Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Safe Bets

Politico wonders why Donald Trump is campaigning in states he will win such as Texas and Mississippi and states he will most assuredly lose such as Connecticut.

“I have never known a general election campaign in my adult life, a Republican campaign, to spend time in Mississippi outside of raising money,” said Austin Barbour, a Mississippi-based Republican operative. “Donald Trump’s going to win Mississippi by at least double digits.”

But Trump is behind, several polls show, in North Carolina, a state that has gone Republican in eight of the past nine presidential elections. Georgia, which hasn’t voted Democratic since 1992, is competitive, with the latest poll showing a tied race. And more traditional battleground states have moved away from Trump: Ohio, which polls showed was a tied race last month, is now tilting in Hillary Clinton’s direction. Meanwhile, he is up in Mississippi by double digits, one recent survey shows.

“Going and doing a big event, that takes a lot of valuable time, that’s another stop you could make in Pensacola, Florida,” Barbour said. “Georgia’s close this year, North Carolina, there’s lots of places … It’s a confusing strategy. You only have a certain number of days.”

Either someone in the campaign headquarters is thinking that if you win a state by double digits that somehow matters in the electoral college vote.  Which it doesn’t.  It’s winner-take-all, even if it’s by 500 votes (see Florida 2000) except in Maine and Nebraska.

My guess is that by campaigning in safe places like Texas and Mississippi, Mr. Trump is guaranteed both white and adoring audiences, which he thrives on.  Then again, he campaigned in Austin, Texas, which is an oasis of liberals in a sea of right-wingers, and also in Connecticut, which is so not Trump territory; both places a waste of time.

Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to point and laugh.

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