Joe Biden Has The Momentum To Expand His Electoral Map As More States Sour On Trump

The New York Times has a great piece out about how Democrats are eager to not only help Joe Biden take out Trump but also want him to expand the electoral map. The goal is to get to 270 electoral votes and here are the current states Biden’s campaign is heavily focused on are Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina and Florida. That makes sense give that we’ve seen a lot of polling come out of these states with Biden either ahead or tied. Here’s the recent polling that came out Florida and Arizona today:

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is leading President Trump in Florida, according to a new poll, and is tied with the president in two other key swing states Trump carried in 2016: Arizona and Texas.

Biden has a 6-point lead over Trump in Florida, based on the CBS News poll released Sunday. The former vice president has 48 percent and Trump has 42 percent in the Sunshine State.

In Texas, the candidates are in statistical dead heat with Trump at 46 percent and Biden at 45 percent.

Trump and Biden are each  at 46 percent support in Arizona.

The three battleground states are also experiencing surges in coronavirus outbreaks. The poll found that voters most concerned with COVID-19 were more likely to support Biden.

Biden had overwhelming support, at 72 percent in Arizona, 67 percent in Florida and 68 percent in Texas, among voters who are “very concerned” about COVID-19, pollsters found.

But Biden has been increasing his lead in some traditional red states that are trending blue like Texas:

Anew poll out of the traditionally Republican-stronghold of Texas shows President Donald Trump trailing Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden by 5 points.

The polling, which was conducted by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler, showed Biden with support from 48 percent of Texas voters, while Trump was backed by just 43 percent. However, 5 percent of respondents said they were undecided while 4 percent said they'd back a different candidate.

But the results were notably different from when a similar poll was conducted by the newspaper and the university back in February. In that previous survey, Biden was supported by 47 percent of respondents while the incumbent president was backed by 46 percent. Much has changed since that poll was carried out, however, as many of the other Democratic contenders had not yet dropped out of the race and endorsed Biden.

The new polling also showed that 50 percent of Texans “disapprove” or “strongly disapprove” of the job Trump is doing. Of those, 43 percent were in the “strongly disapprove” category. Just 44 percent of respondents said they “approve” or “strongly approve” of the president, while another 7 percent responded that they neither approve or disapprove.

It’s very encouraging news but Biden’s team is being cautious right now because they want to see what the polling is looking like the closer we get to November. It’s a reasonable concern but at Jonathan Martin’s NYT piece, Democrats like Stacey Abrams (D. GA), Rep, Joaquin Castro (D. TX) and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D. OH) are making the argument for him to start expanding the map now:

“An Electoral College landslide gives Biden the ability to move on major issues,” Mr. Brown said. “Second, it’ll give him a stronger majority in the Senate and give the party more state legislators.”

More broadly, Mr. Brown posited, a resounding repudiation of Mr. Trump would make it more likely that Republicans will discard his politics. “They’ve got to reject their plays to race if they’re going to be a national party that can compete in the future,” he said.

Paul Begala, the veteran Democratic strategist, was even blunter about the need for a convincing win.

“It used to be that anything past 270 electoral votes was useless because it doesn’t matter how far you run past the goal line in football,” said Mr. Begala. “But for the first time in American history there’s a legitimate concern that the incumbent president will not surrender power.”

Lawmakers in both parties are also increasingly focused on down-ballot races, and how much damage to Republicans Mr. Trump might leave in his wake.

Senate Democrats are hopeful that they can not only claim a majority but gain enough seats to survive a potential backlash in 2022, should a President Biden suffer the same losses most presidents do in their first midterm elections.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, expressed restrained optimism about Democrats’ prospects — he emphasized he was “not taking anything for granted” — but was confident Mr. Biden would work to deliver the Senate.

“Joe Biden has told me that his goal is to help us in the Senate in every way he can, even if it’s a state not on his target list,” Mr. Schumer said in an interview.

Mr. Schumer is especially intent on nudging Mr. Biden into Maine, Georgia and Iowa, where polls show Senator Joni Ernst, is narrowly trailing her Democratic opponent, according to Democrats familiar with his thinking, and has found the former vice president fully receptive.

Besides Arizona, where Democrats have made incursions in recent years, no state may be more ripe for the poaching than Georgia, which Mr. Trump is visiting next week.

Democrats lost there by eight percentage points in 2012, five percentage points in 2016 and then by only 1.4 in Ms. Abrams’s 2018 race for governor.

