Four years ago, Paul Simmons and I were ahead of the curve predicting Hillary having trouble holding down MI, PA, and WI. Sadly, our predictions came true. Fortunately, the Biden/Harris ticket is going to win back these states. This is because we have a both/and ticket.
The debate after 2016 was whether to go after Obama/Trump white non-college voters or increase non-white turnout while appealing to Romney/Clinton voters. In 2018, House Democrats successfully recruited different kinds of candidates who appealed to either kind of constituency and the result was a 40+ seat wave and a Democratic majority. At the early onset of the primary there were different lanes of candidates appealing to different voters, fortunately with Biden/Harris we can still do both strategies.
Biden appeals to those Obama/Trump non white voters. On a recent road trip*, I drove through Scranton and Erie which are two cities that narrowly went for Trump in 2016. Signs don’t vote, but I see far more Biden signs than Trump signs in these cities, as well as places outside of Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, Philly has elected a progressive D.A. and sent a socialist to Harrisburg on the strength of black turnout while the ancestrally Yankee Republican Philly burbs have become Never Trump Democratic voters. I’m confident PA is Biden/Harris country.
I also drove through Ohio, a true American amalgamation where Friendly’s, Steak and Shake, and Waffle House meet at various intersections. I saw more Trump signs on barns there than I did in PA, indicating the rural right is still going strong. That said, the Columbus and Cincinnati burbs were visibly pro-Biden. If Harris can also accelerate black turnout in Akron and Cleveland (which I bypassed), then I think it’s in serious play.
*im a Covid hawk and support a stricter shutdown, my wife and I (and her family whom we visited) all tested negative before the trip and we stayed in one house for the duration of the trip. We ate lunches we packed at road stops and avoided restaurants. We drove rather than flew and we self quarantined until we tested negative when we came back. This was a trip for my sister in laws housewarming originally planned for Easter and we strictly followed the travel guidelines our three home states.