The Catholic Battleground States: How Catholics will reelect President Trump in 2020
Justin Haggerty | The Daily Knight
Whether its improving manufacturing in the "rust belt," expanding economic opportunities for immigrants and minorities, lowing healthcare costs, reducing taxes and regulations for workers and businesses, growing American energy independence, making American trade stronger and more competitive against China, restoring law and order in urban and suburban communities, ending foreign wars and international reliance on an American military "police force," holding partners accountable in trade agreements, nominating good constitutional judges to federal courts, or fighting COVID-19, the Catholic vote stands as the unifying dynamic that will influence the results in battleground states for the 2020 presidential election.
Florida, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota all carry a significant Catholic vote that will be a variable in reelecting President Trump to a second term in office.
The Biden/Harris Campaign also recognizes this factor, but originally felt that Democrats could rely on the self-proclaimed "Catholic" identity of Vice President Joe Biden to earn the votes of faithful Catholics. In recent weeks, the campaign has attempted to distance itself from socialist ideas and policies, retract statements that Biden and Harris have made publicly, and dismiss the violent and anti-Catholic rhetoric of Antifa and BLM.
In the other camp, Republicans have made a strong push to target and earn the trust of Catholic voters in the battleground states. Let me first present the big moves that the Trump/Pence Campaign and the RNC have made from the national level, and then analyze the current status in the battleground states and how we project each state will vote on November 3rd.
What sparked the Trump Campaign's shift toward Catholic voters?
After a summer of violence in our cities, the American people saw different narratives on the marxist agitators in Antifa and BLM. If you watched the mainstream media, the coverage focused on police brutality and you were informed that protests were primarily peaceful around the country. If you watched Fox News and other right-leaning media, you saw violence against police officers, private property, local businesses, public monuments, and government property.
If you were Catholic, you heard hateful rhetoric from Antifa and BLM leaders and you saw Churches being vandalized and burned, statues of Saints and other Catholics being torn down, and statues and murals of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary being defaced and destroyed. Complicit Clergy published an interactive map that catalogued the attacks on Churches and religious sites.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump were slammed by Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory for paying their respects and praying at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in D.C. Making it publicly clear that the two were unwelcome, the Archbishop stated that he found it "baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles."
Archbishop Gregory's attempt to link the President to police brutality and systemic racism, only to be rebuked by Former Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, as a 'false shepherd.'
This event is what started the Trump Campaign's shift toward the Catholic vote, appealing to different issues and points of tension within the Catholic community, which adheres to traditional Church teachings.
President Trump's embrace of Archbishop Vigano
The counter by Archbishop Vigano came only four days before mailing a personal letter to President Trump where he addressed the president's fight against the "Invisible Enemy," the "children of darkness," and the Masonic adage to "Solve et Coagula." The Archbishop articulated that, "I believe that the attack to which you were subjected after your visit to the National Shrine of Saint John Paul II is part of the orchestrated media narrative which seeks not to fight racism and bring social order, but to aggravate dispositions; not to bring justice, but to legitimize violence and crime; not to serve the truth, but to favor one political faction."
Three days later, the Archbishop reentered the news with an earthshattering letter on June 9th, where His Excellency joined Bishop Athanasius Schneider in condemning Pope Francis' ecumenical and heretical Abu Dhabi Declaration, the "spirit" of the Second Vatican Council, and the Church's and Conciliar Popes' embrace of the world over Church teachings.
Choosing to honor the Archbishop with a tweet the following day, President Trump illustrated that he had a good understanding of the battles being raged within the Catholic Church. Archbishop Vigano had been in hiding for two years out of fear for his life after exposing the monetary and sexual abuse coverups from ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, and other prelates stretching to Pope Francis.
For several years, many faithful Catholics have been on the frontline following the battle against or supporting the fight against modernism within the Church and President Trump's tweet was a salute to that fight. Archbishop Vigano, in his correspondence with the president, made it clear that the fight within the Church and the political fight in the secular world engages the same "Invisible Enemy."
