2020: The Low-Hanging Fruits, Part II
Nevada is difficult to gauge for me, and possibly not only for me. Hillary won this, by 2.42%, in 2016. It seems reasonable to think a strong Trump campaign puts this in play. However, I remember the Republicans spending a lot of money here in 2016 and still losing. If you ask me, Minnesota is where I would spend my money first.
I am hearing that the Trump campaign is spending an awful lot here, and that they feel very confident. They must have data corroborating this. But to me this is still difficult, as it seems to me that Nevada has a lot of transients working in the entertainment industry. With more people coming and going, it becomes more difficult to give a State a well-defined “face”, or cultural traits (like you can do in the Rust Belt) and target your messages appropriately. I will add to this that I have no idea how many people have left Nevada after the shutdown of the entertainment industry, how many have returned, and how they feel about the Chinese Virus.
Still, the Governor is a Democrat; and, like all Democrats, he pursued the “let’s get into full panic mode, because it damages Trump” narrative. How many he forced to leave Nevada I don’t know. But I can’t imagine has so many fans. Nevada also has two Democrats senators. It seems to me that Nevada is a bit the contrary of Florida. Florida is said to hang in the balance, but has Governor and Senators all Republican. Nevada is said to be in play, but it seems to me that they tend to favour the Democrats. Still, the Trump campaign is confident and they are spending a lot. Let’s hope this goes well.
This low hanging fruit does not hang very low. Actually, if you ask me, it hangs quite high. However, it can still be reached. The Trump organisation here has dwarfed previous Republican efforts, whilst Democrats sits in their basement and await Mom’s permission to go out canvassing. Simply put, the Trump campaign this time has so much more money than in 2016, that they can afford this kind of push in more peripheral battlegrounds. It seems a bit like swimming against the current, but we shall see.
Honorable mention: Virginia
I will look at Virginia with particular interest. Not because I think that it can be easily won, but because I think that it will be a useful early indicator of the way the night will go. In 2016, Trump led in Virginia until the voter data from Fairfax County (heavily Democrat, and whose voter data tend to arrive last) toppled the situation, giving Hillary a very comfortable 5.32% win. If the vote counting rhythm follows the one of the last election, we should see whether an even more pronounced initial advantage for Trump tells us that the suburbs are going heavily for Trump; this would mean, if you ask me, game over and easy Trump victories in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, whose rural vote data tend to arrive later.
Plus, the Democrats have two danger factors at play in Virginia. Firstly, the Black population is around 20%, and they might leave 1% or 2% of votes on the ground on this demographic alone. Secondly, the heavily civil servants-dominated Fairfax County might, by now, have more Trump supporters than this was the case in 2016; you know, that type of “silent Trump voters” who are terrified of showing their colour in a, basically, DC-Style political monoculture, but actually like Trump. We shall see.
As a whole, I still feel very confident. I do not doubt that, at times, it will seem that the race is close. As it look now, I think that only complacency can defeat Trump. Paradoxically, the absurd polls will help the Trump campaign not to fall in the complacency trap.