Writing for CNN on Saturday, election forecaster Harry Enten explained how President Donald Trump’s recent, racist behavior lies in his desire to recreate the same electoral conditions that gave him a victory in 2016 in the presidential election next year.
“The Trump strategy is pretty simple: 1. Drive up the unfavorable ratings of his Democratic rival as he did in 2016 in order to compensate for his own low ratings. 2. Bank on an electoral college/popular vote split as he did in 2016. 3. Use a campaign of racial resentment to drive up turnout even more among groups favorable toward the President,” wrote Enten. As he noted, Democrats have excellent odds to flip back Michigan and Pennsylvania, but they will have to work harder to win back any of the other states Trump flipped from the 2012 Obama camp — in particular Wisconsin, which was the closest state after those two.
“Trump’s making a bet that he can link the Democratic nominee to this ‘squad’ — the aforementioned group of congresswomen of color that he has lobbed attacks at. Remember, that’s exactly how he won in 2016: an unpopular Democratic opponent,” said Enten. “In Wisconsin, for example, Trump had a favorable rating of only 35%. He won the state because he ran up a 37-point margin against Clinton among the 22% of the electorate who had an unfavorable view of both Clinton and Trump.”
While this strategy is fairly straightforward, Enten said, there are many ways Trump could fail — and ways Democrats could defeat it.
“Trump’s Republican Party lost the 2018 midterm elections, which were held under similar conditions as today. Trump’s net approval rating was -9 points in the 2018 exit poll. The result was that Trump’s Republican Party lost 40 House seats and the House popular vote by 9 points,” wrote Enten. “In the final weeks of that cycle, Republicans were not helped by Trump continuously pointing out in the final weeks of that campaign that migrants were coming up through Central America. Voters who decided in the final month of the 2018 campaign were as likely to vote Democratic as those who decided before then.”
“It remains unclear if Trump can compensate his unpopularity by demonizing the Democratic nominee this time around,” said Enten. “And remember, Trump also risks raising turnout among nonwhite voters. That’s not a big deal in a state like Wisconsin, which is very white. It could, however, take Sunbelt states moving to the left, like Arizona and Texas, and put them into play for the Democrats.”
Enten’s analysis suggests important things for Democrats: stay unified, fight on the Midwest turf that Trump only barely won before, and focus on turnout in racially diversifying Southern areas that are trending left. If this happens, Trump’s narrow path to victory in 2016 may not be replicable.
State Department retaliated against NPR by kicking reporter off Mike Pompeo’s plane: report
The U.S. State Department appears to be retaliating against National Public Radio (NPR) after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suffered a caught-on-tape meltdown following an interview with NPR "All Things Considered" co-host Mary Louise Kelly.
According to PBS "Newshour" reporter Nick Schifrin, the State Department kicked NPR diplomatic correspondent Michele Kelemen off of Pompeo's jet.
"State Department removes NPR’s Michele Kelemen from Sec. Pompeo plane--where she was scheduled for a pool radio rotation--during upcoming trip to London, Kiev," Schifrin reported.
AFP State Department correspondent Shaun Tandon blasted the move on behalf of the State Department Correspondent's Association.
Legal expert calls Susan Collins statement on Bolton news ‘weak tea’ – and drops bombshell: Chief Justice can issue subpoena
Former American Constitution Society president Caroline Fredrickson has some harsh words for U.S. Senator Susan Collins over the Maine Republican lawmaker's statement on the John Bolton bombshell. Fredrickson also dropped a bombshell of her own, about the powers of the Chief Justice during an impeachment trial.
"It's less than weak tea, it's not even water," Fredrickson said on MSNBC Monday morning. She was referring to Collins' remarks on news Bolton's unpublished book reveals Trump personally told the former National Security Advisor in August that he wanted to continue to withhold aid to Ukraine to extort that country into producing "dirt" on Joe Biden.
‘She will lose my vote’: Maine voters tell MSNBC they’re ready to kick Susan Collins out of office
MSNBC traveled to Maine this week to get a sense of how voters there feel about Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) -- and it looks like the moderate Republican is making a lot of people unhappy.
In interviews, both supporters and opponents of President Donald Trump's impeachment said they were upset with how Collins is sitting on the fence and wringing her hands about whether to call witnesses at the president's Senate impeachment trial.
"She will lose my vote when she runs again," pro-impeachment Maine voter Stevie Colburn tells MSNBC, although she also held out hope that Collins would agree to call witnesses and subpoena documents in the president's trial.