Pick a Lane, Joe
He’s leading in the polls, but it’s time to double down on a winning strategy
All the leading polls are indicating that Biden is going to win in November. But, as we’ve learned before (painfully so, for some) the polls aren’t always right. Aside from the fact that the polls aren’t always right there are, of course, statistical models that show Trump as the winner. I’m sure his campaign managers are paying close attention to those models.
Here’s the thing though, whilst Biden is ahead in the polls he’s at risk of spreading himself too thinly in the run up to the election. Team Biden would do well to pick a path and put this election in the bag.
Here’s the two routes:
Winning back the “lost Democrats”
This route would see Biden double-down on winning back the lost democrats in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. These states are already leaning towards Biden but it’s still not a done deal. Regaining these three states would reclaim the Democrats’ traditional stomping ground and give the party a real good news story.
However, they’re not yet confidently in the Biden column. And, let’s not forget the lessons of 2016, anything could happen. In short, this route sees Biden focus on Pennsylvania (and Wisconsin and Michigan) to put him behind the Resolute desk in Pennsylvania Avenue
For what it’s worth, this is the strategy that I would be leaning strongly towards if I was in charge of the Biden campaign. I think this approach most likely secures Biden a non-risky win but it’s not necessarily going to be a ‘big news story’.
Picking up moderate republicans
Here’s the thing though, there’s also a possible route to the presidency that gives the democrats an interesting and exciting springboard into 2024 and even 2028. Focusing on picking up moderate republicans who are republican by ideology but can’t stomach another 4 years of a Trump presidency could be a successful tactic. Florida with 29 electoral college votes is an obvious candidate for focus here but also North Carolina, Georgia and Arizona.
In this scenario those states would move a significant number of electoral points into the Biden column. If these states moved to the Democrats and he was able to pick up the industrial north that could be a landslide which is an attractive proposition for someone who is taking their third run at the Oval office and is likely to be a one-term President.
Additionally, if this scenario were to play out it puts the Democrats in a really exciting position moving into 2024 and 2028 and potentially reenergises the moderate elements of the Democratic party which have been under increasing pressure and scrutiny following the tectonic failure of 2016.
Here’s the thing though, this option has some risks. If Biden becomes too unfocused a worse case scenario is that all of the states mentioned so far go red in November giving Trump a commanding mandate to govern for another four years.
It’s nice to have options. But, the Democrats would do well to just pick a route and put the election in the bag! It’s tempting to focus on everything but this is a landmark election for them and if they lose it will cause some elemental shifts in the party.