So yesterday my sister, who loves to torment me, sent me an article from Vanity Fair where some reporter went out to a beaten-down town in Pennsylvania and claims to have found a couple of women who voted for Obama but then voted for Trump and are planning to vote for him again. Can Biden bring those gals back to the Democratic fold? No, he can’t. They love Trump.
When Graydon Carter was Editor of Vanity Fair, he would never have published such crap. Who cares if some sixty-ish lady sitting in a diner in Allentown and says she used to be a Democrat is in love with Donald Trump? Biden needs to chase those votes like he needs a hole in his head.
In 2016, Trump won 30 states. As of today, we have current polls for 23 of those states. The 7 states for which we have no current polls together count a whole, big 34 electoral votes. The remaining 23 states provided Trump with 270 EV’s, and with the exception of a 1-point gain in Utah, in not one of those states is his current margin as great now as it was back then.
In 11 of those 23 states, he is basically tied with Joe. In the other 12 states he is not carrying one single state with as wide a margin as he racked up four years ago: These other 12 states are so reliably red that we never spend one second thinking about which way they will go, Yet Trump right now is anywhere between 4 and 13 points below his winning margin of 2016. Numbers from Nate Silver’s website as of last night:
|State||% in 2016||% in 2020|
I’m not saying that Trump will lose any of what we should start calling the red, no-mask states. What I am saying is that if Trump can’t hold onto his support in reliably-red states, what does this say about whether he can come out ahead in any of the must-win, swing states? So the real story which should have been published by Vanity Fair wasn’t about a few older ladies who just can’t stop loving Donald Trump. The real story is how come so many people who loved him in 2016 have decided it’s time to end their love affair.
The big difference between 2016 and this year’s campaign is that Trump is now the incumbent, and for all the talk about the advantages of incumbency, the incumbent becomes the target when things go wrong. And how can anyone imagine that things haven’t gone wrong when the national Covid-19 death count is now well past 150,000, a number which includes Herman Cain, pictured (above) at the Tulsa rally without wearing a mask?