Will the Base Be Enough?

Later today, 21 Democratic presidential candidates are expected to speak at the South Carolina democratic convention.  

Much attention will probably focus on the final two - former vice president Joe Biden and New Jersey Senator Corey Booker who disagreed this week as to whether Biden needed to apologize after speaking of the need for civility and citing his past ability to reach across the aisle, even to segregationists.  

On the surface, it would appear that the party and its candidates are in a strong position.  

Democrats are coming off a strong showing in the 2018 midterm elections in which their candidates picked-up 40 more seats en route to taking control of the house of representatives. 

And despite a strong economy, the president’s approval rating, according to Gallup, is stuck at 43%.

He is the only president in the history of Gallup to never crack 50%!

Headed into the first democratic debates next week, Joe Biden is atop the democratic polls, but he is not the only democratic candidate who beats Donald Trump in head-to-head hypotheticals.

Quinnipiac poll released June 11 showed: 

  • Vice President Joseph Biden ahead 53 - 40 percent;

  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders over President Trump 51 - 42 percent;

  • California Sen. Kamala Harris ahead of Trump 49 - 41 percent;

  • Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren tops Trump 49 - 42 percent

  • South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg edges Trump 47 - 42 percent;

  • New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker by a nose over Trump 47 - 42 percent.

In the face of these odds, The President said something interesting to “TIME" this week.  When asked about whether he should reach out to swing voters, The President said:  “I think my base is so strong, I’m not sure that I have to do that,”

He’s not alone in thinking such narrowcasting is possible.  But there’s a very small margin for error if the Trump plan is to rely entirely on turnout - and not turn-about - among some voter opinions.  

In 2016, Donald Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million, while winning the electoral college by 74. That thin margin was enabled by upsets in three usually democratic states - Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin—by a combined 79,646 votes. 

Axios reported this week that some democratic strategists are already predicting that Trump will again lose the popular vote …...But might still win the electoral college.  

One scenario by an independent political reporter has democrats winning the popular vote by as many as 5 million votes…...Taking back Michigan and Pennsylvania, while Trump narrowly holds Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin - but still Trump wins the White House, by just 1 electoral vote!

That is a Democratic "Nightmare scenario” tweeted by David Wasserman, of the cook political report.