasich “is, and has been, the most popular governor in Ohio, in perhaps all history.”
“He won re-election with a plurality of the vote larger than any other governor in Ohio,” McMarlin noted. “He’s got a fantastic staff, fantastic theme. I don’t believe, personally, that John Kasich wants to see Hillary Clinton be president. That’s good for Trump, from the standpoint that – the convention’s in Cleveland; my gosh, there you are.”
I know that Governor Kasich has said that he’s an undecided voter. I think that’s absolutely fine. It’s a heck of a lot better than what Paul Ryan has said. I don’t believe that our elected officials should try and – pardon the pun – trump what the primary voters have already requested, which is to have him be the nominee.
“He’s going to be the nominee in Cleveland, as much as the talking heads on MSNBC and everywhere else say – that’s not gonna change. He’s going to be the nominee,” he predicted. “So how do we unite behind that, and actually do something very, very good?”
He said Trump’s campaign themes “resonate at Ohio’s kitchen tables.”
“They’re worried about terrorism. They’re worried about the economy. They’re worried about trade,” he said of Ohio voters, digging deeper to find them concerned about “NAFTA and other items that make this a serious race for regular people.”
Bannon stressed that Ohio looks like a real problem for the Trump campaign, given its well-known importance to winning Republican electoral strategies, and noted that Hillary Clinton was essentially “living there,” while Trump has yet to seriously engage in the state. McMarlin emphasized the importance of voter turnout in the state, particularly among rural residents and blue-collar workers, who have been favorable constituencies for Trump.
Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.