Here’s Rick Wilson’s advice for Democrats: Focus on the 15 (or so) true battleground states, where moderates can be won over to the Biden/Harris side. Democrats can’t afford to run a 50-state campaign this year. They should only fight the Electoral College map.
Reminder: The U.S. is a republic; not a democracy. The only way Dems can win the White House is by winning the Electoral College. Until we have a popular vote system (and HERE’s where that effort currently stands), all 50 states use electors to choose the president.
The election is already over in about 35 states. Deep red states are off the table. “Purple” states mean nothing. Democrats shouldn’t go to solidly blue states except to fundraise. Any advertising dollars they spend everywhere else will be wasted.
In these states, these Democrats (whom you must court and win over) know Trump has broken his promises to him, that his trade war has been lost. Still, the progressive causes don’t resonate with these voters.
Wilson calls this the “real map of 2020” based on the Cook Partisan Voting Index. A Partisan Voting index over 10 in favor of Democrats are:
- New York
- Washington, D.C.
Washington state is only D+8, but it’s a safe bet for Democrats. Texas is an R+6, but not a likely win for Democrats in the near future (although some lists of 2020 swing states include Texas).
This year, the true swing states Democrats should target (according to Wilson) are:
- Florida (29 electoral votes) The state-level Democratic party is a mess. There are 10 media markets, and a “one-size-fits all” approach won’t work.
- Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes) Don’t take it for granted the way Clinton did in 2016. Expensive to advertise and operate here.
- Ohio (18 electoral votes) The hardest target for Dems. This is a red state, trending redder. It’s going to be tough for Dems. Along with Florida, it’s one of the most expensive places to advertise. Trump lied about the return of coal and steel, so Dems should focus on that.
- Georgia (16 electoral votes) Guns and abortion will be make things tough for Dems.
- Michigan (16 electoral votes) The Reagan Democrats in the suburbs of Macomb county and Oakland county are the key swing counties that Dems must flip. Trump won Michigan in 2016 by less than 11,000 votes, a margin of only 0.3%. Democrats responded two years later by electing women to every statewide office and two formerly Republican U.S. House seats.
- North Carolina (15 electoral votes) The rural areas are turning red, while the urban areas are turning blue.
- Virginia (13 electoral votes) Trump has killed the Republican party here. Don’t bother campaigning too much outside of the big six northern VA suburban counties in 2020.
- Arizona (11 electoral votes) The state is trending blue thanks in part to loony right-wingers like Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
- Colorado (9 electoral votes) Weed and the energy sector are the big issues.
- Iowa (6 electoral votes) Culturally conservative and rural, but farmers have been hurt by Trump’s trade wars.
- Nevada (6 electoral votes) The California diaspora and an influx of Hispanic voters are ensuring a blue trend.
- Maine (4 electoral votes) The timber and lobster industries have been harmed by Trump’s trade war.
- New Hampshire (4 electoral votes)
- Minnesota (10 electoral votes)
- Wisconsin (10 electoral votes)
The upper Midwest states and the two southern states (Florida and Georgia) will be tough for Dems.