According to a report from Politico, Donald Trump's 2020 campaign officials fear they may have lost some of the key battleground states the president won in 2016 that propelled him to the Oval Office and are now setting their sights on trying to peel away a few other states that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won in order to salvage the election.
Having won the election in 2016 with a razor-thin win in the Electoral College while losing the popular vote by millions, Trump's campaign officials are looking at numbers that show him going down to defeat unless they can pull a rabbit out of a hat and grab a few states described as "Trump-adverse."
According to Politico's Gabby Orr and Marc Caputo, the president's team went into the 2020 election hoping to add states such as Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico and New Hampshire to expand his electoral vote total -- but now finds the president needs a few of them just to stave off defeat.
While some Trump aides are claiming that they fully expect to not only win, but expand his numbers in the Electoral College, privately a few are admitting that the president is losing two key rustbelt states Michigan and Wisconsin -- and that they need help elsewhere.
Additionally, the president's campaign is being forced to spend time and money in states that they normally would take for granted.
"To ensure its effectiveness, the campaign has recently moved to shore up its base states, including North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona and Iowa," the report notes. "The president’s standing among independents and seniors has eroded in those places amid his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, economic slowdown and unrest spurred by the killing of George Floyd."
Most worrying to the president's campaign officials is the possibility of losing Ohio and Florida and their critical combined 47 electoral votes.
“We’re shoring up the base of our house to build to 270. We need to solidify them the best we can, with Florida being the linchpin of all of it,” admitted a Trump adviser, adding that Iowa and Ohio are “closer than we want at this juncture.”
As for the Biden campaign, it is going after states where the president is showing weakness -- and being successful.
According to an internal Biden memo obtained by Politico, "We’re playing offense, buying programs like daytime Fox News and NASCAR to get in front of a large volume of Obama/Trump voters,” later adding, "Right from the get-go we’re establishing a presence in the Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville markets, [and] a strong presence in the Panhandle to get in front of white working-class voters who moved from Obama in ‘12 to Trump in ’16.”
"Biden is spending far less on advertising. He is on air only in the six battlegrounds Trump won in 2016: Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Arizona," Politico reports. "Biden leads Trump in all of those states, according to Real Clear Politics polling averages, which also show the Democrat ahead of Trump in the four states Trump campaign officials have eyed as potential pick-ups: Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico and New Hampshire.
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