Jennifer Jordan, a state senator from Atlanta, noted that two potentially vulnerable Republican senators were up for election: David Perdue, and Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed to her seat last year.

“As the presidential goes I think that’s how the Senate seats are going to go,” she said. “So why wouldn’t you play — it’s a three-for-one.”

Even Alaska is now looking like a real opportunity for Biden:

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— PublicPolicyPolling (@ppppolls) July 9, 2020

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— PublicPolicyPolling (@ppppolls) July 9, 2020



— PublicPolicyPolling (@ppppolls) July 9, 2020

In many of these states, Latino turnout will be crucial to which way these states go. We’re seeing that in the polling right now:

Latino voters could swing six battleground states in 2020, a new poll showed, sparking concern for Joe Biden and Democrats.

The poll by Voter Participation Center/Voto Latino showed low enthusiasm among Latinos in states where the population could affect the outcome, particularly among young voters—a finding that Stephen Nuño, a Latino Decisions pollster who conducted the poll, said is concerning for the presumptive Democratic nominee.

The poll surveyed 1200 Latino voters in the six battleground states of Arizona, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Page Gardner, founder of the Voter Participation Center and the Center for Voter Information told Newsweek that taking the pulse of Latinos in those states is important because the burgeoning Latino populations could affect the election and they are the key battleground states not just in the presidential race, but have down-ballot implications. The poll is the first robust sample of Latinos in North Carolina and Pennsylvania this cycle.

“It's code red,” Voto Latino founder Maria Teresa Kumar, who specializes in reaching young Latinos, told Newsweek.

The poll found that Latino voters continued to demonstrate lower enthusiasm for Biden's candidacy, with a “somewhat low rate” of 59 percent of Latinos who said they intend to vote, compared with 73 percent of Latino registered voters who said they were certain to vote in February. Only 46 percent of Latino voters under 30 said they plan to vote, a figure that Kumar said jumped out.

“The reason it's code red is that unlike African American households where older family members encourage young people to go vote, in our households it's the opposite,” she said. “The fact that 46 percent of youth are open to Biden means they have a lot of work to do because they're the ones who get their parents to register to vote.”

Latino Decisions said “there is no doubt” the coronavirus outbreak has dampened voter enthusiasm as real-world concerns supersede everything else. “It's really about demographic outreach and a lot of it is a function of Bernie Sanders dropping out and losing the attention of these groups, where the pandemic hasn't helped,” Nuño said.

The poll was conducted online from June 7 to June 19 and has a margin of error of 2.8 percent.

But Biden’s team is aware of this and is putting in the work now:

The Spanish-language ads for Joe Biden used the same slogan to contrast him with President Trump — “Los cuentos no pagan las cuentas,” a play on words that roughly means: “Telling stories won’t pay the bills.”

But the narrator for the version of the ad that aired in Miami had a Cuban accent. In Orlando, Fla., the accent was Puerto Rican. In Phoenix, it was Mexican.

Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is hoping to capture Florida and other pivotal states by pushing Latino turnout rates higher than when Hillary Clinton was defeated in 2016. A key to doing that is a deeper understanding of Latino voters’ backgrounds thanks to new advancements in “micro-targeting.”

That means using data modeling of voter populations to produce ads and customize outreach aimed at individual ethnic groups within the larger Latino community.

“We now have the capacity to do sub-ethnicity modeling,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic, said on a recent conference call with Biden advisors.

“If you meet someone named Perez or Alex or Rodríguez in Florida, and you want them to vote for Joe Biden, one of the most important things you ought to learn about them is, are they Rodríguez, Alex or Perez de Venezuela, de la Republica Dominicana, de Cuba, de Puerto Rico?” he said. “De” means “from” in Spanish.

Campaigns often target voters with individualized messaging. It’s why presidential candidates stress one theme while trying to woo Black voters in the Midwest and another for white suburban women in the South.

Still, top Democrats are betting that subtle tweaks could pay big dividends. Latino turnout in 2016 fell to 47.6% of eligible voters in that group, down nearly three percentage points from 2008, according to U.S. Census surveys. Improving that, they argue, could potentially flip Florida and tighten the race in once steadfastly Republican Arizona.

Biden’s campaign calls hyper-competitive locales such as Florida “1% states,” and Perez points to the Democratic Party now being able to micro-target by sub-ethnicity as the reason why the party can be more successful with Latinos than in 2016.