On July 8th, Archbishop Vigano responded with support for a Rosary Crusade and drafted a prayer to reelect President Trump and to end social, political, and racial turmoil in the United States.
"Almighty and Eternal God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords: graciously turn your gaze to us who invoke You with confidence. Bless us, citizens of the United States of America; grant peace and prosperity to our Nation; illuminate those who govern us so that they may commit themselves to the common good, in respect for Your holy Law. Protect those who, defending the inviolable principles of the Natural Law and Your Commandments, must face the repeated assaults of the Enemy of the human race. Keep in the hearts of Your children courage for the truth, love for virtue and perseverance in the midst of trials. Make our families grow in the example that Our Lord has given us, together with His Most Holy Mother and Saint Joseph in the home of Nazareth; give to our fathers and mothers the gift of Strength, to educate wisely the children with which you have blessed them. Give courage to those who, in spiritual combat, fight the good fight as soldiers of Christ against the furious forces of the children of darkness. Keep each one of us, O Lord, in your Most Sacred Heart, and above all him whom Your Providence has placed at the head of our Nation. Bless the President of the United States of America, so that aware of his responsibility and his duties, he may be a knight of justice, a defender of the oppressed, a firm bulwark against Your enemies, and a proud supporter of the children of light. Place the United States of America and the whole world under the mantle of the Queen of Victories, our Unconquered Leader in battle, the Immaculate Conception. It is thanks to her, and through your Mercy, that the hymn of praise rises to you, O Lord, from the children whom you have redeemed in the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ."
On August 10th, Archbishop Vigano published a new letter where His Excellency expanded and clarified his charges, denouncing the Second Vatican Council as a "subversive event," a "Trojan Horse introduced into the Sacred Citadel," and a "devious and cowardly betrayal operated from within the Church herself, as Saint Pius X had already predicted and condemned in the Pascendi encyclical, indicating the modernists as the most harmful enemies of the Church." The Archbishop concluded the letter with, "Let’s not forget that Dante places the fraudulent in the Ninth Circle of Hell."
President Trump salutes Dr. Taylor Marshall; then hires him to the Campaign
Another major salute to the traditional Catholic movement and its battle with modernism was President Trump's tweet on July 2nd, where he named Dr. Taylor Marshall and acknowledging the fact that 'There Is A War on Christianity.'
Dr. Taylor Marshall is well known for his book "Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within" and YouTube channel, where he provides good and traditional catechesis, analyses Church teachings, provides and discusses Church news and events, and uncovers issues of scandal and material heresy within the clergy and faithful. As a advocate for the Traditional Latin Mass, also known as the Tridentine Mass, Dr. Marshall has become a major voice within the traditional movement.
For those who are among the 262,000 subscribers on Youtube, President Trump's tweet was another shocking realization, after the correspondence with Archbishop Vigano, that the president is aware and familiar with the struggles within Catholicism. The positions of traditional Catholics against an ever increasing modernist and material heretical Catholic Church, are becoming well-known and mainstream.
President Trump has always had a great ability to understand people, especially the "forgotten men and women" of middle America. This occurrence was another perfect example of that.
On July 24th, the Trump Campaign announced that Dr. Taylor Marshall was added to the advisory board for Catholics For Trump, in an effort to help the campaign better understand the interests of the Catholic faithful. Dr. Marshall explains his decision to join the campaign in this Facebook video. It has since been removed from YouTube.
Dr. Marshall has since been a staunch critic of the anti-Catholic Biden/Harris ticket, focusing several videos on the 'silent majority' and the underrating of President Trump in the state and national polls, Democrats attempts to enable and allow voter fraud, and Catholic clergy's labeling of Vice President Joe Biden as "catholic in name only."
2020 Republican National Convention's appeal to Catholic Voters
The Trump Campaign and the RNC executed a detailed plan to roll out a list of speakers that would strongly appeal to the Catholic voter in the midwest and other battleground states like Florida and Arizona.
