The party’s over, it’s time to call it a day, They’ve burst your pretty balloon and taken the moon away — Jule Styne

Bill Stepien, back from his bout with COVID-19, we presume, because no real information ever comes out of this White House, sees a number of paths to a Trump reelection, not to worry. What’s that you say? How are they going to pay for it when Brad Parscale looted the coffers early on and what they’ve got left is about half of what Joe Biden’s got in the bank after a record breaking September? Not to mention Mike Bloomberg plunking down $100 Million to be used for Florida, alone? Pshaw, ye of little faith. Stepien has it wired. Axios:

  • Stepien tells them [his staff] the “easy part” is winning Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Iowa and Maine’s second congressional district. From there, the first pathway, and the one he views as most likely, is for Trump to win Arizona, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

  • His second pathway would be for Trump to win Arizona, North Carolina and Michigan.

  • And pathway three — the one Stepien views as least likely of the options — does not include Arizona but involves Trump winning North Carolina, Michigan and Nevada.

  • Those states are where Trump will be spending the vast bulk of his time between now and Nov. 3, and where the Trump campaign is spending most of its money.

  • The states in none of Stepien’s three scenarios: Wisconsin or Minnesota.

So as the Biden campaign blitzes battleground states, the Trump campaign is dabbling in the Rust Belt, apparently waiting for some kind of a divine sign which winning scenario they should commit to, the winning path behind door number one? No, no, that’s not it. Door number two?

One campaign adviser pointed to a “half-assed” advertising buy in Wisconsin this week, around $130,000 according to Advertising Analytics data, which two campaign sources said seemed pointless given it’s too small to move the needle.

  • Ditto the decision to stay on the air in Minnesota, a state that no one I spoke to sees as part of Trump’s path to 270.

  • But Stepien’s dilemma, as described by several advisers, is that Trump would inevitably blow up at him if he were to read newspaper stories that he was going off the air in a Rust Belt battleground.

This is indeed Stepien’s dilemma, that he’s dealing with a madman, as are we all. Jared Kushner hired Katie Walsh Shields to come back to the White House and play miracle worker.

Why it matters: Walsh played a key role in 2016 in ensuring that the RNC and Trump campaign were efficiently sharing voter targeting data and working in tandem in their get-out-the-vote efforts.

  • Several campaign advisers have told me that they believe this coordination between the campaign and the RNC has not worked well in recent months, especially following Brad Parscale’s demotion as campaign manager.
  • Walsh declined to comment.

The big picture: The Trump campaign has been struggling for months, lagging in national and battleground state polls and Kushner has been seeking advice and fresh ideas from outside advisers, according to sources familiar with these conversations.

If I was going to write an SNL skit on the last two weeks of this farce, I would have all the familiar characters, Jared, Ivanka, Meadows, rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic and I would speed up the action, so that they move like the Keystone Kops and sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks. That is the image I get.

The problem here, and throughout this campaign, is the assumption that 2016 and 2020 are the same races. They emphatically are not, and what worked in one is not going to work in the other. And that delusion starts from the top down, with Trump himself. It’s going to be a long two and a half weeks.

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16 Comments on "Trump Campaign Ponders Where to ‘Place Our Bets’ To Pull 270 EVs Out Of the Hat"

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Cherl Harrell
Guest

I don’t think it really matters who they bring in to the campaign. Himself is still the candidate and royally screwing everything up he touches. His statements and actions are only reinforcing the left and peeling away some of his supporters.

Bareshark
Guest

He has always been the weakest link in any plans he’s ever been part of.

Meg Corrigan
Member

tRump’s debate performance sealed his fate with a lot of people.

Bareshark
Guest

Folks, we’ve entered the “Wonder Weapons” stage of the Trump regime, bluffing behind an increasingly weak hand. It’s too late for them to turn it around, even if they hadn’t blown through a billion dollars and no more is coming. The cake was baked weeks ago. The dueling town halls just unveiled it for all to see.

dana fairfield
Member
It does not matter if they had ten times more money than Biden and were buying ads everywhere. Everybody knows the Trump campaign lie about everything. Biden voters would not believe the ads. Trump supporters would use the ads to soothe their confirmation bias. The only “undecided” voters I see are Bernie holdouts who can’t make up their minds whether to sit out this election, vote third party in a vain hope of helping confer viability on a third party, or hold their noses and vote for Biden. A lot of what they say is indistinguishable from right-wing propaganda. What… Read more »
anastasjoy
Member

There are virtually no Bernie holdouts this time. Their number has shrunk to a tenth of what it was in 2016. Do you hear a lot of people saying they’re thinking of voting for Jo Jorgensen? I don’t.

dana fairfield
Member

I have no idea how many Bernie holdouts there are. I personally know a couple. This guy seems to know more of them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWgtwghlRfg
They are adamantly opposed to Biden. One of the people I know was actually thinking of voting for Trump. but changed his mind. He is leaning third party now.

Meg Corrigan
Member

At least it’s only two and a half weeks! They can’t bring his campaign back from the abyss no matter what they do. The only way he’d win is if Putin flew over here and pulled the levers himself. (And I think Putin has already cut Donnie Depends loose!)

Denis Elliott
Member
Here’s something to keep in the back of your mind for next year. FL is huge for Trump. If Biden takes it (and it will be called relatively early on election night) then it’s over for him. Bloomberg committed a bunch of money to the state long ago and apparently has done spending where it’s needed given how it looks. Trump is having to play catch up in a state where the GOP has long dominated the political landscape. But here’s what occurred to me that could be interesting next year. We’ve seen reports about GOP mega donors and Wall… Read more »
mb
Member

Denis, I was thinking about this exact scenario when I read about Adelson. Wow.

Bareshark
Guest

That scenario assumes Adelson didn’t just hand the money over to shut Trump up (75 million being sofa change to him), that he too hasn’t lost a step or two like Trump or that he was as smart as you think he is. The scenario IS plausible but it assumes a lot of things being true.

LDoza
Member

GREAT GREAT Media piece! Who did it ? Don’t find the attribution.

mb
Member

I believe it is from Axios.

rory darjiit
Member
I domt know…I’ve watched politics closely since I was a kid…and I can’t say what team Trump would do if they wanted to win. This is sorta like coming up with scenarios to prevent the Titanic from sinking when all three baffles are already taking on water. I suppose…go all-in on Florida and Pennsylvania?? If Trump wins these, it’s a 50/50 election. But those projections don’t really account for the scenario I describe…they assume he’s fighting hard in AZ GA and OH too. His path is narrow…you know what….I’m spending these last days imagining how bad we can make home… Read more »
gettin too old for this sh!t
Member
gettin too old for this sh!t

You guys don’t live in NC, do you? A lot of our good state people are losing enough points here to make me nervous…

p j evans
Member

They’re losing NC, Michigan, Arizona, and Ohio. Florida is iffy. So is Texas.