It means “really understanding that we’re not a monolith,” said Julie Chávez Rodríguez, the granddaughter of civil rights leader Cesar Chávez and a senior advisor to Biden’s campaign. “It’s not about taking an English campaign ad and translating it into Spanish and considering that Latino outreach.”

And he’s getting help from reliable sources who have been great with Latino voter outreach:

A pair of super PACs launched by top aides to Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign is rolling out its first presidential campaign ad.

The spot, shared with POLITICO, targets Latino voters and attacks President Donald Trump over his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is part of a seven-figure buy that will appear on TV and digitally in Arizona, Michigan and North Carolina, in Spanish as well as English.

“Since the day he announced for president, Donald Trump has been at war with the Latino community, calling us rapists and criminals, attacking Dreamers, separating mothers from their children,” the narrator says in the ad. “Trump’s allowed the coronavirus to spread, devastating our community, where we’re dying at a higher rate than other Americans.”

The advertisement was the combined effort of Nuestro PAC, launched by ex-Sanders senior adviser Chuck Rocha, and America’s Progressive Promise, which was founded by top Sanders aide Jeff Weaver. The operatives are looking to persuade Sanders supporters, particularly Latino voters, young people and progressives, to back former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee.
“What makes it special is we’re following the exact lessons that we learned from the Bernie campaign,” Rocha said of winning over Latino voters. “We’re starting early. We’re going big, and we plan to continue. This is just the beginning, not the end.”

He added, “We were very intentional about putting Bernie in these ads.”

Biden has so much momentum going along with a platform that can unite the party:

Joe Biden is looking at building 500 million solar panels, slashing U.S. carbon emissions within 15 years, and rapidly expanding a government-sponsored health care plan. He wants to overhaul the way policing is conducted on American streets and the way success is measured in primary schools.
Over the past week, the presumptive Democratic nominee has offered the biggest burst of policy proposals since he effectively won the nomination, including a plan to spend $700 billion on American products and research. It marks a significant move to the left from where Biden and his party were only recently — on everything from climate and guns to health care and policing — and reflects a fundamental shift in the political landscape.
The new plans, which have come in speeches, interviews, and a 110-page policy document crafted with allies of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), provide a window into how Biden would govern, and they kick off a new phase in a campaign that until now has focused mostly on President Trump’s performance. As Biden releases more plans — including one on climate and clean energy investments this week — he appears to be drafting a blueprint for the biggest surge of government action in generations.

“I think the compromise that they came up with, if implemented, will make Biden the most progressive president since FDR,” Sanders, a democratic socialist who does not offer such assessments lightly, told MSNBC.

It’s a remarkable turn for a candidate who was once defined by incrementalism but is now attempting to show voters how he’d grapple with tens of thousands of Americans dying from a global pandemic, an economy in tatters, and a country racked by a reckoning over racism.
“The primary was largely litigated in a pre-covid, pre-George Floyd moment,” said Abdul El-Sayed, a physician and liberal activist from Michigan, referring to the man whose killing in police custody ignited weeks of protests. “To try and run in the general on the primary’s precepts I think would be missing this immense moment in American history,”

Sanders and his people get credit for helping push Biden in this direction and we should also credit U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D. MA) for this:

Former Vice President Joe Biden is explicitly crediting Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) with helping develop his new plan for rebuilding the U.S. economy, a sign that Warren has been able to influence the policy positions of the presumptive Democratic nominee as his campaign continues to vet potential vice presidential picks.
“I am grateful to so many ― including my friend Elizabeth Warren, labor unions, and other progressive partners for their help in putting together this bold new set of policies aimed at healing our economy and ensuring good, dignified jobs for American workers,” Biden wrote in an email to members of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a Warren-allied progressive group, that is scheduled to go out later Friday. “In the face of Donald Trump’s egregious mismanagement of the public health and economic crises, there has never been a more important moment to reinvest in good-paying jobs for workers across our country.”
Biden’s plan, which he began to roll out Thursday during a speech near his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, includes $400 billion of federal procurement spending on products manufactured in the United States and a $300 billion investment in government research on electric vehicles and other advanced technologies. The Biden campaign says the spending will help create more than 5 million new jobs.  
Elements of the plan are similar to proposals Warren released during the primary, including pushes to increase government procurement of American-made products. But while Warren aimed to spend $150 billion a year on clean energy technology, Biden plans to spend $300 billion on a wider variety of products.
“This money will be used purposefully to ensure all of America is in on the deal, including communities that have historically been left out — Black, brown and Native American entrepreneurs, cities and towns in every region of the country,” Biden said in the speech. “This will be a mobilization of R&D and procurement investments in ways not seen since World War II.”

