The Democratic candidate for the White House, Joe Biden, who is still the favorite in the polls today against Donald Trump, hopes to recover three key states that had switched to the Republican side in 2016: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Joe Biden has been back on the field for a week. The Democratic White House candidate, who since the coronavirus pandemic began deciding to campaign in the basement of his Delaware home, could no longer be content with video messages or small excursions in his hometown of Wilmington. His team warned that he would concentrate his travels to the major states in this presidential election. His running mate Kamala Harris will do the same.
Democrats have looked to three states that were lost in 2016: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Surveys in recent months show that this piece of “blue wall” that was smashed by Donald Trump four years ago can very well be rebuilt. But there are less than two months of bitter struggle left before November 3rd. And if Joe Biden learned one thing from the previous campaign, it is to expect something, especially in these states.
Donald Trump will try to recruit more voters among whites and workers [blancs], while Joe Biden needs strong participation in the big cities, especially from African Americans and Hispanics. The battle will also be played out in the suburbs, where Democrats are increasingly eating away at the Republican vote.
Seven points ahead at national level
Nationally, voting has tightened somewhat, but the former vice president of Barack Obama retains about 7 points ahead of his Republican rival. However, the difference is only 3 points on average in key condition, according to information collected by the website. RealClearPolitics. Joe Biden’s campaign presented its overall strategy for the home journey on Friday: to continue to focus its message on the economic and health crises. The idea is to convince voters that these two plagues are linked to the president’s mismanagement.
These themes resonate quite well in Pennsylvania, where Joe Biden has an average of 3.9 points. He is especially favored by retirees and suburban residents – voters who had yet to turn to Donald Trump in 2016. For Robert Speel, a professor of political science at Penn State Behrend University, the candidate must pay attention to the geographical features of this large and very diverse state that 20 voters out of the 270 needed to win in November.
“In the Philadelphia region, he will have to focus on the danger that would represent another four years of Donald Trump,” he told France 24. In the Pittsburgh region, on the other hand, he must focus on the fact that he is not for the direct the ban on hydraulic fracturing [technique utilisée pour extraire le gaz de schiste, NDLR], despite accusations from Republicans in this direction. Kamala Harris, she expressed her support for the ban on this technology. A position that makes the task complicated for the democratic campaign.
The ground above all
However, the political scientist believes that in addition to campaign themes, it is the presence on the ground that will count the most. “He needs to find a way, despite the pandemic, to visit more parts of Pennsylvania than Hillary Clinton did in 2016. She spent her time between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the two most populous cities, while Donald Trump did the countryside in many small towns.” however, these small towns offered him their margin of victory (only 44,000 votes) four years ago, states Robert Speel.
In Pennsylvania, Joe Biden has the advantage of being born into the working class of Scranton. He’s also a much less hated figure than Hillary Clinton, and he’s quite ideologically moderate. He has already visited this state across the Delaware River several times. And the Democrats won three new seats in Pennsylvania during the 2018 election, a sign that the state can tip again.
“Joe Biden really has a chance [d’être le vainqueur en Pennsylvanie en novembre]”Says Robert Speel. In Erie County, where his university is located, northwest of the state, Democrats dominated between 1988 and 2012 and Donald Trump won Day 2016. This year, according to Robert Speel,” the city of Erie will vote very strongly for Biden, The rural areas of the county will vote strongly for Trump, but the latter has less support than four years ago in the suburbs. This is in line with the trend we are seeing across Pennsylvania and across the country. “
However, the issue of postal voting can create problems in Pennsylvania. This state passed a law last year that allows anyone who wants to vote by mail without explaining the reason. The pandemic has led many residents, especially Democrats, to make that choice. So this will be the first time that such a large number of votes must be counted in Pennsylvania, says Robert Speel. Additional difficulty: the count can only be made on the day of the vote, not earlier. “If the result of the presidential election ever depended on Pennsylvania, two weeks to announce a winner would create chaos at the local and national levels,” the political scientist said.
The same problem could arise in Wisconsin, where again the votes must remain sealed until D-Day. “The numbers for personal votes will be announced first, and the ‘winner’ can therefore be changed once the votes have been cast. Letters are counted,” said Thomas M. Holbrook, professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, France 24.
Joe Biden has a fairly comfortable lead over Donald Trump in that state: 5 points on average, according to Real Clear Politics. Here, too, it is above all in the field system that the candidate will make a difference, according to Thomas M. Holbrook. “Hillary Clinton’s fieldwork [qui a perdu l’État à moins d’un point d’écart face à Donald Trump, NDLR] was not as supported as Barack Obama four years earlier “, he states. In fact, the candidate never did a campaign there in 2016 and preferred to send his mate Tim Kaine in his place.
Kenosha i allas sinne
Wisconsin, which includes the progressive cities of Milwaukee and Madison, rural areas north and west of the state and white suburbs in between, has been the scene of violence in recent weeks. This is where the town of Kenosha is located, where an African-American Jacob Blake was paralyzed after being shot by police. Its history has provoked heated protests that degenerated into collisions with self-defense environments. Two people were killed by a heavily armed 17-year-old.
Donald Trump has used these events to hammer home his slogan, “law and order,” and to accuse Democratic-ruled cities of being overwhelmed by “anarchists.” While support for the Black Lives Matter movement declined in polls conducted in Wisconsin after the Kenosha episode, Donald Trump’s popularity did not pick up again.
“The problem for the president is that the riots in Kenosha and other parts of the country are taking place during his time,” analyzes Thomas M. Holbrook. So it’s much easier for Biden to say that Trump is in Part of causing this chaos than for Trump to “This Trump tactic is perhaps less about linking Biden to the riots than sending a message of support to certain sections of the white community.”
In neighboring Michigan, Joe Biden has an average lead of 3.3 points. This state represents a trauma for Democrats: Hillary Clinton lost it by 10,704 votes in 2016. “If Joe Biden loses Michigan, it will be further proof that the party will have its work cut out in the future to rally them once. loyal Democratic voters in the industrial Midwest, says Robert Yoon, a professor of journalism at the University of Michigan interviewed by France 24. Trump’s efforts are even greater. If he loses Michigan this year, he will have struggles to be re-elected. “
Just like in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Joe Biden in Michigan is trying to get back union voters, traditionally Democratic voters, but who voted for Donald Trump in 2016, Robert Yoon continues. He often mentions the origins of his own working class and attacks Donald Trump over the devastating effects on the economy of his handling of the pandemic. Although Biden is more moderate than many in his party on trade issues and China, he does have to respond to attacks by Trump who believe that his program will cause relocations. “
As in many city centers across the country, it will also be crucial how Joe Biden speaks to African American society in the cities of Detroit and Flint, adds Robert Yoon. “They are usually a fairly loyal constituency, but in 2016 they voted much less and contributed to Hillary Clinton’s defeat. Joe Biden must make sure he motivates these voters and does not consider their support for granted.” Wayne County, which includes Detroit, will be crucial for the Democrats: Barack Obama won with 382,032 votes in 2012, against 290,388 votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016. By pushing for participation in this county, Joe Biden was therefore able to please Michigan.
Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are not the only major states this year. Observers are also interested in Arizona, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Ohio and maybe even Texas. Joe Biden has booked advertising in about fifteen states while Donald Trump has done the same in eleven states, a sign that the playing field is large and that the Democrat plays more in attack than in defense.