Maximo Alvarez, the Catholic and Cuban immigrant who spoke on Day 1, illustrated a surreal scenario on how Cubans never imagined the United States degrading into a communist and socialist country like Cuba, the home country that so many fled from in fear. Mr. Alvarez explained how Fidel Castro, like Joe Biden and so many Democrats, was a self-proclaimed Catholic and a closet marxist.
Nick Sandmann, the Covington Catholic High School teenager who was smeared by the mainstream media and won a $250 million settlement with The Washington Post for unjustly portraying him as a MAGA Hat wearing-white supremacist, spoke from the Lincoln Memorial on the second evening during the RNC. Sandmann criticized the hateful and biased rhetoric of the mainstream media, correctly identifying that their platforms have become tools for the Democrats to fabricate news stories and narratives to fuel racial, religious, social, and political turmoil.
Possibly the most popular speaker on Day 2 was Sister Deirdre Byrne, Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts and a retired Colonel of the U.S. Army Medical Corps. Sr. Byrne was unapologetically pro-life, touting that "Life begins at conception...while what I have to say may be difficult for some to hear, I'm saying it because I'm not just pro-life, I'm pro-eternal life...I want all of us to end up in heaven someday." For many of us, it had been a long time since we saw a nun in habit on television, especially one that wielded the Holy Rosary as her weapon. In closing, Sr. Byrne denounced the Biden/Harris campaign for supporting abortion and infanticide, and assured the President "that we are all praying for you."
In a big appeal to the Catholic faithful in the midwest and University of Notre Dame football fans nationwide, Lou Holtz spoke after Sr. Deirdre Byrne, stating that "it is a pleasure, a blessing and an honor for me to explain why I believe that President Trump is a consistent winner, an outstanding leader, and deserves to be reelected as our president." The Hall of Fame head coach of the Fighting Irish advocated for President Trump for being a "consistent winner," "an outstanding leader," and as someone who you can trust, because "he means what he says...and he’s done what he said he would do at every single turn." Holtz also addressed President Trump's pro-life beliefs, his dedication to doing his very best, and his love for other people as exemplified in prison, school choice, and welfare reform. In his final statement, Coach Holtz mentioned that "I used to ask our athletes at Notre Dame, if you did not show up, who would miss you and why? ...Can you imagine what would happen to us if President Trump had not shown up in 2016 to run for president? ...I’m so glad he showed up."
Lastly, and perhaps the most subtle and yet greatest Catholic appeal during the RNC, came at the conclusion of President Donald Trump's acceptance speech of the Republican Nomination on the lawn of the White House. After finishing his speech, the celebration abrupted with fireworks across the National Mall. A symphony emerged on the balcony of the White House and, accompanied with the opera singer Christopher Macchio, played the Ave Maria rendition that was composed by Franz Schubert in 1825 after the Catholic prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court
President Trump's nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 7th District Court of Appeals, to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court, was definitely the final act to influence the Catholic vote before the 2020 presidential election. Valedictorian of Notre Dame Law, former professor at the University of Notre Dame, clerk for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, revered constitutional originalist, professional woman in a disciplined dominated by men, faithful Catholic, good and lovey wife, and mother of seven (with two adopted), Judge Barrett presents very little to attack and much for middle-America, especially Catholics, to support.
Democrats, in their disrespectful and anti-Catholic conduct against Judge Barrett during her 2017 confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate for the federal appellate court, sealed the fate that the Trump administration would lean her way for the nomination. It gave Republicans and the Trump Campaign the opportunity to allow American voters to relive the bigoted treatment exemplified by and the several comments made by senate Democrats concerning the Catholic faith of Judge Barrett.
In 2017, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), was concerned that Judge Barrett's Christian beliefs and "dogma lives loudly within [her]" and that it would impact her merit and ability to judge impartially. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a self-proclaimed Catholic, also questioned Judge Barrett if she was a "orthodox Catholic," insinuating that she would be unable to separate her beliefs from constitutional judicial review.