Biden is also going bold on a number of issues as well. Closing the racial wealth gap:

Americans may see the formation of a new federally-backed credit bureau if former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is elected in November, thanks to the efforts of a task force appointed by Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in May.

This week, the task force of Democrats presented Biden with a 110-page document of policy recommendations. NBC News first reported on the policy wish list on Wednesday. Although the document contains a wide range of initiatives from health care to immigration, the policy recommendations also focused on ways the U.S. can work to close the racial wealth gap, including creating a more level playing field when it comes to credit reporting.

“We’ve seen with horrifying clarity the cost of systemic racism,” Biden said in a speech given Thursday in Pennsylvania. “We need a dedicated agenda to close the wealth gap.”

During the last economic downturn, Black families experienced a 44.3% decline in median net worth, almost double that of White households, which only experienced a 26.1% drop, according to the Brookings Institution.

To help narrow the gap, the policy roadmap proposes creating a public credit reporting agency housed within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This federally-backed credit bureau would “provide consumers with a government option that seeks to minimize racial disparities,” according to the document.

The federally-backed credit bureau would be required to ensure that credit scoring was not discriminatory and that algorithms used for credit scoring would include non-traditional sources of credit data such as rental history and utility bills.

Once established, all federal lenders would be required to use and accept the federal credit agency’s scoring, including for programs such as federal home lending, PLUS loans and other loans that are guaranteed by the U.S. government.

“There is a persistent, pernicious racial wealth gap that holds millions of Americans back, with the typical White household holds 10 times more wealth than the typical Black family,” the document says.

Housing:

Joe Biden has a housing policy agenda that is ambitious, technically sound, and politically feasible, and that would — if implemented — be life-changing for millions of low-income and housing-insecure households.

According to original modeling by Columbia University scholars, it could cut child poverty by a third, narrow racial opportunity gaps, and potentially drive progress on the broader middle-class affordability crisis in the largest coastal cities as well.

The plan hasn’t stirred an intraparty debate or really much attention at all, which could make it politically feasible to enact.

“Biden’s plan is bold, comprehensive, and will go a long way in making sure every American has a home,” Mary Cunningham, the vice president for metropolitan housing and communities policy at the Urban Institute, tells me. “It’s plainly obvious, in the middle of this pandemic, that home is more important than ever.”

The centerpiece is simple. Take America’s biggest rental assistance program — Section 8 housing vouchers — and make it available to every family who qualifies. The current funding structure leaves out around 11 million people, simply because the pot allocated by Congress is too small. Then pair it with regulatory changes to help the housing market work better for more people. It’s the general consensus approach among top Democratic Party politicians and left-of-center policy wonks.

At the time when most presidential candidates were rolling out their housing plans, Biden didn’t have one, dropping his instead right before the South Carolina primary when it was swiftly overshadowed by the dramatic shift in the campaign and then the Covid-19 pandemic. But precisely because the plan has not provoked much infighting and because key provisions would be eligible for budget reconciliation treatment, which would require a majority vote in the Senate instead of a supermajority, it’s the kind of thing that really might happen in 2021 if Biden won.

Student debt:

Cancel Student Loan Debt

  • Sanders has proposed to cancel all $1.6 trillion of student loan debt, including both federal and private student loans.
  • Biden does not support wide-scale student loan debt cancellation.
  • However, in the wake of Covid-19, Biden proposed a plan to cancel up to $10,000 in student loan debt for each borrower.
  • Biden would forgive all undergraduate tuition from two- and four-year public colleges and universities.
  • Biden also would forgive all undergraduate tuition for borrowers who earn $125,000 or less per year and who graduate from a private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI’s).

