Trump's Hail Mary? Some Conservatives Look To GOP State Legislatures For Electoral College Save

President Trump’s reelection prospects looked increasingly grim on Friday, as Democratic challenger Joe Biden took the lead in key states that would deliver a majority of the Electoral College, but some prominent conservatives are urging him to look to the contested states’ Republican-controlled legislatures for salvation.

Trump has vowed to fight on, as his legal team fanned out across the handful of battleground states where the campaign is contesting various aspects of the counting process. “We believe the American people deserve to have full transparency into all vote counting and election certification, and that this is no longer about any single election,” the president said in a statement released by his reelection campaign. “From the beginning, we have said that all legal ballots must be counted and all illegal ballots should not be counted, yet we have met resistance to this basic principle by Democrats at every turn."

“For months, the American people were told ad nauseum that President Trump was going to get shellacked in the Electoral College, McConnell and Republicans were out in the Senate, Pelosi was going to get a slew of reinforcements in the House, and Texas could possibly go blue for Biden,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “And why? Because the pollsters said so, and anyone who argued with these “experts” was a Trump-loving sycophant. In short, the Americans were sold a disgusting pack of lies about a ‘blue wave’ that never materialized.”

“Can Trump still win a second term? You bet,” O’Connell added. “It will be without question a heavy lift, but nothing is impossible in the era of Trump.”

Read more from W. James Antle III at the Washington Examiner

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Trump's Swagger And Showmanship Have Forever Altered The Republican Party Of Reagan

President Trump, eyeing a screaming throng of supporters in Arizona last week, ventured into what would have been considered GOP blasphemy a decade ago.

“We all liked Ronald Reagan, but nobody ever said, ‘We love you. We love you. We love you,’ ” the president said in Bullhead City. “And he wouldn’t get crowds like this. If Ronald Reagan — who I consider to be top-notch — if he came here, he’d have a couple hundred people legitimately … we’re having 25, 30, 35, 40, 45,000 people.”

The crowd cheered.

"What Trump has taught Republicans is to have a backbone and a spine,” said Ford O’Connell, a GOP strategist with close ties to the White House. “Don’t back down from the media and the Democrats when you get double-teamed on a particular idea.”

Read more from David Sherfinski at The Washington Times

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Unprecedented Early Voting Gives Democrats Hope, While Republicans Count On Election Day

Nearly 100 million voters have already cast their ballots, leading to questions about how the record early turnout will impact results up and down the ballot. 

The unprecedented early vote has given Democrats hope going into Tuesday. Overall, Democrats have outperformed Republicans in early voting, after President Trump spent months waging baseless attacks on mail-in ballots.

Republicans for their part are hoping for a large in-person turnout on Election Day, though several swing states are seeing spikes in coronavirus cases, which could impact turnout. 

Republicans, meanwhile, say they are feeling confident that Trump will be able to hold Florida, which he won narrowly in 2016, pointing to reports of lagging Democratic voter turnout among Latinos in Miami-Dade County.

“That is a good sign for us. Obviously we can’t tell where the unaffiliated, no-party voters are going,” said Ford O’Connell, a GOP strategist based in Florida. 

Read more from Julia Manchester and Morgan Chalfant at The Hill

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Inside The Nine Swing States The 2020 Presidential Election Hinges On

Nationally, Biden holds a 7.8 percent lead over Trump, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average, but in the battleground states that will decide the Electoral College results, his lead is much less secure.

State-level polls, which were wildly off base in 2016, remain suspect: Republicans — and many Democrats — believe that Trump’s voters are refusing to take part in them, or to signal their true intentions if they do.

Here’s a look at the nine battlegrounds that could hand the White House to the Democrats — or give President Trump a second term.

The president won the Sunshine State by 113,000 votes, a 1.2 percent margin, in 2016. To hold it, he’s made eight campaign stops there since September.

While Florida Republicans have out-registered the Democrats in the past four years, the 2020 race will be decided by a growing cohort of Latino voters.

“Many are first- and second-generation Americans who escaped socialist or communist regimes in Cuba and Venezuela,” said Republican consultant Ford O’Connell. “When Trump talks about fighting socialism, he’s talking to them.”

Read more from Mary Kay Linge at the New York Post

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At Each Rally Stop, Trump Drops More Vague Clues About A Possible Second-Term Agenda

Donald Trump is barnstorming from battleground state to battleground state mostly insulting his Democratic foes and making bleak pronouncements about a Joe Biden presidency — but he also is dropping vague clues about his own possible second term.

The president is running a re-election campaign based mostly on the pre-coronavirus economy, as well as all the gloom and doom that would sweep over the country if the Democratic nominee and former vice president defeats him next week.

“The No. 1 thing would be pulling us out of the ditch economically from the pandemic,” Ford O’Connell said this week. “People are out of work. The president knows this, and he wants to fix it. Importantly, his focus would primarily be on the economy of main street.

Read more from John T. Bennett at the Independent

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Trump Banks On Nonstop Campaigning To Pull A 2016 Repeat

President Trump is campaigning across the country in the final week of the race for the White House with all the trappings of incumbency and all the urgency of an underdog.

Democrats are confident that they have already banked enough of an early vote lead to withstand a late surge of in-person Trump voters on Election Day and that their nominee, Joe Biden, will finish the job Hillary Clinton couldn’t. The former vice president is ahead by 7.8 points in the RealClearPolitics national polling average and by 3.9 points in top battleground states.

