Joseph Rago wonders if Trump can win Pennsylvania:
The Trump phenomenon finds anecdotal expression in material artifacts—hats, and in Pennsylvania in particular, yard signs. They’re everywhere. Mr. Wagner says that three weeks ago he personally bought 10,000 of them and they were gone in 10 days. The nature of Mr. Trump’s appeal, he says, is that “people have never been more fed up with the status quo. They’re hungry for change.”
It would be extraordinary if Pennsylvania voted for the Republican nominee. That statement could be made for any presidential election for the last twenty years, and there is no reason to think it isn’t true now. The state has voted for the Democratic candidate for president in the last six elections. Polling indicates that Clinton continues to lead narrowly. Rago mentions near the end of his column that Trump’s campaign is being badly outworked by Clinton’s, but that doesn’t fully capture how lopsided the competition is:
Nearly everyone can agree that Donald Trump’s path to the White House goes through Pennsylvania.
But local party leaders in some of the state’s most pivotal counties say there’s been almost no outreach from his campaign so far, and there’s scant evidence of any Trump-driven ground organization. What infrastructure is in place lags behind the Democratic coordinated campaign on behalf of Hillary Clinton.
A little over a month before the election, the Trump campaign is still relying heavily on the RNC for its ground game in Pennsylvania and in many other parts of the country. The large gap between the two campaign organizations has been obvious for months, and it seems very likely to cost Trump several states he can’t afford to lose. As I said a few weeks ago, if Pennsylvania is a “must-win” state for Trump, he isn’t going to win the election.