Look, I promise. I am not going to show you some pie-in-the-sky electoral map to display how many ways there are for Biden to win. In fact, I’m not going to talk about Joe Biden at all. And I’m not going to blow sunshine up your ass about the rosy state of affairs either. I am going to simply show you the electoral map, from Trump’s point of view, and the easiest way to interpret it to show the peril that Trump is currently in.
First things first. When a President, any President, wins election, the first thing that he does is to thank his voters. And the minute his ass lands in the custom chair behind the Resolute Desk, the first thing he thinks of is how to attract more voters.
Because he won. He already knows which states are on his side. His challenge now is to find ways to adjust his wording and governance to try to attract voters from states where he didn’t win, in order to make his reelection in four years easier. You want to govern in a way that pleases the constituents in the states that voted for you in the first election, so they do again, and find opportunities to expand the map to force your next opponent to play defense. It’s just that simple.
The object is to go into your reelection feeling secure that the same voters in the same states that gave you a winning margin the first time will vote for you again, and to go to states where your last 4 years have increased your popularity, forcing your opponent to spread his resources.
Donald Trump is a political anomaly. He lost the popular vote in 2016, and scraped by in the electoral college by a bare 77,000 votes. This situation made Trump a prime candidate to do everything in his power to increase his popularity in states that he lost, in order give him an opportunity to put pressure on those states in his reelection campaign, forcing an opponent to invest resources to avoid a flip, and reducing his chances to flip Trump states.
Which made Trump’s reelection map ion 2020 almost absurdly simple. Trump simply had to hold all of the states that he won in 2016, the majority of which were traditional red states, and defend Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, which he flipped in 2016 to win the electoral college. Considering the fact that Trump has done nothing for four years except to pander to his most loyal base, it should mean that Trump could take the states that he won in 2016 as givens, and work to shore up his popularity in the three states that he flipped in 2016.
But it hasn’t worked out that way. Trump’s toxic personality and rhetoric, his divisive management style, and the unpopularity of almost all of the things that he has proposed and tried to push through in the last four years have only served to weaken his base. He has shed traditional GOP strong constituencies as white college educated women, suburban women, and even senior citizens and military and veteran voters.
And as such, instead of simply relying on states safely in the bank, and working in the last 8 days to consolidate his vote totals in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Trump is in trouble. Not only is Trump behind in all three states, two of them outside of the margin of error, but he is now trailing, tied, or within the margin of error in Iowa, Arizona, Ohio, Texas, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina, all states that he won in 2016.
Which makes Trump’s position untenable. Not only is Trump trailing in several battleground states he won in 2016, but his is badly trailing in the cash wars. While Trump is desperately jetting back and forth all over the country, holding 3-4 rallies a day to try to arouse the base. The Biden ticket, with the much welcomed addition of former President Barack Obama are now able to not only cover Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, but to sally forth to battleground states like Arizona, Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina, all of which are not only in play for the presidential race, but all of which have vulnerable Senate incumbents that could help to tip the balance of the Senate to the Democrats in 2020.
So, there ya go. rather than making his job of being reelected easier, Trump actually made it harder. If you’d like to educate yourself a little better, and see better what I’m talking about, just go to MSNBC.com and click on the electoral map. That will allow you to change states from red to blue, and see in real time what the impact on the electoral count would be. I strongly suggest you play with it a little bit, it will show you just how narrow Trump’s path to reelection has become.
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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.