Joe Biden leads President Trump in Michigan, Republicans vow to defend red states


The White House (Flickr)

President Donald J. Trump walks across the South Lawn of the White House to board Marine One in January

Ivana Venema-Nunez, Reporter

With the general elections only a few weeks away, President Trump’s campaign has stopped buying television ads in Michigan and seemingly readjusted their focus to other key Midwestern states that could swing back to the Democrats in 2020.

Michigan, considered an important state to win electoral votes in, has reserved television ads beginning in September totaling $11.4 million from Trump’s campaign, according to a New York Times article

The expectation that Michigan would be one of the most intense battlegrounds in the country has made many democrats wary of Trump’s decision, especially since the presumptive democratic candidate Joseph R. Biden Jr. has built a steady advantage in the Wolverine state’s polls. 

According to political strategists and state polling, Trump faces challenges of reduced support among less-educated white voters, motivated black voters in the states urban centers and suburban voters who distance themselves from Trump’s divisive brand politics, the NYT reported.

“Of all the states he won in 2016, Trump would be most hard pressed to keep Michigan in his column this time around,” said Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster for Priorities USA, a Democratic super PAC.

Republicans are unlikely to give up on Michigan’s 16 electoral college votes altogether.  The Trump campaign has reportedly continued using door-knocking volunteers during the pandemic along with sending top administrative officials to rally voter in the state, as well as advertising through social media platforms.

The Trump campaign has been redirecting money to defend traditionally conservative states and try to flip normally Democratic states such as Nevada and Minnesota.

According to as of Aug 1, Biden was ahead 7.8 points in Michigan’s polls but according to the NYT article, democrats in Michigan are keeping their hopes down in an attempt to not allow this to be a distraction.

“If nothing else, 2016 has made it very clear to a lot of Democrats that you don’t want to put too much stock in anything other than what happens on Election Day,” said Brandon Dillon, who was the Michigan Democratic Party’s chairman four years ago.

A few political action committees (PAC) funded by Republican donors have been buying ad time in Michigan as outside allies to Trump’s campaign and a Democratic super PAC that has made Michigan a major focus, argues that the ad spending disparity was a sign that “Trump is conceding part of the battleground.” If it holds, he said, “this is a big, seismic event.”

Trump’s new campaign manager, Bill Stepein, dismissed current polls that show Biden leading nationally and in Michigan, noting that the president trailed badly throughout much of 2016 and ended up winning the elections anyway.

“These are states the experts did not see coming four years ago,”  Stepien said of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, which all flipped to the G.O.P. despite surveys showing Hillary Clinton ahead. “We intend to protect this 2016 map,” he added.