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RNC vows unprecedented war-room effort to go after Hillary Clinton

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Officials with the Republican National Committee said today they are preparing for a massive campaign to mobilize and activate the GOP base to thwart Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, beginning on the day she officially announces she’s running for president. They claim that the party has never prosecuted a campaign of this magnitude, ever.

In an off-the-record conference with party activists and media surrogates, officials said that “everything is focused like a laser” on the probable 2016 Democratic presidential candidate. Recently national polls show her leading Jeb Bush and/or other potential GOP 2016 candidates, but they also show that she has been negatively affected by the recent email controversy.

“She may be able to delete her emails, but she can’t delete her record,” one official said.

The “Stop Hillary” campaign will also try to to link Clinton with President Obama, especially if his personal approval ratings stay below 50 percent (A Quinnipiac poll taken in Florida this week showed the president with only a 41 percent approval rating, with 55 percent disapproving). If Clinton tries to separate herself from Obama, GOP pollsters say the key is to not to allow that to happen.

A GOP pollster also brought out historical data that indicates that every time that Clinton has announced she’s a candidate, “her numbers crater,” referring specifically when she announced her run for president eight years ago.

Citing numbers from a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey, the Republicans say that there is a rather pronounced gender gap between men and women in their support of Mrs. Clinton. Her numbers are underwater when it comes to support from men at 35-43 percent, but she’s 52-29 percent positive/negative with women voters. Pollsters say that her poll numbers are “mediocre” with women past 50 years of age, but are extremely strong with younger women, up 56-21 percent. “That is a group we really need to focus on.”

Republicans are also taking note of the Quinnipiac survey released this week on Florida and two other key swing states — Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The numbers there show that Clinton has definitely taken a hit from the email controversy that broke in the media a month ago. Clinton’s favorability in Florida is now just at 49-46 percent; the last Q survey taken before the email revelations, she was up 14 percentage points — 53-39 percent.

Clinton has not yet announced her candidacy, though there has been speculation that she could announce as soon as this month.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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