But looking at the numbers in some of those individual states, Republicans see shades of Trump’s poll-defying, come-from-behind victory four years ago.

“The final week of 2020 is eerily similar to 2016. Roughly 2 points in six states is the difference between President Trump being reelected and a Biden Electoral College blowout,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “It is all about turnout now.”

Trump's frenetic pace is a whole different strategy than that of Biden, who has had a limited public schedule dominated by sparsely attended events. “While Biden largely sits on his keister in Delaware, Trump is wisely barnstorming the states and counties that will decide this election," O'Connell said. "You couldn’t have a more stark contrast in how the two candidates are spending their time in the homestretch.”

Read more from W. James Antle III at the Washington Examiner

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Biden's Oil Stance Jars Democrats In Tough Races

Joe Biden's vow to phase out the oil industry at Thursday's debate creates a problem for Democratic candidates in red-leaning states and swing House districts as it gives Republicans an opening to tie them to their party’s left wing.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in April of last year that he wanted to make the 2020 election “a referendum on socialism.”

That strategy ran into a big problem when Democrats nominated Biden, a candidate who developed a reputation as a moderate during his decades in Washington, for president.

Now Biden’s blunt affirmation that “yes” he “would transition” when asked by President Trump on Thursday whether he would “close down the oil industry,” gives Republican candidates ammo.

Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist, said Biden’s statement is also a liability for Democratic candidates in Western Pennsylvania, such as Rep. Conor Lamb, and running for three Republican toss-up seats in Texas: the 21st, the 22nd, and the 24th congressional districts.

“In Western Pennsylvania where you have some battles for the Conor Lamb seat and others, it’s going to put them on the defensive. It holds a special resonance in Western Pennsylvania because [the energy industry] is what helped bring back that area after it was hard hit in the early nineties,” he said.

O’Connell said Biden “drew attention to something that he had been doing a good job deflecting on in terms of assuaging people’s fears,” referencing GOP attempts to tie Biden to bold liberal proposals to respond to climate change.  

Read more from Alexander Bolton at The Hill

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Trump, Biden Final Arguments At Opposite Ends On COVID-19

President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden are offering opposing visions of responding to the coronavirus crisis as a new wave of cases mounts just ahead of Election Day. 

Biden warned of a “dark winter” at Thursday night’s debate as new cases in the United States near a record high and hospitalizations rise again. 

Despite this worsening outlook, Trump struck an optimistic message, saying the virus is “going away” and the country is “rounding the turn.”

Republicans think they have an opening in warning that Biden is open to further business closures, noting that many people are tired of precautions to deal with the virus. 

“Optimism is more powerful in voters’ minds than pessimism, and frankly people are restless,” said Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist. 

Read more from Peter Sullivan at The Hill

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Hollywood Gives Biden's Digital Campaign Final Star-Studded Push

With less than three weeks until Election Day, Joe Biden's campaign is making its final push of star power, rolling out a series of virtual events featuring some of Hollywood's biggest names in an attempt to propel the former vice president past the finish line.

The Democratic presidential nominee's campaign scheduled celebrity-filled events for nearly every day this week. Tuesday featured three separate functions with some star wattage: a Latino-focused roundtable with comedian George Lopez, a "Star Trek" discussion with “Next Generation” alumnus LeVar Burton and a military service celebration with legendary TV producer Norman Lear.

“Generally speaking, when it comes to celebrity endorsements, Donald Trump is the celebrity,” GOP strategist Ford O’Connell says of the former “Apprentice” star.

“Hearing from Trump directly is what spurs Republicans to the voting booth — not celebrities,” says the political analyst and former congressional candidate.

The athletes, musical artists and actors turning out for Biden, O’Connell says, won’t necessarily “have the impact the Biden campaign thinks that they’re going to have, and I don’t necessarily think they’re going to have an impact with the voters that are going to decide this election.” But, he says, it’s “totally understandable” why the ex-VP’s campaign would team up with famous faces and influencers with gigantic platforms who reach millions of young people and women: “These celebrities talk to the voters that they need.”

Read more from Judy Kurtz at The Hill

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This Is What America Would Be Like Under President Kamala Harris

Late last year, rumors surfaced that if elected, Joe Biden told aides he would serve only a single term. Although he later denied those claims, the fact remains that if elected, he'd be older entering office than President Ronald Reagan was leaving it.

In addition, given Biden's recent memory lapses, some observers wonder whether the former vice president would complete a single term, prompting voters to give his running mate greater scrutiny than they gave previous vice presidential candidates.

Biden is generally perceived as a slightly left-of-center moderate, despite being pushed further leftward throughout the last year. The same can't be said of Sen. Kamala Harris, a California Democrat and Biden's running mate.

Newsmax reached out to Republican political pundits on what a Harris administration might look like. Lawyer, businessman, and Republican strategist Ford O'Connell says it would amount to the "Californification of America." He added that "she is an opportunist that will be an easy target for the far left to manipulate."

Addressing specific issues, O'Connell, a frequent Newsmax TV contributor, says that "abortion? It's simple — on demand, at will."

O'Connell says, "As for healthcare, we already know the answer to that one: It's a universal right." He adds that for all Democrats, "not only is it the number-one job of the government, it's a universal right whether or not you're a U.S. citizen."

Read more from Michael Dorsetwitz at Newsmax

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