- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 4, 2016

Hillary Clinton is playing up her underdog status in New Hampshire, with campaign manager Robby Mook sending an email to supporters on Wednesday saying Mrs. Clinton’s team has their “work cut out” for them after rival Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont raised $3 million after the Iowa caucus.

Mr. Mook started the email celebrating Mrs. Clinton’s narrow win in Iowa, but then turned cautionary.

“Now take that enthusiasm and channel it, because we got our work cut out for us: Bernie’s supporters chipped in $3 million within 24 hours of the caucus,” Mr. Mook wrote.

“Bernie says we’re not as energetic or enthusiastic as his supporters,” he added. “It’s true that more of his supporters have stepped up to fund his campaign, but I think he’s dead wrong (and more than a little insulting) about the strength and character of Team Hillary.”

Mrs. Clinton is emphasizing her underdog status in New Hampshire, where she trails Mr. Sanders by double-digits in polling. At CNN’s town-hall forum Wednesday night, Mrs. Clinton said some of her advisers told her to skip the Granite State to focus on Nevada and South Carolina where she currently has a healthy lead over Mr. Sanders.

“I said earlier today, some people said ‘Well, Senator Sanders is ahead’ and I respect that, ‘so maybe I should go on to the next states,’ and I said, ‘absolutely not,’ ” Mrs. Clinton explained at the town hall in Derry, New Hampshire. “New Hampshire has been so good to me and my family and I love campaigning in New Hampshire. I love this process. So you’re going to have to put up with me. I’m going to be going around the state, going to as many events as I can, answering as many questions, trying to talk about what I am offering.”

At several events in New Hampshire this week, Mrs. Clinton has exited her rallies to the pop-tune “Fight Song,” projecting the image that she never gives up. She’s also said on the stump this week that she’s at a disadvantage in the state because Mr. Sanders hails from neighboring Vermont, so liking him is “the neighborly” thing to do.

The strategy places increased pressure on Mr. Sanders to perform to the level of polls, for even if the results are close, Mrs. Clinton’s team can spin the results into a come-from-behind victory, beating expectations.

Mr. Sanders seems to be aware.

“Of course, we’re still an underdog,” Mr. Sanders said to CNN’s Anderson Cooper Wednesday night. “We are taking on the most powerful political organization in the country and that’s the Clinton organization.”

• Kelly Riddell can be reached at kriddell@washingtontimes.com.

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