In a similar confirmation hearing, U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) criticized Judge Brian Buescher for his membership in the Knights of Columbus. The two Democrat senators questioned the Knights of Columbus for their "number of extreme positions" in opposition to a "woman's right to choose" and the mainstream media described the organization as "a fraternal organization with a long record of opposing equal protection of the law for LGBT people."
During the recent confirmation hearings for her nomination to the Supreme Court, this rhetoric was represented to the American people just weeks before the general election. President Trump and Vice President Pence made an effort to address the situation at every campaign rally and television appearance. U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO), joined with several of his colleagues on the Judiciary Committee, made an eloquent defense of Judge Barrett's faith and professional merit, stating "When you tell somebody that they're too Catholic to be on the bench, when you tell them they're going to be a Catholic judge, not an American judge, that's bigotry...the pattern and practice of bigotry from members of this committee must be stopped, and I would expect that it be renounced."
Hiding behind the self-proclaimed Catholicism of Vice President Joe Biden, senate Democrats didn't take the bate during the confirmation hearings, ignoring past comments against Catholicism and using their allotted times to not discuss the merits of Judge Barrett but to address the election, COVID-19, and Roe v. Wade.
Catholic Clergy denounce Joe Biden - catholic in name only
Since August, a large number of Catholic clergy have publicly called for the faithful to vote their conscience according to Catholic virtues, to support pro-life candidates, and to reject Vice President Joe Biden, who is catholic in name only.
In 2019, after Vice President Biden was refused Holy Communion by a Catholic priest in South Carolina, Cardinal Raymond Burke, Former Prefect of the Church's Highest Court, aided support to the young priest and stated "Joe Biden is not a Catholic in good standing and he should not approach to receive Holy Communion.”
Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Former Prelate of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, seconded Cardinal Burke and asserted that "its better to vote for a good Protestant than a bad Catholic.” Correspondence from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the Former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States who we spoke about earlier, contributed perhaps the harshest criticism, challenging that “[if Biden were elected,] we would find ourselves facing an Orwellian dictatorship desired by both the 'Deep State' and the 'Deep Church,' in which the rights that today are considered fundamental and inalienable would be trampled with the complicity of mainstream media."
From the Diocese of Knoxville, Bishop Richard Stika told the faithful via Twitter that “[I] don't understand how Mr. Biden can claim to be a good and faithful Catholic as he denies so much of Church teaching, especially on the absolute child abuse and human rights violations of the most innocent, the not yet born. And he also praises his
sidekick who has shown time and time again in senate hearings that she is an anti-Catholic bigot.” The Bishop of Pittsburgh, Bishop David Allen Zubik, seconded that message in a letter to Catholic faithful, confirming that "good Catholics cannot vote for a candidate in order to support a position that endangers human lives, promotes racism, violates religious freedom, or in any way violates human rights...No matter how we vote, we must work to protect human life at all of its stages. No matter how we vote, we must work to promote peace and justice.”
The most viral statement came from Father James Altman, Pastor, St. James the Less, La Crosse, WI, where he participated in a well produced video for Alpha Faith, claiming that "you cannot be a Catholic and a Democrat...period." The priest was admonished and supported from all communities across the United states, receiving petitions for his diocese to protect and punish him. Prelates like Bishop Joseph Strickland, Diocese of Tyler, TX, loudly supported Fr. Altman, posting via Twitter, “As the Bishop of Tyler I endorse Fr Altman’s statement in this video. My shame is that it has taken me so long. Thank you Fr Altman for your COURAGE. If you love Jesus & His Church & this nation…please HEED THIS MESSAGE.”
