Democrats debate Biden effort to expand map against Trump | TheHill – The Hill

Democrats say Joe BidenJoe BidenRussian bounty intel was included in Trump's daily briefing: reports House Dems to offer up road map to solve the climate crisis Supreme Court ruling could unleash new legal challenges to consumer bureau MOREs campaign should go big and expand the map to try to give the former vice president several paths to 270 electoral votes and the possibility of a landslide victory over President TrumpDonald John TrumpTop intelligence officials release statements criticizing leaking of Russian bounties information Russian bounty intel was included in Trump's daily briefing: reports Senators will have access to intelligence on Russian bounties on US troops MORE.

Were running against a guy who cares deeply about size and numbers, said one Democratic strategist. The best way to tell him to go home is with a resounding defeatThats the only language he understands.

Another Democratic strategist Joel Payne, put it this way: You dont want a squeaker if nothing else because you want a government mandate.

A number of recent polls have indicated Biden has a healthy, double-digit national lead over Trump, and several of the surveys have also pointed to close races in states such as Texas and Georgia, where Republican presidential candidates in recent years have been confident of victory.

A Fox News poll released last week found Biden up by one point, 45 percent to 44 percent, over Trump in Texas. Another survey by the network found Trump trailing Biden 47 percent to 45 percent in Georgia.

Ohio and Iowa are two other more traditional swing states that at the beginning of the year seemed like solid territory for Trump. Now, Biden looks like he can compete in both.

In Arizona, which no Democratic presidential candidate has won since 1996, Biden won 46 percent in a Fox News poll compared to 42 percent for Trump.

Arizona is one of six swing states both campaigns are closely eyeing. The other five are Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

When reliable polling has you tied or winning in Texas, you expand the map well beyond the six battleground states, said Democratic strategist Christy Setzer. And the Biden camp shouldnt psych itself out by playing it safe.

While the polls are good signs for Biden, other Democrats cautioned against going big for the sake of going big. They say all Biden needs to do is find the path of least resistance to get to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

Yet Michael Halle, who helped run Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFox's Gasparino: GOP operatives raising possibility Trump 'could drop out of race' if polls don't rebound Sacha Baron Cohen pranks right-wing event in Washington state Trump to tap senior HUD official to run Office of Personnel Management: report MOREs battleground operation in the 2016 race, said Biden has a better chance of expanding the map that the Clinton campaign did.

The numbers are pretty staggering, said Halle, who also served as a senior adviser to former Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems, GOP dig in on police reform ahead of House vote The Hill's Campaign Report: Progressives feel momentum after primary night Clinton, Buttigieg among Democrats set to hold virtual events for Biden MORE during his 2020 campaign.

At the same time, he said the goal should always be to have an eye toward the easiest way to 270.

Yes there are shiny objects, Halle added. But you still want to maintain focus on 270 and states that get you to 270.

Hallesaid that Biden should work on giving himself multiple paths to 270 electoral votes so that if October rolls around and his fortunes look better in Arizona than in Wisconsin, he can focus on the Sun Belt state.

In 2012, President Obamas campaign saw the potential of adding states such as Georgia to their ledger when they saw favorable polls. They ended up focusing their resources on Virginia instead.

In 2016, Clinton saw an opening to win Arizona and deployed top surrogates like Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama presents Beyonc with Humanitarian Award at BET Awards: 'You inspire all of us' Voting by mail is now a necessity during COVID-19 Ben Carson to read stories for children at home amid the coronavirus pandemic MORE to the state in the final days of the campaign. Clinton ended up losing Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and there has been second-guessing about the tactics ever since.

In a call with reporters last month, Biden campaign manager Jen OMalley Dillon said the campaign sees Arizona, Georgia and Texas as battleground states they can contest and win.Shesaid Arizona in particular is a state where the campaign is feeling confident.

This is something we are very, very focused on, OMalley Dillon said at the time. We believe there will be an expanded map in 2020. We believe there will be battleground states that have never been battleground states before.

A source close to the Biden campaign also told The Hill that Georgia is looking more than ever like a state they could realistically carry in November as well.

The Biden campaign announced earlier this month that it was launching a $15 million ad buy in battleground states including Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona and North Carolina, where the campaign has noticed movement in their direction.

The Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

Payne, who served as the director of African America paid media and advertising for Clintons 2016 campaign, said more than anything the Biden campaign needs to make sure they have the infrastructure in the states where theyre competing.

A state like Nevada may have more infrastructure and organization in place for Democrats to win than a state like Texas, he said.

You've got to be focused on what it takes to win, he said. That doesnt mean youre not ambitious. Youre just taking measured risks. If youre the Biden campaign, youre not counting on Arizona but it would be nice to have.

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Democrats debate Biden effort to expand map against Trump | TheHill - The Hill

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