This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Sunday, July 26, 2020:
In speaking with reporters on a call on Friday, President Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien said he’s confident the president will not only keep the states he won by the narrowest of margins in 2016, but will also win other states he lost by narrow margins to Clinton. Thus he expects Trump’s win in the Electoral College to exceed the 304 votes he received in 2016.
The campaign is specifically targeting New Hampshire, Minnesota, Maine, and Nevada. He noted that the number of registered Democrat voters in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida has dropped since 2016, while the number of registered Republican voters has increased.
In Pennsylvania, for example, Democrats had a 1.1 million voter advantage when President Barack Obama won his second term in 2012. That margin has dropped to less than 800,000 today, according to Stepien.
Lest readers think Stepien is either dreaming or hoping, consider the shift towards Trump that has taken place in just the last couple of weeks.
First of all, the “Primary Model” developed by Professor Helmut Norpoth of Stony Brook University has gotten a lot of ink, and for good reason. Based on how voters voted in primaries leading up to the general election, Norpoth’s model has accurately predicted the outcome of the general election in every year but one since 1912 (when primaries were first introduced). His model predicted Trump’s win in 2016, and it gives him a 91 percent chance of winning in 2020.
In June Rasmussen polls showed Democrat presumptive presidential candidate Joe Biden leading President Trump by nine percent among men. A month later Biden’s lead had evaporated, with Trump leading Biden in that critical category by two points.
Consider that some of that shift by Democrats to Republicans has to be driven by high-profile Democrats announcing forcefully their reasons why they will be voting for Trump in November. One of them, left-wing Democrat civil-rights attorney Leo Terrell, said in early July that “If the presidential election was held today, I would vote for Donald Trump. America is more important than party loyalty.”
On July 15 a poll taken by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News revealed that on the all-important topic of the economy, 54 percent of those polled thought the president would do a better job in “handling of the economy” than his presumptive rival. That same poll also revealed the “enthusiasm” gap between the two candidates that significantly favors President Trump.
A few days later Trump was endorsed by the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), a group that traditionally has supported Democrats.
Last Sunday the Trump campaign spelled out just how it planned to defeat Biden: by exposing him “as a hapless tool of the extreme left and contrast[ing] his failures with the undeniable successes of President Trump.”
Biden himself is helping the Trump campaign by just being “hapless,” thanks to his stumbling and fumbling in various public venues even when they are carefully crafted to keep him from wandering off-script. Consider that twice within less than two weeks Biden’s managers were forced to shut down TV interviews with their candidate as he wandered away from the planned narrative.
GOP pollster John McLaughlin, recently hired by Trump to analyze why he appeared to be trailing in most of the major media polling, exposed the reason why. Said McLaughlin in his report to the president: “The latest skewed media polls must be intentional. It’s clear that NBC, ABC and CNN … are consistently under-polling Republicans and therefore reporting biased polls.”
Trump is gaining traction in a critical voting bloc: young Black and Hispanic voters. As The New American reported last Wednesday, the collapse of support among this traditionally strong Democrat constituency has gotten the attention of Harry Enten, a political journalist at CNN. Wrote Enten: “Trump’s small gain with Black voters could make a difference [in November]. It could cost Biden 0.5 points nationally … compared to where Clinton ended up [in 2016]. That may not seem like a lot, though it could make the difference in a close election.”
It’s not a “small gain.” While 91 percent of black voters age 65 and older say they plan to vote for Biden, just 68 percent of black voters between the ages of 18 and 29 said they’d support Biden in November. Not only is that more than a 20-point difference between those age groups, it’s a 17-point drop compared to how the younger cohort voted for Clinton in 2016.
And then there’s the enthusiasm gap expressed by Trump’s supporters’ willingness to pull out their credit cards to support his campaign. In his first virtual fundraiser last Tuesday, more than 300,000 of them contributed an average of $67 each to his campaign, raising a staggering $20 million. Said Kimberly Guilfoyle, chair of the fundraising committee: “The most important measure of success in this race is enthusiasm, and the enthusiasm from President Trump’s supporters cannot be matched.”
Indeed, the best Biden’s campaign has been able to do so far in its virtual fundraisers is to raise just $7.6 million.
Finally, there’s this from Rasmussen’s “White House Watch,” which is released every Wednesday. Three weeks ago Biden held a 10-point advantage over Trump. Two weeks ago Biden’s advantage had dropped to three points. Last week his advantage had all but vanished, to two points, inside the poll’s margin of error.
Trump’s campaign manager is neither dreaming nor hoping. With Biden’s help, Norpoth’s model, and Trump’s supporters opening their wallets, the president increasingly has the opportunity not only to win reelection in November but also to expand his advantage in the Electoral College.