The statements by Catholic clergy against Vice President Joe Biden and Democrat policies have been well received by most Catholics on social media, but also vilified by those self-proclaimed "catholics" who embrace socialism and marxism more than Church teachings. According to a recent EWTN News and RealClear Opinion Research survey, 45% of Catholics still support upholding Roe v. Wade. That contingent is a very similar percentage on who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and who are lining up for Vice President Biden in 2020. For the faithful who continue to adhere to Church teachings and maintain supernatural faith, the courageous comments by Catholic clergy in this election have been a breath of fresh air.
National Polling Data covering the Catholic Vote in 2016 and 2020; how do they compare?
Before we analyze the Catholic battleground states of Florida, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, it would be prudent to take a look at how Catholic voters were portrayed in national polls before the 2016 election, how Catholic voters outperformed the data in exit polls on Election Day, and how those polls stack up to the current data between President Trump and Vice President Biden in 2020.
Before election day in 2016, Georgetown University's Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate and American National Election Studies released polling data that Hillary Clinton narrowly led Donald Trump with Catholic voters, 48 percent to 45 percent respectfully.
Following the trend that polls were off an average of 6% in 2016, mostly due to oversampling democrat voters and failing to capture voter excitement for candidate Trump, Pew Research estimated that President Trump won 52 percent of Catholic voters in 2016, versus 44 percent for Hillary Clinton. That same flip of 6 - 7% was evident in local and demographic polls across battleground states, leading President Trump to victories in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, many of which were absolute shockers for the mainstream media on election night.
So where does that leave us now?
Again, just over a week before the general election on November 3rd, polls are preparing Democrats for another major victory, looking eerily similar to 2016. The current RealClearPolitics national average has Vice President Joe Biden ahead by 7.9%, while The Hill reported that polls on average are oversampling democrat registered voters by 3% compared to republicans and independents. Combined with the 3.5% margin of error, this oversampling, which is maliciously screwed toward democrats, brings the national average to nearly even or at least highlights the opportunity for Vice President Biden to win the popular vote.
The recent EWTN News and RealClear Opinion Research poll on Oct. 20th showed a similar trend with the Catholic vote, claiming that President Trump is losing to Vice President Biden by 12 points, 40 percent to 52 percent. If you apply the 6% trend from 2016 and the current oversampling of democrat voters and the margin of error, the EWTN poll arrives at a 46% to 46% tie. That would be an earthshattering defeat for the Democrats, who have touted their "catholic" candidate, Joe Biden. This 46% number is also very similar to Hillary Clinton's 44% performance in 2016 and the 45% of Catholics who support upholding Roe v. Wade.
The EWTN poll also shared that 46% of likely Catholic voters support the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court. Add the 6% differential and the numbers illustrate the 52% - 55% of Catholics oppose abortion and support overturning Roe v. Wade. The poll also showed President Trump narrowing the gap with Hispanics, down only 20 percentage points compared to 38 behind Hillary Clinton in 2016. The gap was much larger in 2012 when President Barrack Obama won 71% of the Hispanic vote.
Local polls in battleground states are no different. The current RealClearPolitics average in battleground states shows Vice President Biden polling 3.8% ahead of President Trump, which exactly tied with Hillary Clinton in 2016. As illustrated by the historical map, the balance has gone back and forth between the two camps, but have relatively kept pace with the difference in 2016, when the Trump Campaign outperformed the polls on average by 6%. When applying this data to the current polls in battleground states, it is conceivable that President Trump would have a similar outcome to election night 2016 if not better.
Now, let's analyze the data coming out of each of the Catholic battleground states.
The Catholic Battleground States - State by State Analysis
According to the recent RealClearPolitics average in Florida, Vice President Joe Biden currently holds a 1.5% lead over President Donald Trump. The performance is well within the 6% differential from 2016 and the current 3% average of oversampling democrat registered voters and the 3.5% margin of error.
At this time in 2016, Hillary Clinton enjoyed an average of 3% over then candidate Trump in Florida. The fact that President Trump is performing better over Vice President Biden in 2020, could be credited to him narrowing the gap with the Hispanic vote. According to recent polls from the Sunshine State, President Trump only trails Vice President Biden by 7% among likely Hispanic voters, a major erosion of support from 2016 and 2012.
