Early Voting Could Cause A Problem With Any Trump Pivot

Of course, this all assumes that there will be any pivot or attempt to create an actual presidential campaign anytime prior to election day

(NY Times) Advisers to Donald J. Trump keep reassuring Republicans that there is still plenty of time to rescue his candidacy — nearly three months to counter Hillary Clinton’s vast operation in swing states and get Mr. Trump on message.

The Trump team had better check the calendar.

Voting actually starts in less than six weeks, on Sept. 23 in Minnesota and South Dakota, the first of some 35 states and the District of Columbia that allow people to cast ballots at polling sites or by email before Nov. 8. Iowa is expected to have ballots ready by the end of September, as are Illinois and two other states.

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The electoral battlegrounds of Arizona and Ohio are to begin voting on Oct. 12, nearly four weeks before Election Day. And North Carolina and Florida will be underway before Halloween.

In 2012, 23% of the electorate cast their votes via going to polling places early or mailing their ballot in. This shortens the time a candidate has to tell people why they should earn the vote.

With Mrs. Clinton spending aggressively to try to dominate the early vote, Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly created distractions for himself in the past two weeks, is in jeopardy not just of being outmaneuvered but also of running out of chances to improve perceptions of him enough to win over undecided voters.

The time to turn it around is getting very short.

If Mrs. Clinton swamps Mr. Trump in the early vote in some swing states, she can move staff and money to the most competitive places — like Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, judging from recent polls — while he scrambles to battle on multiple fronts.

Look, I know many are tired of hearing and reading negative Trump stories, but this is a situation wholly of his own making.

Mr. Trump is lagging far behind. Unlike Mrs. Clinton, he has not been running television ads, which are crucial for engaging early voters, and he has state organizers of varying experience levels and scattershot ground troops in most places. His campaign is leaning on the Republican National Committee to open state offices to help with early voting. Both Mr. Romney and the 2008 Republican nominee, Senator John McCain, had more aggressive operations at this point.

Going out and making speeches which spend a lot of time slamming the media and Republicans, with some Clinton bashing scattered here and there, while essentially throwing red meat to his peeps, all while forgetting that he needs to expand the tent, well, this exposes some serious problems. Trump has stated he’s not interested in get out the vote measures. There are no TV ads. Very limited campaign apparatus. Limited campaign offices. He’s making speeches in deep blue states which have zero chance. And the tent is shrinking, not growing.

Meanwhile, despite Hillary being a horrid, horrid candidate, she has the experience of going through 3 national campaigns, as well as runs for the Senate. She has the full backing of the DNC. No matter what you say about her, she knows what she is doing. There seems to be a plan. There’s a ground game. And she is wisely engaging in the old saying “Never interfere with your enemy when he is making a mistake.” As a Republican candidate, anything Trump does or says will be magnified tremendously by the media. Regardless of whether it’s fair or not, it’s the way it is. And time is running very short for Trump to make anything happen. There should have been a pivot immediately after the GOP convention. If he won’t act presidential during a general election campaign, people are going to think that he’d be worse as president.

Team Trump should be looking at this NY Times article and saying “holy cow, they’re right. We need to get it in gear!” Instead, they’ll look at this as an attack and dismiss it.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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