the wake of the Democratic and Republican conventions and with a
little over seven weeks to go, Biden’s national lead over
Donald Trump has held steady at nearly 7 percent. However, Trump is
closing in the polls of battleground states - tied in Florida and
Texas and within and/or just outside the margin of error in Michigan,
Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, which put Trump over the top in 2016. To
win, Trump needs to prevail in at least one of these three states and
to hold on to everything else he won.
he is aggressively targeting them, his efforts are being hampered
because unlike in 2016 when Republicans controlled both legislative
houses in Michigan and Wisconsin and heavily influenced the outcomes
of the presidential election, these three states are now helmed by
Democratic governors. In addition, Trump now faces two additional
obstacles of African American Lt. Governors in Michigan and
Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes was the key to the Democratic victory over
Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who was heavily financed by the Koch
Brothers and other billionaire far right benefactors in the 2018
election. Walker lost by 33,000 votes. Those votes came out of
Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, and Dane Counties, which account for the
overwhelming majority of the Black population in a state that is
approximately 90 percent white. The state’s small Black and
Latinx populations cast a lion’s share of their votes for Tony
Evers, the Democrat, over Walker a two-term incumbent.
Michigan’s 2018 gubernatorial race, Gretchen Whitmer, a
Democratic former state legislator and county prosecutor, ran for an
open gubernatorial seat as her predecessor, Gov. Rick Snyder, was
term-limited. She was able to best her Republican opponent, with her
African American Lt. Gov. running mate, Garlin Gilchrist, a champion
of community change organizing in Detroit who spearheaded increased
turnout in Michigan’s five majority-Black cities - Detroit,
Benton Harbor, Inkster, Southfield, and Highland Park.
African American turnout in these Democratic strongholds doomed
Hillary Clinton’s chances of carrying Michigan in the 2016
presidential election in a state Trump carried by 10,000 votes.
Trump’s law and order xenophobic rants have not moved the
electoral needle in his direction. And he is therefore unlikely to
carry either Wisconsin or Michigan in 2020. He is also trailing in
Arizona, which is poised to elect another Democratic U.S. Senator
along with Biden for President. While Trump is running out of time to
turn the race in his favor, we cannot count him out just yet.
Trump maintains control of the electoral apparatus in several red and
blue states and has shown he will do anything to win - lie, steal,
cheat, and manipulate the United States Post Office to his advantage.
Given this reality, it is imperative that Joe Biden focus like a
laser beam on turning out the Democratic base and not waste any
substantial resources on persuading Trump voters to back him.
to field research, there are an ample number of people: progressives,
Blacks, Latinx, Generation Zers, Native and Asian Americans,
Independents, and disenchanted voters who can be recruited to support
Biden. He needs to make strong and ongoing appeals to these
aforementioned voting groups who despise Trump. Democrats and the
Biden campaign, because of their antipathy toward Trump, have largely
taken these groups for granted, assuming they have no other choice.
groups have revealed that many of these individuals are not willing
to vote for the lesser of what they consider two evils. They have
witnessed Trump’s mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic,
rabid attacks on their humanity, and promotion of white nationalism
firsthand, but remain concerned about Joe Biden’s and Kamala
Harris’s past contributions to the prison-industrial complex as
they have watched many of their relatives and neighbors swooped up in
the system of mass incarceration.
must make his case for their support as many have stated that they
will sit out the election rather than vote for “…
the lesser of two evils if that lesser evil will continually get more
recent weeks, the Biden campaign appears to have recognized this
actuality and has begun assertive outreach to these less than
enthusiastic members of the Democratic base.
Biden traveled to Houston, Texas and Kenosha, Wisconsin,
respectively, to meet with the families of George Floyd and Jacob
Blake to show his support for racial justice in policing. Shortly
after, Kamala Harris was dispatched to Milwaukee to meet with local
African American civic and business leaders to make a case for their
support. These actions have borne political fruit as revealed in
Biden’s stasis in the Wisconsin polls, despite Trump’s
fanning of racial flames and wild-eyed promise of delivering a
COVID-19 vaccine before the November 3rd election. These desperate
actions are not resonating among voters as he has hoped.
only remaining strategies are suppressing the vote of people of
color, cheating at the polls, and using the USPS to stall mail-in
votes past the submission deadline. Consequently, the Biden-Harris
ticket must monitor every aspect of the election process in the
battleground states, especially in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania,
and Wisconsin, where the election will probably be decided.
the interim, the Biden-Harris campaign must perpetuate a forthright
solicitation of the Democratic base without pause until Election Day.