At a veterans hall in the mostly white, working-class town of Chillicothe, Ohio, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke to about 200 people on Friday about her plans to fight the opioid epidemic, Washington corruption and economic inequality.
Warren’s decision to campaign in Ohio – a state President Donald Trump won by eight percentage points in 2016 – so soon in the Democratic presidential nominating battle is telling.
Ohio does not host one of next year’s early nominating contests. Yet there is growing consensus among Democrats that a nominee’s ability to beat Trump in November 2020 is the number one priority – and Warren aims to convince voters there and elsewhere that she has broad enough appeal to do it.
“I believe that if you’re running for president of the United States you ought to be running for president of all the people and not just spend your time in a handful of so-called battleground states,” Warren told reporters at an earlier stop on Friday in Kermit, West Virginia, a solidly Republican state.
Party strategists and voters are divided over what type of candidate is best positioned to take on the president.