The Weekly Round-Up: 100 Days
Trump’s strategy depends on Western Pennsylvania. It won’t work.
We’re 100 days from Election Day! To celebrate the final sprint of this political cycle, we’re launching a new weekly post from Delta Blue Strategies called “The Weekly Round-Up.”
We’ll provide a round-up of what we believe are the past week’s most important stories and developments, a look at the week ahead, and an update to the electoral count as we move closer to our final prediction for Election Day. Along the way, we appreciate feedback, suggestions, and commentary.
Let’s get started!
Post-Convention: The Final Sprint
With the Democratic National Convention ending Thursday night with Hillary Clinton’s historic acceptance of the Democrats’ nomination for President, the 2016 election cycle is in full final sprint.
Post-Republican Convention, Donald Trump’s poll numbers experienced a bounce, bringing the race to its closest margin yet. Unfortunately for Trump, the Democrats’ Convention bounce wasn’t a factor in the polls that showed him ahead or tied with Clinton, and she will likely experience a “bounce” as a result of a well-received convention.
Polls post-convention begin to better reflect what the results in November will be. In this race, it’s likely that many polls will underestimate Trump’s support due in part to some Trump-supporting voters desire to avoid telling a live-pollster about their support.
Regardless, one certainty that national public opinion polls will not capture is that the map still heavily favors both Hillary Clinton and the Democrats’ hopes of recapturing the Senate. Donald Trump has not expanded the map for Republicans.
When it comes to the Senate, Donald Trump may have made the task of defending the Senate even more difficult for the GOP because of races in Arizona and North Carolina.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump may very well appear to be in a close race in national polling, but Clinton is the favorite to win the Electoral College (see below for our current prediction).
The Weekly Thought: Trump’s Strategy Depends on an Upset in Pennsylvania and winning Western PA. It’s Not Likely to Succeed
Trump will defend North Carolina, which Barack Obama won in 2008 and lost by two points in 2012. He’ll play offense and must win in Ohio and Florida. His victories in those three states will set up a Winner-take-the-Presidency race in Pennsylvania.
Democratic strategist James Carville’s famous paraphrased quote, “Pennsylvania is Philadelphia in the east, Pittsburgh in the west and Alabama in the middle” is true for the most part, but for Trump to win, he’ll have to rely on winning over blue-collar Democratic voters in the counties surrounding Pittsburgh.
Trump’s hope is that the white, blue-collar voters who have suffered through the closings of steel mills and coal mines in the towns surrounding Pittsburgh will latch onto his anti-trade, “America first” message. A fair amount of political analysts and commentators believe that Pennsylvania could go Republican for the first time since 1988 because of Trump’s blue-collar appeal.
In 2012, President Obama lost the counties surrounding Pittsburgh by wide-margins.
Beaver- 6%, Greene- 18%, Indiana- 19%, Washington- 13%, Westmoreland- 23%, Fayette- 8%.
Barack Obama still won Pennsylvania by more than 5%, or almost 300,000 votes. In Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is located, he won by 14% or 89,000 votes. In Philadelphia County, he won 85% of the vote. There’s no reason to think that Hillary Clinton won’t win by similar margins in those counties.
Even if the small towns around Pittsburgh in Allegheny County vote in margins for Trump, he still won’t be able to overcome the likely 500,000 vote deficit that Philadelphia and its suburbs will hand him.
The truth is that the voters Donald Trump is depending on to deliver Pennsylvania and the White House are already Republican voters. He isn’t bringing new voters in Western Pennsylvania to his side, he’s depending on the same Democrat-registered, Republican-voting people that voted against Obama in 2008 and 2012.
Obama won Pennsylvania and the White House twice, Clinton will win in November.
*Hillary Clinton — 314 Electoral Votes, 50.6% of popular vote
Donald Trump — 224 Electoral Votes, 47.4% of popular vote
Democrats pick-up majority 52–48
Democrats pick-up New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Ohio. Hold retiring Senator Harry Reid’s Nevada seat.
Have thoughts, comments, or questions? Contact Delta Blue Strategies