CINCINNATI -- Hillary Clinton is returning to Ohio right after this week's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, underscoring how important the state and its working-class families are to her presidential aspirations.
Clinton, who's expected to officially secure her party's nomination this week, will focus on jobs and the economy -- issues critical to a voting bloc wooed by Republican Donald Trump.
During a two-state bus tour starting Friday, Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine, a U.S. senator from Virginia, plan a rally in Philadelphia before heading to Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. In Ohio, they'll make stops in Youngstown and Columbus on Saturday night and Sunday, marking the first times Clinton and Kaine have campaigned together in the state.
The region they're visiting is heavily populated with white, working-class families, people Clinton has struggled to connect with on the campaign trail so far, said Jared Kamrass, a principal at Rivertown Strategies.
"It shows what we already know to be true," Kamrass said. "The Clinton campaign is really worried about blue-collar, white, older voters -- that seems to be part of the Democratic coalition that are most attracted to Trump’s message."
Clinton could connect more with those voters now that she has Kaine on her side.
Kamrass expects Clinton will pivot her usual campaign talk away from topics such as community police and race relations. Instead, she'll likely spend more time during this tour focusing on problems such as opioid addiction and rebuilding communities that have lost manufacturing jobs. Youngstown, for example, has a high unemployment rate; at 6.5 percent, it sits above the national and state average.
Clinton's visit with Kaine later this week will be the fourth time she's campaigned in Ohio since late June. Recent polls have her and Trump tied in the state, considered a must-win for any Republican hoping to be president.