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Hillary’s Target: Schumer!

She’s running against Chuck’s ’04 margin.


Hillary Clinton has no real opponent in her reelection bid, and yet campaign filings show she has shelled out $11 million—about a third of her war chest—on an aggressive blitz of direct mail, polling, costly 60-second TV spots, and get-out-the-vote ground troops. So who’s she running against? “We don’t want turnout to be so low folks don’t show up and we squeak by and look weak going into the presidential next year,” says a source close to the Clinton campaign. “There aren’t a lot of reasons for folks to show up: The governor’s race is not going to be competitive; there’s no lieutenant governor’s race.” And then there’s the popularity of her fellow senator, Chuck Schumer, who pulled 71 percent of the vote in ’04. “We don’t expect to get Schumer numbers. We just don’t want Schumer to be so high and us be so low,” the source says. Howard Wolfson, Clinton’s campaign spokesman, expects low turnout because there’s no presidential race but declined to reveal any specific efforts. “We don’t discuss campaign strategy,” he says.

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