by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Midwestern Republican leaders are confident President Trump will again prevail in their states in November and that Joe Biden won’t be able to rebuild the Democrats’ so-called “blue wall,” citing cracks in their opposition’s organizing capacity, claiming an enthusiasm advantage, and predicting a backlash to coronavirus-related economic restrictions.
In interviews with the Washington Examiner during the Republican National Committee in-person business meeting in Charlotte, heads of the GOP state parties in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — all states Trump won over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016 by razor-thin margins — projected confidence that, at times, bordered on cockiness about Trump’s chances of again sweeping the states.
“I’m not really worried about anything,” said Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Laura Cox.
Lawrence Tabas, chairman of the Pennsylvania GOP, said he “definitely” disagreed with the perception Biden was performing well in his state.
And Andrew Hitt, Wisconsin Republican Party chairman, said that it’s the Democrats who are “overconfident” about their prospects. “They think they’re ahead.”
RealClearPolitics averages of recent polls show Trump is currently losing to Biden in each of the states. Biden is up in Michigan by 6.7%, Pennsylvania by 5.7%, and Wisconsin by 6.5%.
Polls are “only a snapshot in time,” Tabas said. He argued that some voters aren’t comfortable voicing their support of Trump and, even if the surveys were accurate, Biden’s margin was shrinking, and the president was overperforming compared to four years ago.
“If the issue is the economy, and everything we’re seeing is that the economy will be the No. 1 issue, the president is beating Biden in Pennsylvania by 5 points,” Tabas said.
He projected that Trump’s standing would improve because of anger over Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.