Additionally, the GOP greatly outperformed the Democrat Party in the battle to register new voters in the state of Florida. Out of the 1.6 million newly registered voters in Florida, Republicans added 193,000 more voters than Democrats, according to Pew Research. NBC News noted "in heavily blue Miami-Dade County, where Hillary Clinton beat Trump by 29 points in 2016, Republicans added a net 22,986 additional voter registrations between March and the end of August, compared to 11,142 for Democrats." In a state that experienced 112,911 more votes for President Trump than Hillary Clinton in 2016, these newly added republican voters could make a major difference, especially when a newly registered voter is 95% likely to vote in an upcoming election.
The Daily Knight prediction: Victory President Trump +4.2%
According to the recent RealClearPolitics average in Arizona, Vice President Joe Biden currently holds a 2.4% lead over President Donald Trump. Like Florida, the performance remains within the 6% differential from 2016 and the current 3% average of oversampling democrat registered voters and the 3.5% margin of error.
In late October 2016, Hillary Clinton led the Trump Campaign by 2.5% in Arizona. In 2016, President Trump earned 31% of the Hispanic vote in Arizona and currently polls at 25% against Vice President Biden in 2020. Although a virtual tie with 2016's performance after applying the 6% differential, it proves that the Trump Campaign hasn't improved in Arizona like it has with the Hispanic vote in Florida. The Mexican community may be accepting the Trump Administration differently than the Cuban immigrant community.
In Arizona, Republicans haven't done as well of a job in registering new voters, compared to their efforts in Florida. This could tighten the race a bit. Since August, Republicans added 30,000 more voters than Democrats, despite Democrats' successes in increasing voter rolls by registering the state's increasing number of young Latino voters. The margin of victory for President Trump in 2016 was 91,234 votes.
The Daily Knight Prediction: Victory President Trump +2.3%
According to the recent RealClearPolitics average in Ohio, President Trump currently holds a 0.6% lead over Vice President Biden. Like the beforementioned battleground states, the performance remains above the 6% differential from 2016 and the current 3% average of oversampling democrat registered voters and the 3.5% margin of error.
At this time in 2016, then candidate Trump enjoyed a 3% lead on Hillary Clinton, eventually winning on election night by 8.1%.
Figures released by Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose showed 8,080,050 Ohioans were registered in the state, a record only bested in 2008 when President Barrack Obama defeated John McCain. Unlike the improvements in Florida and Arizona, Republicans experienced a 120,000 decrease in registered voters compared to a quarter of a million increase by Democrats. The Republican Party remains the largest in the state, at 1.9 million voters, a contrast with 4.5 million voters who are unaffiliated. These independent voters are where the race will be decided. President Trump's margin of victory was 446,841 over Hillary Clinton in 2016, and it doesn't appear that the Democrats have made up enough ground to contest the state in 2020.
The Daily Knight Prediction: Victory President Trump +5.7%
According to the recent RealClearPolitics average in Pennslyvania, Vice President Biden currently holds a 5.1% lead over President Trump. Like the beforementioned battleground states, the performance remains within the 6% differential from 2016 and the current 3% average of oversampling democrat registered voters and the 3.5% margin of error.
At this time in 2016, Hillary Clinton enjoyed an average of 6.1% over the Trump Campaign. President Trump went on to win Pennsylvania by 0.7% and 44,292 votes.
The Morning Call reported that "a year ago the Democrats held about 9.5% registration lead with more than 4 million registrants compared to 3.2 million Republicans...[and], as of October 19 [the lead] is down to 7.8%, with over 4.2 million Democrats and about 3.5 million Republicans among the state’s 9 million registered voters." A more detailed look by NBC News at the numbers would show, "Republicans added a net 135,619 voters between this June's primary and the final week of September, while Democrats added 57,985 and other voters increased 49,995." For a state that came down to 0.7% and 44,292 votes, that 1.7% improvement by Republicans will increase President Trump's performance from 2016. In fact, since 2019 all but 6 of Pennsylvania's counties, including Philadelphia, saw more republican voter registrations than democrats.
