Joe Biden has an overall early lead in the state of 6 percentage points, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average, and has led Trump in all 12 public polls released since early June.
Joe Biden – his party is not in power – so he is by definition a candidate for change. That’s a huge advantage, ”said Senator Bob Casey. Whatever Hillary Clinton did with her campaign schedule, she was eight years behind as a democratic president. So if you walk out of your party after eight years, you are not the candidate for change. ‘
Democratic elected officials, party leaders, and strategists in Pennsylvania said Biden is ahead of Trump’s mishandling of Covid-19 – which is particularly risky for seniors – and his broken campaign promises workers about major infrastructure spending and rewriting trade agreements for the better come. They believe voters like Biden because he is known as someone who can work down the aisle to solve the nation’s problems.
They argued that Biden is also supported by the fact that he is a resident of Scranton and a former Delaware senator, who has been covered by the Philadelphia Media Network for years. And they said Biden doesn’t upset GOP or wave voters like Clinton – instead he is a moderate white man who rarely makes waves in a state that has chosen more than his share of milquetoast white male politicians.
“Hating Joe Biden doesn’t make their base and their Fox News viewers the path Hillary and Nancy Pelosi and AOC take,” said Rep. Brendan Boyle, who endorsed Biden the day he launched his 2020 campaign. “You can make certain assumptions and wonder why that is. Is gender a factor? Is race a factor? I do not know. I have certain suspicions. ‘
Trump’s nickname for Biden, “ Sleepy Joe, ” is very similar to his name for Casey during the 2018 Senator reelection campaign, “ Sleeping Bob. ” Casey, who defeated his opponent Lou Barletta by 13 percentage points, said “there is something about it” that voters in Pennsylvania like non-flashy politicians. He added that a local columnist once “compared me to oatmeal.”
But for some Democrats, who were still hit by Trump’s upset in 2016, it is political malpractice to work out Trump.
“I don’t know how what happened in 2016 wouldn’t have healed a Pennsylvania Democrat from their swagger,” said John Fetterman, the Democratic Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. “In the end, it’s not much different from the confidence Clinton got.”
In 2016, Trump won Pennsylvania by 44,000 votes by walking a path that defied expectations: he won workers, often traditionally democratic areas of northeastern and northwestern Pennsylvania, rose in rural areas, and performed poorly in Philadelphia’s moderate suburbs. Overall, he carried suburban voters by 8 points and seniors by 10 points in the state, according to exit polls.
A July FOX poll of Pennsylvania found Biden who led Trump with 26 points among suburban voters and 7 points among seniors. Other studies show a closer race, such as a CNBC / Change Research poll that gave Biden a 2-point lead in the state.
Many of Trump’s campaign workers and allies said the polls – which included white voters without university degrees in 2016 – cast a ballot that Trump did significantly better than Mitt Romney.
“They’re completely wrong,” said Barletta, one of Trump’s first supporters in Congress. Two weeks before the election, I told then-Trump candidate, “Don’t believe the polls in Pennsylvania. They are wrong. ”
Some Republicans said the polls may be correct, especially when it comes to Trump’s slack support among suburban voters, but there is still time for Trump to recover largely because he still has the upper hand over the economy. Trump even leads or probes with Biden on the matter.
“I think it ultimately comes down to the economy. Even if you consider the pandemic, the implications of the pandemic will ultimately come down to the economy, ”said Charlie Gerow, a Harrisburg-based GOP strategist. “I’ve always been optimistic about President Trump’s prospects.”
Some democratic officials have said they are wary of Trump’s power over the economy. In an effort to reinforce one of its obvious weaknesses, Biden has outlined its economic recovery plans in recent months, including reviving the country’s manufacturing industry and boosting federal spending on American-made goods.
“I think the big challenge for our party will only continue to have an economic message and I urged the vice president’s team to do it,” said Casey. “They were already there, but I keep reminding them.”
To reduce Biden’s support of voters in the suburbs and older countries, Trump’s campaign spent at least $ 4.5 million on misleading campaign ads in Pennsylvania, claiming that the police will be rewarded by a Biden government. Biden has repeatedly said that he is against the idea.
Representative Dwight Evans, a Philadelphia Democrat representing a majority in the Black District, said he is concerned about the spots, as well as Trump’s attempts to raise fears over the recent civil unrest and crime in the biggest city from the state.
“When he talks about these beautiful suburbs and then says that democratic cities don’t work well, he throws codes out the window. He’s just plain obvious, ”he said. “I won’t deny that it bothers me.”
Trump’s ads in Pennsylvania have also denounced Biden’s previous support for serious crime bills and free trade deals, strategies he used against Clinton in 2016 to cut her support among colored voters and the white working class.
In view of Western Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry, America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC, has aired spots accusing Biden of wanting to eliminate fracking. Although he advocates concluding new lease contracts on federal land, Biden has not proposed banning fracking.
Ads by Biden’s campaign and a pro-Biden super PAC in the state are targeting Trump’s mismanagement of the corona virus. The pro-Biden American Bridge 21st Century super PAC also went against Trump stains, accusing Biden of being gentle with China with his own ad accusing Trump of it.
Trump’s team believes the ground game in Pennsylvania is a major force: it has been working in the state for months, while Biden’s team only announced hiring a state director in July.
“We are confident in where we are now in the state. We have made an unprecedented effort here on the ground in hiring staff and offices, ”said Ted Christian, a senior advisor to Trump’s campaign in Pennsylvania. “We now have 120 employees in the state. We have 29 offices. We have made nearly 4.4 million contacts with voters. And I can tell you that the energy existed here four years ago – and we have better infrastructure than we had. ‘
Biden’s campaign refused to share the number of workers it hired in the state. Sinceré Harris, a senior advisor to Biden’s Pennsylvania campaign, said the state party had set up a successful ground game here before Biden’s campaign set up activities to build on.
If the former vice president maintains his lead in Pennsylvania despite a later start, this would somewhat reflect the primary, if Biden won states in which he hadn’t even campaigned. For comparison, candidates with rumors of superior field operations such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were unsuccessful.
Speaking to reporters last month, Trump campaign leader Bill Stepien praised the fact that republicans have registered more voters than Democrats in Pennsylvania since 2016 – about five times as much. The team said it is working to identify new or rare voters. who support Trump, something it did successfully in 2016.
“The RNC has made an investment of $ 350 million to renew our data program, and getting earlier personnel on the ground will help us identify these pockets and these specific voters,” said Christian. “And we really believe there are still votes to be had.”
Many Pennsylvania Democrats don’t buy it – and remain cautiously optimistic.
“In mid-November, after Joe Biden wins, after the Democrats win a substantial number of seats in the House and possibly win the Senate back, I think we’ll look at a year of polling and we’ll look back at the 2020 race and we’ll basically saying that in an incredibly tumultuous year, things didn’t move much in terms of public opinion, “Boyle said.