This election very well may be decided by three cities south of the Mason-Dixon line: Raleigh, Charlotte and Greensboro. This is where Donald Trump is making his biggest attack on Clinton. It’s also where Clinton is going to do or die in putting the race away.
It seems to emerge that Trump really does have a strategy.
As the unnamed Imperial officer said to
Governor Tarkin Hillary: “We’ve analyzed their attack, sir, and there is a danger. Shall I have your ship standing by?” Hillary answered: “Evacuate? In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate Trump’s chances.”
But the Empress does nothing without listening to her Darth Vader of data: Elan Kriegel. We don’t know what Kriegel says to Hillary, but we do see what she does, and therefore we have a very good guess.
Hillary canceled her California gig, because it was just a money run. She can raise $100 grand per plate with surrogates, but she’ll cough up a lung to win North Carolina. She spoke in Greensboro, which is in the third largest county in the state by population: Guilford. Guilford voted for Obama in both 2008 and 2012, in a state which has gone to Republicans in every presidential election since 1980, except 2008.
In 2012, Romney received a slightly higher percentage of the vote than McCain got in 2008. But the top three counties, population-wise, experienced a nearly 10 percent higher turnout in 2012 from 2008, with Obama losing nearly 2 percent from his first election. In fact, that alone was enough to swing the state to Romney.
It’s a very narrow path for Trump at this point. But it’s very clear that without North Carolina, states like New Hampshire, Ohio and even Pennsylvania are of no value. Trump has rallies in Texas, Colorado, and Florida to close out September. But he’s spending more time in North Carolina than any of those.
Trump’s national strategy is to flip the race, taking white working-class votes while counting on Republicans to eventually unify in opposition to Hillary. Every time he hits her with the regularity of a drumbeat on her crookedness, her health, and her lies, Trump gains a few more from the #NeverTrump camp. Every time he focuses on “America First,” jobs, and liberal spending programs (not opposing them, but proposing them), he gets a few Democrats to reconsider.
North Carolina is key to this strategy. There’s really no possibility of victory without it.
Because Trump must win there, Hillary feels that she must stop him there. Right now, time is on Trump’s side, not Clinton’s (meaning in terms of the trend and news cycles, which Trump dominates), and stopping Trump before he can claim he’s leading in polls during the debates must be what her handlers are telling her.
Because seriously, does Hillary really think she can debate Trump on the issues? Surely she saw the likes of Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz fall without a single coherent policy debate with Trump. The debate is going to be about “Crooked Hillary,” stamina, and polls.
Clinton has split the latest polls in N.C. and is in a virtual tie with Trump, well within the margin of error.
This is why the press has gone bonkers in N.C. to protect the Empress. A 69-year-old protester claimed a Trump supporter punched her after a rally in Asheville and the press jumped all over it. It’s actually useful to have Breitbart around at times, because it appears she may have exaggerated (or invented) the story.
Police have a warrant out for Richard Campbell of SC for punching 69-year-old woman outside rally. Her story at 6 @WLOS_13
— Aaron Adelson (@AaronAdelson) September 13, 2016
Even more protesters claimed they were assaulted at the same rally. This is the strategy. Bring in the protesters, then get the press to cover the “deplorables.” Clinton’s machine is practically inviting violence and mayhem, but that’s how she rolls.
Trump’s outsourced campaign has opened three new “RNC victory offices” in N.C. this week. Clinton, by contrast has 30 offices. Trump has also started television advertising, hitting Clinton on her “basket of deplorables” remark.
I predicted the race would narrow after Hillary’s health debacle, and it has. Now is the time to watch North Carolina very closely. This could be where Trump beats Hillary, or it could be where she puts the race out of his reach.