On June 21st, I wrote about the importance of Michigan to any hope Donald Trump has of winning the Electoral College, particularly if he isn’t competitive in Florida, so I’m not surprised to see an article by Philip Rucker and John Wagner today in the Washington Post on that very subject.
The Clinton campaign has been been getting a lot of warnings along these lines. As I’ve said, the math for Trump may make is necessary for him to win several Rust Belt states. Michigan is one of his top prospects and Pennsylvania is another. Wisconsin and Minnesota could be part of the solution, but they look considerably less sympathetic to Trump.
Clinton’s super PAC Priorities USA announced on Friday that they’ll be dropping over $10 million in Pennsylvania, which is relief to a lot of folks who think she’s taking the state for granted.
I’ve seen some articles speculating that Trump will do better than expected in the Philly suburbs, but I’m not seeing it at all. I cannot see any way he does anywhere near as well as Romney did here. The shape of the electorate will be different, with Trump getting more downscale and fewer upscale votes. This is one of the few areas where George Will quitting the Republican Party actually resonates. I have yet to encounter a “respectable” member of the community who has anything good to say about Trump, and I’ve been keeping my eye out.
I drove a long way out into Berks County yesterday, and I didn’t encounter one piece of Trump swag along the way. No yard signs, no bumper stickers, no t-shirts. I’ve seen more visual support for Ben Carson in these parts, and there’s more faded Ron Paul signage than anything else. Here and there, I have encountered isolated support for Trump from surprising corners, but it’s miniscule.
But Pennsylvania is a big state, and Trump will do well here in a lot of it.
Demographically, at least, Michigan should be the harder nut to crack. But, in my experience, sentiment in the Detroit suburbs is far more racially polarized than in the Philly suburbs, and Clinton had one of her worst performances (against expectations) of the primaries in Michigan. The trade issue has more resonance there.
The real divide is between folks on one side who have had it with all politicians and people on the other who think Trump is a “ludicrous tangerine ballsack” and a “tiny fingered, Cheeto-faced, ferret wearing shitgibbon.”