President Donald Trump's campaign manager Brad Parscale took to the editorials in the Washington Post to claim Trump really is winning in places that it counts. Political columnist Paul Waldman, however, thinks Parscale is naive if he thinks 39 percent of really excited voters can lead Trump to victory.
"All that money, all those ads, all those videos and phone calls and emails could add up to a gigantic mountain of nothing," Waldman began.
Parscale bragged about the Trump war chest, the Trump field plan and a slew of ads popping up all over the country, including solidly red-states like Oklahoma, where Trump ads mix with Republican congressional candidates. The money doesn't look great for Trump.
Parscale said that Trump's campaign and the GOP has raised $947 million so far and has $295 million in the bank. The dollar amounts are huge, but for them to have spent $650 million already and still only be at 39 percent should be an indication that nothing they're doing is working.
Waldman wondered where all of that money went.
"Some of it was on making those 45 million voter contacts. A lot was on ads, both on TV and social media. A lot went to consultants, many of whom will be buying vacation homes come November," he mocked Parscale, who was outed for scoring $94 million from the Trump campaign.
"The inescapable fact is that they’ve spent more than Hillary Clinton did in all of 2016, only to put themselves behind by 10 points," he noted.
He wondered if no ads, no voter contacts or social media campaigns would have earned them any more than where they are.
It isn't that former Vice President Joe Biden is running a superior campaign, so much as it is the Trump campaign doesn't seem to be learning from their mistakes.
"Instead, what matters is more fundamental things that have accumulated over the last four years," wrote Waldman. "There is deep displeasure with Trump — his repellent personal conduct, his corruption, and most of all the inexcusable denial and incompetence that has led to 128,000 Americans dead from COVID-19, a number that could well exceed 200,000 by election day."
None of those numbers depend on the number of retweets Trump gets or whatever new social media campaign Parscale comes up with. Parscale argues that all that matters is enthusiasm, but 45 million excited voters can't surpass 100 million luke-warm voters. There is certainly an enthusiasm gap as Trump's followers line up to drink the Trump 2020 kool-aid. Parscale is banking that the 55 percent of Americans don't go to the polls or can be suppressed.
"The Trump campaign can say all the nasty things it wants about Biden and have them echoed by its amen chorus on Fox News and OAN, but they’ve been doing that for months, and it hasn’t made a difference," said Waldman. "All it does is reinforce the opinions of people who were already going to vote for Trump."
He explained that there's absolutely still a chance that Trump could win, but it won't be because of something his campaign does, it will come from real-world events that no one can anticipate.