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Mark Penn's 7 Keys to Victory for Presidential Nominees in the 2020 Election


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Source: https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/516449-the-7-keys-to-victory-in-the-presidential-race

Here are what I have identified as the seven critical factors shaping people’s votes as we go into “the chute” — the period from Labor Day to the end:

  1. Most people do not like Donald Trump — only 31 percent like him personally, and huge segments of the electorate don’t like his manner and style. In 2016, the voters disliked both candidates equally, so the “likeability” factor was neutralized. That’s not the case today, with more voters indicating they like Joe Biden. So if character and likeability are the key factors, Biden will win overwhelmingly — that’s why the Democratic convention focused on his natural advantage here.
  1. If “It’s the economy, stupid,” then Trump has a clear advantage on this factor. Even in polls where Trump is losing by 7 to 10 points, he is winning on the economy by 5 or more points, which means that a fair number of voters currently selecting Biden think Trump would do a better job on the economy. This advantage is unlikely to change between now and Election Day, so the question is how successful Trump is at making the economy the central issue. As a matter of strategy, that is clearly not what his campaign is doing — the economy is not its central focus but, instead, just one of a smorgasbord of issues the Trump campaign hits daily, with more of a focus on law and order recently than the economy.
  1. The issue of the Coronavirus has upended American life more so than perhaps any event since World War II. Trump at first had a majority supporting his actions on the virus, and then his ratings on the virus nosedived in the Harvard CAPS-Harris poll to 41 percent when the virus flared back up; and for every point decline in ratings on the virus, he declined about a point in the polls. In recent weeks, he has regained some ground here, but his comments to author Bob Woodward will no doubt set him back and the campaign will have to spend a lot of resources on exactly what Trump did in response to the virus. Meanwhile, Biden will continue to hit the theme and blame Trump for the spread of the virus. This is not a sideshow — the course of the virus is likely the decisive issue in this campaign.
  1. Biden is overwhelmingly seen as the person who will bring the country together, by more than a 20-point margin. Both George Bush and Barack Obama won largely on the basis of similar themes of unity. In response, the president’s campaign says he is just the kind of person we need to disrupt Washington and business as usual. Voters have typically chosen a uniter over a divider.
  1. Social justice and civil unrest are both big, important issues that were not at all driving factors in 2016 but that will now play a role in the outcome of this race. Biden is winning on these issues in the polls so far, but Trump is showing momentum and is closing the gap, clearly believing that it is this issue that can bring back suburban voters. Most Americans do see the country as racist and the police as flawed; however, at the same time, they do not want the police defunded. They want better policing that bridges the racial divide, and they also condemn without reservation violence in cities, demanding full-throated prosecutions of those at fault.
  1. There also are some key realignments occurring within demographic groups. Suburban voters are so far continuing their switch to the Democrats as they did in the 2018 midterms, while working-class voters are sticking with Trump and the Republicans — incredible developments over the last four years, when you pause to think about it. Trump is working to close the gaps in suburbia but he is not likely to win those back over completely. Yet, surprisingly, we also are seeing Trump do better with Latino voters, at least in Florida where he is poised to win them — and this also puts Nevada possibly in play. Seniors, a big Trump constituency in 2016, have shown more affinity with Biden in recent polls and are likely the key deciding voters. 
  2. Unlike 2016, both campaigns now realize that the race is about the Electoral College, not the popular vote — so the focus and the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars will be on turnout in swing states. If the national polls are within 3 points, ignore those polls and focus on Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan. If the polls are wider than 5 points, then the national vote will be hard if not impossible to overcome.
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"Trump at first had a majority supporting his actions on the virus"

Well, I remember Democrats and the EU saying it's racist of him to largely ban entries from China and Europe. Later on most became in favor of banning entries from other countries as well. Pretty opportunistic, because I believe if all countries had banned travel already in early February this would have never became the mess it's now. In a late February debate Democratic candidates didn't even mention the pandemic, so it's awkward to say Republicans have downplayed the threats... Pelosi also argued for people visiting Chinatown and said "there's no reason tourists or locals should be staying away from the area because of coronavirus concerns."

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32 minutes ago, Conservative Elector 2 said:

"Trump at first had a majority supporting his actions on the virus"

Well, I remember Democrats and the EU saying it's racist of him to largely ban entries from China and Europe. Later on most became in favor of banning entries from other countries as well. Pretty opportunistic, because I believe if all countries had banned travel already in early February this would have never became the mess it's now. In a late February debate Democratic candidates didn't even mention the pandemic, so it's awkward to say Republicans have downplayed the threats... Pelosi also argued for people visiting Chinatown and said "there's no reason tourists or locals should be staying away from the area because of coronavirus concerns."

First, cant say he did the travel bans correctly either because he exempted the UK when there was little reason to. It was a good move in hindsight, Dems probably shouldve kept quiet on that.

Second, I think Pelosis problem was people specifically not visiting Chinatown versus going out in general. 

And thirdly, a lot has happened since February that has changed public perception. You also neglect to mention defunding the CDC, and getting rid of critical pandemic response infrastructure set up by past presidents. 

Was there a thing or two he did right? Sure. The travel bans on China and Europe were good moves. Was there a lot he has done wrong? Definitely. 

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51 minutes ago, Conservative Elector 2 said:

"Trump at first had a majority supporting his actions on the virus"

Well, I remember Democrats and the EU saying it's racist of him to largely ban entries from China and Europe. Later on most became in favor of banning entries from other countries as well. Pretty opportunistic, because I believe if all countries had banned travel already in early February this would have never became the mess it's now. In a late February debate Democratic candidates didn't even mention the pandemic, so it's awkward to say Republicans have downplayed the threats... Pelosi also argued for people visiting Chinatown and said "there's no reason tourists or locals should be staying away from the area because of coronavirus concerns."

This post seems somewhat self-contradictory as written.

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18 minutes ago, Hestia11 said:

First, cant say he did the travel bans correctly either because he exempted the UK when there was little reason to. It was a good move in hindsight, Dems probably shouldve kept quiet on that.

Yeah I had probably banned the UK as well. 

Quote

And thirdly, a lot has happened since February that has changed public perception. You also neglect to mention defunding the CDC, and getting rid of critical pandemic response infrastructure set up by past presidents. 

Was there a thing or two he did right? Sure. The travel bans on China and Europe were good moves. Was there a lot he has done wrong? Definitely. 

I am glad we agree on the travel bans being a good thing! Sure Trump has done many things wrong, but Democrats criticized him long for the false things I believe. Defunding the CDC is not popular with me for example, I don't think I heard much criticism from Democrats on this. The travel ban criticism however, was big news all over the place.

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9 minutes ago, Patine said:

This post seems somewhat self-contradictory as written.

Shall I dare to ask why? 

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Just now, Conservative Elector 2 said:

Shall I dare to ask why? 

This statement here - "Pretty opportunistic, because I believe if all countries had banned travel already in early February this would have never became the mess it's now. In a late February debate Democratic candidates didn't even mention the pandemic, so it's awkward to say," implies that only Trump, in the whole world, actually had the foresight to impose any travel bans at that time (I admit the EU was hamstringed because of the Schlengen Zone - but the world is not just the U.S. and EU), and you seem to conflating the response of the rest of the world and the U.S. Democratic as some kind of "opportunistic," consensus on the issue centred on decision, again, you imply only Trump made any decision.

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