OPINION: A direct path to reelection? Not so fast!

Kevin Luhrs, Volunteer

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If you haven’t read the previous article about Donald Trump’s long path to re-election, you can read it here

Some may be thinking from that article: Democrats may look at the electoral map and say, “Wow! We’re really in for a Joe Biden landslide, aren’t we?” and in this reporter’s humble opinion, today it would be. 

However, not so fast. Remember, we still have 63 days until election day. While former Vice President Biden still has a large lead in the general election polls, the race is tightening in many swing states. 

This is a tenuous lead, predicated on states that lean Democratic, not states that are “likely” or “safe” Democratic according to Cook Political Report. The states you need to look for are Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. If these states go into the tossup column, this could easily turn in the president’s favor.  


To illustrate, here is some math on this map NBC News made for the public.

Imagine Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin move from the lean Democrat column into tossup territory and go to Trump. He retains Georgia, Arizona, and North Carolina, which today are in the tossup column. He also retains Ohio, which is in the lean R column (the previous article had this as a tossup). That’s 135 electoral votes put back into Trump’s column, and we’re right back to where we started in 2016. 305 electoral votes to 233 electoral votes for former Vice President Biden. This is an entirely feasible scenario, and one Democrats need to look out for. 


Of course, Trump would need to campaign hard in these states to retain them, and he would need to absolutely shatter the perception by the general public that former Vice President Biden can handle the coronavirus pandemic better than he can. The president has to hit Biden with overwhelming force if he wants to win. To that end, he has already started, and Biden needs to be careful not to fall into a Trump stereotype of his candidacy. In ads funded by the GOP, former Vice President Biden has been portrayed as a dangerous figure who will defund the police, one ad questions his mental faculties and another claims that the “radical left” have taken over the Democratic Party. 

We can harken back to 1988, when former Vice President George H.W. Bush was 17 points behind the Democratic candidate, Michael Dukakis after the Democratic National Convention. Lee Atwater, Bush’s campaign manager, once said he wanted to “strip the bark off the little bastard” and if we’re going to be honest, he really did. Bush’s campaign went negative, and they hit Dukakis hard on criminal justice through a racist attack ad named “Willie Horton”. Bush then carried 40 states and won the popular vote: 53% to 46%.

Stories such as these give a glimmer of hope to the president’s supporters and they should. The polls can shift quickly and President Trump’s base is made up of extraordinarily loyal, fierce competitors. If Democrats want to win this November, they need to match the Trump campaign’s competitiveness with equal vigor.

Participate in our electoral process in any way you can. Cut through the noise of this election and stay informed on matters of public policy and to search for the facts diligently. On November 3rd, be sure to vote your conscience, no matter your political party affiliation or lack thereof. 


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].