A Big Florida Poll, Nevada Titans, Trump on Defense: This Week in the 2020 Race

Welcome to our weekly analysis of the status of the 2020 campaign.

  • In good news for President Trump, The Cook Political Report made two changes to its election forecast, moving Florida from “lean Democrat” to “toss up”, and Nevada from “likely Democrat” to “Layan Democrat”. Trump advisors see Florida in particular as a win. The shifts reflect Mr. Biden’s potential weakness with Latino voters, and Trump’s poll numbers have stabilized after months of protests following the assassination of George Floyd.

  • Biden campaign continues to spend on airwaves $ 32 million On broadcast television during the last week, while the Trump campaign only spent about $ 10 million. Spending on Facebook is also nearly as high as the Biden campaign $ 3.7 million In the last week when the Trump team spent $ 3.2 million On the platform.

  • A Monmouth University poll released this week shows Biden holding Seven point lead On Trump among voters nationwide. Among all registered voters, just 37 percent They said they would definitely vote for Trump, Vs. 43 percent Joe was certain he would vote for Biden.

  • But an NBC News / Marist College poll in Florida offered some rare positive news on the voting front for President: He and Biden were Tied at 48 percent. Each of the potential voters in the state is supported by Trump 50 percent Of Latino voters (a particularly difficult demographic for accurate voting).

For the president, the week began with him defending himself against a report across the Atlantic and ended with him defending him against a report by veteran journalist Bob Woodward.

Both story lines – one about his perceived disrespect for the military, the other, purposefully playing under the deadly nature of the coronovirus – threatened to stand with his voters, whom he particularly favors and Counting the superiors. Mr. Trump, himself, was once again the story, less than 55 days before the election – a time when veteran political strategists said that the person who holds a referendum is often the loser.

Mr. Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president, tried to capitalize on the negative news reports during an appearance in Michigan, where he blamed the epidemic’s presidential handling of the ongoing recession. Conversely, Mr. Trump, also in Michigan, tried to deliver a message about a great American retreat, complete with a revival of packed, old-school Trump rallies, now regular at airport hangars in battlegrounds. Are holding

There is nothing for this president, but with the week left before Election Day, every negative news cycle matters a bit more. Here is how it is played.

For Mr. Woodward’s first book about the Trump presidency, Mr. Trump did not participate in the project and (are you sitting down?) Someone trying to shape this story on behalf of the White House Department of Communications in 2018 Was not planned. This left the senior officers freely, in an effort to maintain their reputation, and others speaking to Mr. Woodward out of fear that they would be the only ones who were not.

For Mr. Woodward’s second book, Mr. Trump has exaggerated, this time attending 18-on-the-record sessions with the author. “I gave him some time,” Mr. Trump told Sean Hannity, the Fox News host earlier this week. “But, as always, the books he writes don’t work very well, maybe.” Why did he do this?

  • Mr. Trump feels he can attract anyone. His willingness to speak at length with Mr. Woodward despite the shouts of “fake news”, always underscores the reality of Mr. Trump’s relationship with the news media. Mr. Trump likes to talk to reporters – particularly the famous ones – and is driven, in large part, by his desire to earn positive coverage from the establishment.

  • But it can be an enchantment, Mr. Woodward’s position (even if he had not read his books).

  • And he doesn’t care. Unlike other authors who have written ineffective accounts of the Trump White House, Mr. Woodward is yet to receive the book pre-sale bump that usually comes after the president condemns the author and his work on Twitter. Mr. Trump resigned for the fact that he played, perhaps because the harmful material appeared to come directly from the president’s mouth. Rather than condemning Mr. Woodward, Mr. Trump is defending himself.

In recent weeks, Mr. Biden has faced a challenge to Hillary Clinton – how to weaponize Mr. Trump’s scandals. New revelations about the president’s conduct are dominated by headlines and cable news chyrons, including his disparaging comments about members of the military reported in The Atlantic, as written by Mr. Woodward, and by Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump K is another book by a former personal lawyer and confidant. .

But those stories are hard to finalize, and breaking voters is even harder. Here’s how Mr. Biden is trying:

  • Dispatch Surrogate, Not Candidate: Following the release of Mr. Woodward’s book The Atlantic article and highlights, Mr. Biden’s campaign made a media conference call with high-profile surrogates, including Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Sherrod Brown of Ohio. To do this, the campaign tried to prolong a news cycle when information was lost to its rival. Biden advisors continue a deal he has made since Mr. Biden’s nomination: While his primary campaign focused on Mr. Trump and electability, his general election strategy has often left the president attacking others.

  • Attention to viruses: When Mr. Biden targets Mr. Trump, it is usually on the issues with which he feels most comfortable. He has tried to make this election a referendum on how Mr. Trump handled the epidemic, and weaponized new information that influenced his argument that the administration shirk its responsibility. But the campaign stayed away from more gossip elements that animate Mr. Trump’s opponents on social media. Books such as Mr. Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, and accounts of his time with the President by Mr. Cohen have rarely found their way into Mr. Biden’s campaign message.

  • Unlike the President: Unlike Mrs. Clinton, who was dealing with the possibility of Mr. Trump becoming president, Mr. Biden is dealing with reality. And as the scandals have continued in his administration, Democrats believe voters who were ready to take the chance to replace Mr. Trump in office are now ready for course reform. This is another element of how the Biden campaign intends to use Mr. Trump’s words against him, arguing that Mr. Biden would bring calm and stability to the White House rather than a stream of rule-breaking headlines.

With both candidates in Michigan this week, and top surrogates in Minnesota, including Donald Trump Jr. and Jill Biden, the trip was a sign of how much attention both campaigns are paying to the Midwest. Intense interest in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania has dwarfed other areas. There are many ways to get 270 electoral votes, but here Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden think the campaign will be won in the country’s industrial center.

  • White Working Class: Both Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden are figures who have curbed their appeal over having a specific relationship with white working-class voters, a demographic that was not enthusiastic about Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy. Mr. Biden’s advisors believe the population is better suited to succeed with their candidate, and states with industrial backgrounds such as Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are a good way to test that appeal.

  • Black voters: There are more Latino voters in the general election, but Democrats and Republicans probably spent more time in this election focusing on black voters than any other minority group. Mr. Biden has leaned on his personal relationship with former President Barack Obama, and Republicans have projected Democrats as irresponsible stewards of black urban communities. More than other battlegrounds, such as Florida or Out West, industrialized states have cities with black turnouts that can set statewide totals. These include places like Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Cleveland.

  • Mr. Biden’s campaign is not expanding the map: At the beginning of the race, some Democratic factions collaborated with the Biden campaign to expand traditional battlefield maps and invest in states such as Texas and Georgia, with demographic shifts beneficial to Democrats. However, if the candidate’s itinerary is any indication, the campaign is focusing efforts on traditional battlefields – for now. Mr. Biden’s campaign announced another Midwest trip to Minnesota in the coming week. It states that Mrs Clinton won in 2016 by expanding the map of new states, which has long proved to be silly gold for the party.