The Daily Knight Prediction: Victory President Trump +2.4%
According to the recent RealClearPolitics average in Michigan, Vice President Biden currently holds a 7.8% lead over President Trump. Unlike the other battleground states, the performance remains slightly outside the 6% differential from 2016 and the current 3% average of oversampling democrat registered voters and the 3.5% margin of error.
In late October 2016, Hillary Clinton enjoyed a comfortable lead of 9.2% over then candidate Donald Trump, and lost the state by a jaw-dropping 0.3% and 10,704 votes. As you can see, Michigan was one of the states where the results were off more than the 6% differential. Oversampling democrat registered voters, undervaluing voter excitement for Trump, and lower voter turnout for Clinton compared to President Barrack Obama in 2008 and 2012 all factored into the historic upset.
Although new voter registrations have been down in Michigan, with 107,472 so far this year compared with 151,816 in the first six months of that 2016, the Detroit Free Press showed that there was an uptick of 35,278 new registrations in June, a significant gain on the 23,519 recorded in June 2016. The Trump Campaign sees this as a possible reaction to Michigan Democrats' handling of the COVID-19 lockdown, anti-police violence, and urban riots. Additionally, NBC News stated that "the Trump campaign is well aware of the opportunity it has to expand its core demographic base through registration and mobilization: in 2016, there were 1.6 million eligible whites without college degrees who didn't vote in Michigan, according to estimates compiled by the Cook Political Report." That demographic most certainly represents the working class, who are concerned about the economy and job creation, both areas where President Trump outperforms Vice President Biden.
The Daily Knight Prediction: Victory President Trump +1.7%
According to the recent RealClearPolitics average in Wisconsin, Vice President Biden currently holds a 4.6% lead over President Trump. Similar to Pennsylvania, the performance remains within the 6% differential from 2016 and the current 3% average of oversampling democrat registered voters and the 3.5% margin of error.
At this time in 2016, President Trump was down an average of 6.4% to the Clinton Campaign, and not once was Wisconsin discussed as in play for the Republicans. On election night, President Trump won the state by 0.7% and 22,748 votes.
Like Michigan and Pennsylvania, NBC News posted that President Trump has an opportunity to earn the votes of the "872,000 eligible whites without college degrees who didn't vote in Wisconsin in 2016, according to estimates compiled by the Cook Political Report." As stated before, this demographic most certainly represents the working class, who have supported the Trump Administration's economic and job creation policies over the past three years.
Furthermore, the Wall Street Journal in Madison reported that "in the 60 counties [President] Trump won in 2016, the total number of registered voters declined by 2.35%, or 35,395 voters, between July 2016 and July 2020...but in the 12 counties Clinton won, the number declined by a larger 4.51% during the same period, a decline of 56,590 voters, even though there are almost a million fewer registered voters in those counties."
Madison continued, "the number of registered voters in July 2020 in the counties that [President] Trump won stood at 2,181,278 voters, down from 2,216,673 in July 2016....[and], in the Clinton counties, the total stood at 1,225,674 registered voters in July of 2020, a drop from 1,282,264 voters in July of 2016. Lastly, in the two "counties that drive big Democratic margins, such as Dane and Milwaukee, registration rates are still down from 2016...Milwaukee County saw a net registered voter decrease of 38,459 between July 2016 and this July, a 5.33% decrease...[and], Dane County saw a smaller decrease of 4,192 voters over the same time frame, representing a 4.28% decrease."
For a state that President Trump won by a small 22,748 votes, the voter shrinkage in Democratic counties will play a major factor in making Wisconsin remain red in 2020.
The Daily Knight Projection: Victory President Trump +2.5