Hillary Clinton’s campaign today released a list of states in which it will be buying ads: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Virginia. What’s striking about this list is how familiar these states are: they are all the familiar cast of swing states going back to at least 2000. What’s also notable is what is missing: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. These are the states that (along with Ohio and Iowa, which actually are competitive) Trump was supposedly going to put into play as part of his Rust Belt strategy.
The idea was that Trump’s appeal to non-college educated whites would make him an usually strong Republican candidate in states that haven’t voted for the GOP in two decades or more. Based on these ad buys, it’s clear that the Clinton campaign thinks the Rust Belt strategy isn’t anything to worry about. The election will be fought in the same states that Barack Obama won twice in a row.