web analytics

Trump Storms Into Biden’s Blue America

As Biden beats a path to Pennsylvania, Trump takes a road less traveled.

by | May 30, 2024 | Articles, Good Reads, Opinion, Politics

Even as pundits everywhere work overtime to calculate the political effect of the upcoming verdict in the Trump trial – will an acquittal, conviction or hung jury help, hurt or make little difference for the 45th president? – there are more conventional and reliable methods for gauging the state of a presidential campaign. And the most effective way to do so, other than reliable and widespread polling, is to examine the candidate’s schedule. Where advisers choose to invest time and treasure is perhaps most indicative of their genuine view of their candidate’s strengths and weaknesses and where he needs to secure his base or expand his reach. Ultimately, wittingly or unwittingly, it reveals an optimistic or pessimistic outlook on the race.

To use an extreme example, if Joe Biden needs to travel to deep-blue California to secure that state or Donald Trump feels it necessary to campaign in ruby-red Mississippi, it is an unmistakable sign that his campaign is going off the rails. To that point, when Joe Biden announced a new initiative, the rather stark “Black Voters for Biden-Harris” in Philadelphia on Wednesday, he was trying to win back support from his most crucial demographic group, one that should have been locked down by now. Having to invest so much of his limited energy to securing his base is an ominous sign for a campaign that should be thinking of ways to expand its appeal by this point in the campaign.

In light of the incumbent’s travel plans, or lack thereof, the Biden re-election campaign and its champions in elite media are now essentially admitting that the president will have to win all three battleground states of the upper Midwest — Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin — to secure a second term. Unless all polling to date is wrong, as Biden constantly suggests, or a Trump conviction in his Manhattan trial changes the contours of the race, Biden’s path to four more years is undoubtedly narrow. The president’s campaign is now desperate enough to send the 80-year-old, Trump-deranged Robert De Niro out on Tuesday (May 28) for a rambling, unhinged rant in front of the Manhattan courthouse where Trump’s trial had entered its final stages, declaring Trump is out to destroy the world.

Conversely, if a candidate makes bold moves to appear in regions where his opponent is the clear favorite, it demonstrates optimism about his prospects. And, despite a legal Sword of Damocles hanging over his head, that has been the case of late with Donald Trump.

Trump Derangement Itself on Trial

Of course, New York is hardly in play, but Biden’s lead there is just 9 points, down from 22 one year ago in polling by Siena, after he crushed Trump by 23 points in the Empire State in 2020. That shrunken advantage is certainly indicative of the national trend, and in response to his slim path to victory, this president has become almost an unofficial resident of Pennsylvania, just a short ride from his home in Delaware. The state is considered a bellwether for the nation writ large, and Biden established his campaign headquarters in Philadelphia in 2020. On Wednesday he made his fifth trip to the City of Brotherly Love and seventh to Pennsylvania in 2024 alone. Vice President Kamala Harris also has campaigned in the Keystone State three times in the last several weeks.

New banner Memo - From the Desk of Senior Political Analyst Tim Donner 1But as is so often the case, Biden had nothing on his calendar Tuesday, and after his appearance in Philadelphia, he is headed back to the beach again for the weekend, bringing again into question the seeming lack of urgency from a candidate who is clearly losing the race with just over five months until Election Day.

Indeed, the walls have been closing in on the incumbent, with four other states universally considered pivotal to the outcome of the election — North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada — seemingly out of Biden’s reach at this point. This leaves the president no choice but to spend most of his time in the trio of upper Midwest battlegrounds he needs to sweep. Together with the states he won before and is likely to win again, sweeping Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin would get Biden to 269 electoral votes, and he would then need to either pull off a big upset in a red state or capture a decisive 270th vote in Nebraska, where one of the state’s four votes is up for grabs in the most Democrat district in an otherwise deep-red state.

In sharp contrast, while it seemed being locked down in Manhattan might cripple his campaign, Trump has taken full advantage of his persecution, speaking daily to the cameras and directly to audiences ordinarily hostile to Republicans. He has drawn an outsized crowd of more than 100,000 in blue New Jersey – Biden leads in the Garden State by 7%, after he won there by 16% in 2020 — plus an almost unthinkable 20,000 or more in the midnight-blue Bronx, while adding in stops at a union gathering and a Manhattan bodega. And while the left mocks Trump for visiting places he has little or no hope of winning, the former president has demonstrated to the electorate his willingness to talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime, friendly or hostile, while Biden remains distant from the people.

“President Trump goes to the bright-blue Bronx and another political party’s convention [Libertarian], a week before that he goes to bright-blue Minnesota, and before that, he has stops at the Teamsters headquarters and SneakerCon and even a town hall on CNN during the Republican primary,” campaign adviser Jason Miller texted Politico over the weekend. “What’s now clear is that President Trump is changing the game and living in what normally would be considered Joe Biden’s political territory, and this has to terrify Democrats.”

A Brief History of Overconfidence and Desperate Gambits

Political history is replete with lost opportunities, missing what was in plain sight, and failed gambits such as De Niro’s clumsy attack that broke Biden’s explicit promise to avoid commenting on the legal travails of his opponent. Al Gore was blasted for ignoring and losing his home state of Tennessee, costing him the 2000 election. Vice President Dick Cheney was sent 5,000 miles to Hawaii on the eve of the 2004 election in a failed attempt to secure the deep blue state’s three electoral votes, though he and Bush 43 still won re-election In 2012, Mitt Romney behaved as if he had a shot at Pennsylvania by holding a rally in Pittsburgh on Election Day itself, only to lose the state decisively.

Then there was 2016, when Hillary Clinton’s famous overconfidence and inattention to Wisconsin and Michigan, while spending time and money in states she was set up to lose, was blamed for her crushing losses behind the one-time “blue wall.” That year, pundits spoke of Trump having to pull an “inside straight” to upset the heavily favored former first lady, senator, and secretary of state. He somehow pulled it off, and, ironically, that is exactly what Biden will have to do now to take down Trump.

The 45th president, despite being targeted and frozen in place by a nakedly biased judge and bloodthirsty prosecutors, one of whom was sicked on Trump directly from Biden’s Justice Department, is brimming with confidence enough to travel directly to the belly of the blue beast. Meanwhile, 46 continues to employ a Rose Garden strategy, acting as if all is well, he is leading, and all he has to do is watch Trump be convicted and keep showing up in Pennsylvania. Trump supporters can only hope he continues down the same path.

Read More From Tim Donner

Latest Posts

Trump Owns His Own Name

In 2016, Marco Rubio sparred sharply with Donald Trump as the two vied for the GOP presidential nomination, at...

Trump Opens Up About New VP Option

With the Republican National Convention coming up this July, former President Donald Trump is one step closer to...

EV Overload – C5 TV

America could be looking at a government bailout if the industry stalls out....

Chicago’s Homeless Population Boom

Sanctuary cities like Chicago are finding out just how heavy a burden they signed up for as migrants pour across...

Biden’s Blue State Buzzkill

Political analysts have rightly focused on the seven states considered battlegrounds in the 2024 presidential...

Biden’s Border Gambit – C5 TV

How far will the administration allow unchecked illegal immigration to go?...