May 19, 2019


Trump and Biden, potential 2020 rivals, both head to Pennsylvania, a key battleground (JANET HOOK and ELI STOKOLS, MAY 17, 2019, LA Times)

The latest Quinnipiac University poll in Pennsylvania found Biden out-polls Trump 53% to 42%, with especially wide margins among independent voters and women.

The Trump team's own polling shows him trailing in the state.

That's a far cry from his stunning 2016 victory in Pennsylvania, which, along with narrow wins in Wisconsin and Michigan, demolished Democrats' "blue wall" of support across the industrial heartland. Not since 1988 had a Republican presidential nominee carried Pennsylvania or Michigan. Wisconsin hadn't voted for a Republican nominee since 1984.

But Trump's margin of victory in Pennsylvania was only about 44,000 votes out of about 6 million cast.

Ever since that upset, warning signs for the GOP have been flashing in Pennsylvania. In special elections in 2017, Democrats flipped some long-held GOP local offices, and Democrat Conor Lamb, a centrist, won a House seat in the heart of Trump country. The 2018 midterm election was a statewide blowout as Democrats won the U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races by double-digit margins.

Moving to get a grip on the situation, the Trump political team a few weeks ago traveled to Harrisburg, Pa., for a meeting with Republican National Committee and state GOP officials to address concerns over party infrastructure, organizational readiness and their string of losses, according to two officials with knowledge of the meeting. [...]

[R]epublicans concede that Biden will be a much more formidable opponent than Clinton in 2016.

"He was raised in northeast Pennsylvania, spent a large part of his political career in southeast Pennsylvania and fancies himself as a candidate who can garner a lot of blue-collar support from the building trades -- all of those are areas that were nontraditional supporters of the Trump campaign last time," said Mike DeVanney, a GOP consultant in Pittsburgh.

Posted by at May 19, 2019 7:25 PM