One presidential candidate is jetting around the country holding rallies wherever voters want a glimpse, while the other candidate threw a party, and it seems no one showed up. Are two genius and opposite campaign strategies in play during the sprint to the finish, or is America witnessing a 2016 remix as apathy seems to be consuming a fair bit of the American electorate?
After the lead-up to a Hillary Clinton landslide and the embarrassing and, to some, horrifying result in 2016 of Trump winning in an electoral tsunami, most folks are trusting the polls as one would a bear being polite coming out of hibernation. The electorate is wary, to say the least.
Do signs point to a calmer, gentler strategy winning in November, or boisterous and fearless voters putting Trump back into office for an additional four years?
Trump’s Alternatives to Packing Stadium Venues
The adage “necessity is the mother of invention” is on display in Trump’s campaign strategy. When faced with not having the ability to pack stadium venues with parking-lot overflow crowds, the president and his flock of voters have simply adjusted to COVID-19 restrictions. To say they’ve made the best of a bad situation is a gross understatement.
Popping up across the nation are Red Wave Convoys, thousands of vehicles nose to tail parading down interstates to Main Street, trumpeting MAGA over loudspeakers, and flying Old Glory and Trump/Pence flags. Miami logged 30,000 parade vehicles driven by Hispanics; Minnesota, another 3,000 raucous participants; and streets in Manhattan were shut down by motorists shouting, “Four more years.”
Even California residents jumped onboard the rolling rallies, adding their own message, “Recall Newsom,” the Democratic governor continually losing credibility and popularity in the Golden State.
The Trump campaign is spirited, motivated, and optimistic, from record-breaking boat parade attendance (affectionately known as Trumptillas), Tarmac rallies, and White House balcony appearances. Mostly opposite of the Biden/Harris strategic plan to upend an incumbency.
Quiet, Reserved, Without Apology
The Biden campaign has taken a decidedly different approach. Instead of hope and change and prosperity, the message is clear: Trump is a bad person, and we need to replace him. Climate change will kill us all in 12 years if Biden loses. Human rights will be non-existent. There will be no jobs. Women will be back in the kitchen. It is certain Armageddon. Yikes.
Biden and all Democrats have promoted the idea that this country is not safe without a mask mandate and a complete lockdown of a once-vibrant economy. Neither Biden nor his running mate Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) make campaign appearances unless scripted or controlled. Neither spends any time speaking off the cuff with the press corps, allowing big-box media and other Democratic politicians to speak on their behalf. It’s safe, with a steady message on point with the official platform.
And it’s genius, unless it backfires. Genius, as there is a constant, well-rehearsed, and rehashed statement, without the threat of making a wrong statement, like calling someone “that senator who was a Mormon” instead of Mitt Romney.
Biden has appeared in public, and it has not gone well image-wise. On a Pennsylvania trip to backtrack his stance on fracking, Biden spoke to a mostly empty room – save a handful of socially distanced reporters. Most recently, both Biden and Harris visited Arizona on a campaign stop and met with tribal leaders and the late Senator John McCain’s wife, Cindy, carrying on her dead husband’s hatred for the president. A handful of people had access and few lined the streets or sought to meet or hear the candidates in person, almost as if the voters weren’t as important as the media spin.
2020 Is a Different Animal
Adapting to new and exciting ways to campaign is something both political parties have done successfully. Democrats are mask-wearing and mask-shaming. Trump people seem to embrace freedom over fear; having their chosen leader rally in a matter of hours after a bout of COVID-19 only bolstered Trump’s support.
But the Democrats are playing it safe – keeping a man with obvious cognitive challenges away from potential mishaps – and putting their faith in mail-in balloting. Trump fans, as many as possible amassing at massive rallies, are already in the throes of early voting. Which strategy will be victorious? Tune in to Liberty Nation on Nov. 3 and see for yourself.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.