Tag Archives: Election 2020

Trump Campaign’s Secret Weapon:  Door Knocking!

Pearl River     With hardly two weeks before the election in the United States, it’s down to the wire.  It will be interesting and important to see the final strategy and tactics each campaign employs.  Biden will be trying to protect his polling lead.  Trump will be desperately trying to play catchup.  There are definitely some important things to watch.

The first debate was a fiasco and an international embarrassment for the entire country.  The second debate before a town hall was the height of social and political distancing with a faceoff on competing television stations, ABC for Biden and NBC and its captive networks for Trump, running simultaneously.  Biden also won that night and did so in way that must particularly gall Trump, the reality TV celebrity.  Biden plummeted Trump in the ratings.  He had a 15.2 million audience with just one network platform compared to a mid-13 million for Trump across NBC’s multiple platforms.  With a final debate upon us, the big question is likely not going to be focused on any of the candidates answers or whether or not they move any undecided voters, but on whether or not Trump can control himself and marginally attempt to act presidential.  I wouldn’t bet the farm on his ability to do so.

Much is being made of the huge well of donor support that the Biden campaign has received, along with other Democratic candidates, allowing his to outraise Trump and sit on a much larger bankroll.  Reportedly ActBlue, the online Democratic donor platform has collected $1.5 billion from July through September, besting what it collected for the entire 2018 cycle.  The cash allowing him to maintain a nearly 2-to-1 advantage on the airwaves for months. His dominance is most pronounced in three critical swing states — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — where he spent about $53 million to Trump’s $17 million over the past month largely on ads assailing the president’s handling of the virus as well as the economy and taxes.  .

Biden is focusing on the air war, while Trump seems all about the ground game.  Trump is counting on rallies and crowds to move his base, while Biden is more restrained and surgical in his targeting.  Biden is winning on early voting and a push for mail ballots, while the Trump campaign is counting on Election Day crowds and long lines.

Reportedly, the Trump campaign has spent $200-$250 million to support door knocking to turn out his vote.  That’s unsettling to me, and points to what I worry might be a significant tactical error. It’s hard to beat the effectiveness of door-to-door work in both persuasion and turnout.  It’s also hard to beat the power of volunteer activists speaking your message.  That’s true organizing with measurable results and real “touches” with the voters, where no matter how it is spun, television, social media, and mail messages are more an exercise at throwing it all up against the wall.

Biden is looking like a winner now, but if he loses, it will be because he lost it on the doors.  If Trump wins, it will be because neighbors and flesh-and-blood people on front porches were able to mitigate and neutralize the horror that spews from his mouth and his anarchistic, spiteful narcissism.

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Payment is Coming Due for a Deal with the Devil

New Orleans       We’re on the election countdown, but, frankly, that’s been the case for almost four years, so in some sense, what’s new?  The polls don’t look good for the president, either nationally or in many of the battleground states.

Some Republicans, like Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse are even talking about a “blue wave” for the Democrats.  In Sasse’s case, in a reported conversation with his constituents, he forecast, essentially, that the hens were coming to roost now after Trump has hated women, loved dictators, encouraged racists, evaded taxes, and enriched his family and friends.  Essentially, he’s saying that the payment is now coming due for the deal he and the Republicans have made with the devil for the last four years.  They are happy that they have left the country armed and divided and that they ravished the judiciary from top to bottom during their stewardship, but many now see the walls tumbling down.

It’s hard to know.  Somehow, they could still keep the Senate and be a big rock in the road.  Heck, somehow Trump could be re-elected.  We’ve seen miracles happen before, so they could happen again.  This time though, perhaps Sasse is right, because all of the signs are starting to point to a shellacking on election night, and Trump seems unable to shift gears or change.

Trump had to go to Iowa to shore up the state.  Iowa, that he won in a landslide four years ago.  Polls are saying that Texas and Georgia are tight and could go for Biden.  Texas particularly is going to turn, if not this time, soon, but now could be the time, and once it goes, it may be impossible for the Republicans to turn around again.  South Carolina’s Lindsay Graham is in a tight race with an African-American man.  Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell is having to actually do some work to win against a younger woman.  They are still favored to win, but they are being challenged hard, and many other candidates will now see blood in the water and be circling and counting the days on what will inevitably be their last terms.

The price won’t be just in the loss of some seats for the Republicans.  The polls now have Biden leading among whites, which would be the first for decades.  Suburbs, especially suburban women, have been Republican bulwarks, but Trump and his toadies have shown them their true colors with misogyny, the pandemic, school mischief, child separation, and just plain brutish behavior.  Immigrants, forget about them.  Mexican-Americans are not going to be voting Republican given the wall and the abuse.

We’re going to see a lot of doubletalk soon as Republican politicians start jumping like rats from what seems like a sinking ship, but salvaging that ship is going to be very hard given the damage that Trump has done to their party, and the power his sycophants still exercise over its affairs in many states.

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Please enjoy I’m Alive by Norah Jones.

Thanks to WAMF.

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