Tuition-fee college

  • During the 2020 presidential primaries, Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) led the fight for tuition-free college.
  • Biden calls for tuition-free two-year and four-year public colleges and universities for those who earn up to $125,000 in annual income.
  • Biden would double the maximum Pell Grant award.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

  • Biden would forgive $10,000 a year in student loan debt for up to 5 years.
  • That’s a total of $50,000 of student loan forgiveness for public servants under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
  • The plan applies to those who meet the requirements of the Public Service, including those who work for qualifying public service and non-profit employers.
  • Teachers also can qualify to receive up to $50,000 of student loan forgiveness.
  • Enrollment in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program would be automatic, and any student loan forgiveness would be tax-free.
  • Notably, Biden’s plan would limit the amount of student loan forgiveness under this program, which currently allows for unlimited federal student loan forgiveness after 120 qualifying student loan payments.

Student Loan Repayment

  • Like President Donald Trump, Biden wants to simplify student loan repayment.
  • Biden’s plan call for borrowers who earn less than $25,000 annually to pay no interest on their federal student loans.
  • Biden would cap total payments on federal student loans at 5% of discretionary income for borrowers who earn more than $25,000 per year.
  • After 20 years of on-time payments, borrowers would receive automatic student loan forgiveness.

Even redefining capitalism:

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, laying out his plans for an economic recovery Thursday, said President Donald Trump is too focused on the stock market during the coronavirus pandemic.

The former vice president, speaking at an event in Pennsylvania, said he wanted to end the “era of shareholder capitalism.”

“Throughout this crisis, Donald Trump has been almost singularly focused on the stock market, the Dow and Nasdaq. Not you. Not your families,” Biden said. “If I am fortunate enough to be elected president, I’ll be laser-focused on working families, the middle-class families I came from here in Scranton. Not the wealthy investor class. They don’t need me.”

Among the policies Biden described Thursday is a tax hike for corporations. His plans call for a 28% corporate tax rate, well above the 21% set by Trump’s 2017 tax cuts but still below where the top rate was previously.

To make all of this possible, we need a huge electoral landslide to take place to flip a lot of state to Biden and win a Democratic Senate Majority. Especially since John Roberts’ Supreme Court is bracing itself for a Biden win. David Faris at The Week explains:

There is further dark genius in the way that Roberts has handled the Court's denouement this term. Both Mazars and Vance were decided 7-2, avoiding the perception that these were party-line votes. Getting all four liberal justices to go along with the majority in Mazars is really quite a coup for Roberts and a reminder to liberals that flipping one seat on the Court is not going to be enough to win major progressive victories in the years to come. Should Biden win the presidency in November, it will allow conservatives to argue that the Court should be left untouched because it is still capable of avoiding party-line 5-4 votes on important issues. Proponents of court-packing probably faced an uphill climb in getting 50 Democratic senators to sign onto such a disruptive maneuver. Roberts has, ingeniously, now made that task even harder.

Make no mistake — if President Trump is re-elected, Roberts can look forward to building as much as a 7-2 conservative majority, with the ailing Ruth Bader Ginsburg unlikely to survive another four years and Stephen Breyer heading to his mid-80s. That majority will be unconstrained by June Medical when it guts or overturns Roe. It will rubber stamp the second Trump administration's DACA repeal. If the underlying issues in Mazars ever make it back to them, they will rule for the president, establishing impunity not just on financial records but for any matter of presidential wrongdoing.

And if Biden wins, Roberts will happily execute the right's plan for maintaining its stranglehold on American democracy long after the Republican Party's power has vanished. The Affordable Care Act will be overturned. D.C. statehood will get tied up in litigation for years. Progressive policies like Medicare-for-all and a wealth tax will get rope-a-doped in the courts before being extinguished years later by Roberts and his friends. Efforts to rein in corporate power will meet the same end they've encountered for the past 20 years.

Democrats must not be fooled by their fleeting wins this term. If and when they take back power in Washington, they must use their full constitutional power to move forward with adding seats to the Supreme Court and dramatically expanding the size of the district and appellate courts. If they do not, their policy agenda will be wrecked and their stay in power will be brief. Nothing less than the survival of American democracy is at stake.

So we have to keep up the momentum in all these states if we are to win big. We can absolutely make that happen. Click below to donate and get involved with Biden’s campaign and these Senate Democrats campaigns:

Joe Biden

Sen. Doug Jones (D. AL)

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John Hickenlooper (D. CO)

Jon Ossoff (D. GA)

Raphael Warnock (D. GA)

Theresa Greenfield (D. IA)

Barbara Bollier (D. KS)

Amy McGrath (D. KY)

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Sen. Gary Peters (D. MI)

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Steve Bullock (D. MT)

Cal Cunningham (D. NC)

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Jaime Harrison (D. SC)

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