Wednesday, June 17, 2020


Don't make the same mistake, Joe.

It will be tempting for Joe Biden, concerned about Trump supporters accepting the legitimacy of a Biden victory in November, to make the same error Hillary Clinton made in 2016 when the Democratic nominee on November 2, 2016 decided to

swing through the usual key target states for any Democratic candidate: Ohio, Florida, North Carolina – and Arizona?

On Wednesday, Clinton will visit the Grand Canyon State for the first time since winning the Democratic nomination, a move that signals the campaign’s increasing confidence in her chances of turning a traditionally red state blue.

“This is very rare,” said Richard Herrera, an associate professor in the school of politics and global studies at Arizona State University, of a visit from a Democratic presidential nominee. Democrats have carried the state only once since Harry Truman was in office: Bill Clinton in 1996....

A number of polls in the past few months have shown Clinton slightly ahead or within striking distance of Trump in the Grand Canyon State. The RealClearPolitics polling average has Trump ahead by about one percentage point.

Clinton’s visit is a continuation of the campaign’s vigorous push in the state. Early last month, the campaign announced that it had ramped up its efforts in the state, investing another $2m to be spent on TV and digital advertising as well as voter registration efforts.

Ahead of her south-western swing, the campaign released on Wednesday a pair of Spanish- and English-language TV and radio ads aimed at mobilizing the Latino community against Trump. The ads are titled “27 million strong”, a reference to the estimated number of eligible Latino voters.

On Thursday, Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine will deliver a speech entirely in Spanish at a community center in Phoenix and will hold a rally at a high school in Tucson, a rare blue bastion in the state.

Last week, the campaign deployed top surrogates to rally troops in the state, including Senator Bernie Sanders, Chelsea Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama.

One extra day spent by the candidate in Wisconsin, Michigan, or Pennsylvania probably would not have turned the tide in any of those states. However, the campaign also had sent Kaine, Sanders, C. Clinton, and M. Obama there and had spent two million dollars on advertising and voter registration in Arizona.

If Clinton had spent those resources in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, she may very well have carried the day in those states and thereby won a majority in the Electoral College. (Clinton did hold a massive rally with Barack and Michelle Obama and Bruce Springsteen in Philadelphia, Pa., a state in which she was favored, the night before the election. She then lost.)

Hillary Clinton didn't want merely to win. She wanted a mandate- a mandate for her policies, but primarily a mandate to quell (she hoped) any complaint that she would not have won the election except for it being "rigged," as Donald Trump was charging. Nonetheless, no matter what the margin, Trump would have complained the results were illegitimate.

But for Joe Biden as for Hillary Clinton, the magic number is 270. (It's 269 for the Republican.) It's not 306 (Trump's number in 2016); not 300; nor even 271. It's 270.

That's one of the reasons there is no reason for thisexcitement:
There are now 119,000 record deaths in the USA from Covid-19.  The unemployment rate is over 13%. There have been protests, many of them punctuated by police violence, in nearly a thousand towns across the USA. The incumbent President signs an executive order on police reform and is surrounded by nine law enforcement officials- only one black and none female, not a good look. As of now- prior to rallies he intends to hold in the near future- President Trump has been largely tied down, mostly unable to strike back against his November opponent.

And he's behind by all of two points in Michigan, which Hillary Clinton lost by .4% and assumed she'd win.  

A poll is only a snapshot, and this one nearly five months out in a country which looks far different (and far worse) than it did five months ago.

Under the circumstances, strange and ever-changing circumstances, these are not good numbers for Joe Biden. Hopefully, though, by early October he will know what states he needs to win. And these are not those which, if won, would hand him a mandate. These are the states he needs to win to get to 270. That's 270, not one electoral vote lower or higher.

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