Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
today enter the final 100 days of an extraordinary presidential campaign, with the former on a methodical march to energise President Barack Obama’s coalition and appeal to the broad mainstream and the latter charting an unconventional path driven by a message of change.
The two nominees and their running-mates will spend August in predictable ways: fleshing out their ideas for governing and mobilising voters in such battlegrounds as Ohio and Pennsylvania.
“The Clinton strategy is to run the traditional race,” Republican strategist Russ Schriefer said. “Develop a ground game. Do your data and analytics. Run television ads. Do policy speeches. Meet with different interest groups that add to your coalition.” By contrast, he said, “the Trump campaign is going to continue holding big rallies and tweeting”. He noted that the celebrity mogul has been effective at communicating this way.
Clinton and running-mate Senator Tim Kaine are on the second day of a bus tour of Pennsylvania and Ohio that is focused on Clinton’s plan to add jobs and encourage US
Trump, to rebut criticism from Clinton that he has no detailed agenda to govern the country, intends to deliver policy speeches in August. The speeches will be aimed at impressing ordinary voters more than think-tank experts, aides said.They are visiting advanced manufacturing facilities – bright spots in states that have seen an exodus of blue-collar jobs – as they take on Trump where he expects to be strongest.
Clinton’s strategists said they can convince voters that Trump’s change is so radical that a vote for him amounts to a Faustian bargain that could compromise American values.
With the Olympics opening next weekend and many Americans thinking more about holidays than politics
, the dynamics of the race are likely to be stable until the first presidential debate in September.
Clinton’s campaign and its allies are outspending Trump and his backers on the airwaves US$57 million to US$4 million.
The campaigns are strategising their paths to 270 electoral votes. Both sides agree that the battlegrounds include the industrial Midwest and a trio of southern states: Florida, North Carolina and Virginia. Trump feels bullish about New Hampshire because it was one of his biggest primary wins and one of Clinton’s worst losses. The two are fighting over Iowa, Colorado and Nevada. Clinton is targeting North Carolina, which went for Obama in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, as a way to narrow Trump’s path. Trump sees Michigan and Wisconsin, states Obama carried twice, as possible pickups that would scramble Clinton’s calculus. These states are chock full of Trump’s base voters: working-class whites beset by changes in the global economy.
The Electoral College
270 EC votes to win the presidency. States have set EC vote amounts.
242 votes have been won consistently by Democrats since 1992. This means Democrat Hillary Clinton has an easier path to 270.
179 votes from 13 likely Democratic states: Washington DC, California, Vermont, Maryland, New York, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Washington state, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Oregon, Connecticut, Illinois.
184 votes from 16 competitive states: Maine, Delaware, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Iowa, Ohio, Florida, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Georgia.
175 votes from 22 likely Rebublican states: Alaska, Texas, Arizona, Montana, Indiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Missouri, South Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana, Utah, Idaho, Kentucky, South Dakota, Tennessee, Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, Alabama, Oklahoma, West Virginia.
New York Times 70% Dem; FiveThirtyEight 53% Dem; Princeton Election Consortium 83% Dem; PredictWise 69% Dem.
BATTLE GROUND STATES
The big prizes in play:
Florida (29 votes) A quarter of Floridians are Hispanic, a heavily Democratic voting bloc. Donald Trump won well in the primaries against Florida Senator, Marco Rubio, and has a home there.
Pennsylvania (20) Democrats have won this for decades – the last five elections. The latest polls show Clinton leading by 9 points. Trump is targeting struggling towns and old coal mining areas.
Ohio (16) Bill Clinton won Ohio twice. The state’s Republican Governor, John Kasich, hasn’t endorsed Trump and avoided the Cleveland convention. Some parts of the state could warm to Trump’s rhetoric on trade.
Other states to watch:
North Carolina (15) Known in recent times as the state that banned transgender bathrooms. Clinton will be able to count on a sizable black population. Mitt Romney won in 2012.
Virginia (13) Clinton’s running-mate, Senator Tim Kaine, is from Virginia and the state’s Governor Terry McAuliffe is an old friend. Local political scientist Dr Larry Sabato thinks the Kaine pick makes the state safer for Clinton. The northern area has many highly educated voters who tend to dislike Trump. But he should do better in the rural regions.
Wisconsin (10) Has voted Democrat for more than 25 years. But the state is home to high-profile Republican officials – Governor Scott Walker, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and party chairman Reince Priebus.
Colorado (9) The state, which is 20 per cent Hispanic, has been Democrat in the last two elections.
Iowa (6) Democrats have won six of the last seven elections. It has evangelical voters.
New Hampshire (4) Gave Trump his first primary victory. Clinton lost to Bernie Sanders.