By Jon Dougherty
As president, Donald Trump no doubt gets all the free advice he can handle about ‘how to win’ in 2020, though obviously, he’s got his own track record and credentials after pulling off a reportedly ‘unlikely’ victory against Hillary Clinton in 2016.
The victory, the president likes to say, was his and that of his campaign team. They read all the right tea leaves, and besides, POTUS has an instinct for connecting with a majority of Americans.
That helps explain why his campaign is making serious plays for deep blue states like Oregon and lighter-but-still-blue states like New Mexico, Minnesota, and New Hampshire: POTUS may sense now is the time for the GOP — his GOP — to make inroads into states Republican Party elders have simply written off.
According to CNN (yes, we know…take it with a grain of salt, and all that), the Trump campaign is looking for ways to spend their huge campaign war chest and is taking a hard look at Oregon as a state to turn into a battleground in 2020.
It should be noted that the president lost Oregon by 11 points in 2016, and the state hasn’t voted Republican since 1984.
CNN obtained a memo to the Trump campaign from pollster Tony Fabrizio about ideas for “expanding the map” to give the President more options for getting the 270 electoral votes needed to win the re-election, where he mentions looking at Oregon.
In the memo, Fabrizio maintains that New Hampshire, New Mexico and Nevada — all states that Trump lost in 2016 — are now “highly competitive.” Those are three states where the Trump campaign already has resources on the ground.
Same goes for Minnesota, another state where Clinton beat Trump in 2016, but Fabrizio says to “keep an eye on” this cycle.
Oregon, however, is no-man’s-land for the national GOP. The last Republican to make an early play for Oregon was George W. Bush during his 2004 reelection bid, since he had come within 8,000 votes of Al Gore there in 2000. But Bush lost Oregon to John Kerry by 4 percentage points.
Oregon likely seems like a lost cause to most Republican strategists, and, well, fair enough. But is it?
Consider what’s been happening in these heavily-Democratic Left-wing states since even before POTUS Trump was elected (but certainly afterward): They’ve lurched so far to the Left on a host of issues that their states have become living, breathing examples of what happens when socialism fails.
Protests. Violence. Trash. Homelessness. High taxes. Sky-high rents. Feces-laden streets. Drug needles galore. Rat-and-disease-infestations. Crumbling infrastructure. Unsafe drinking water.
These are all manifestations of Marxist bastions like Oregon, California, and parts of Washington, such as Seattle.
And all of these phenomena have been caused by Democrats since they have wide or supermajorities in each of these states. Republicans are endangered species in each of these places, as well as the other states the campaign is allegedly targeting.
But they didn’t use to be.
Why not make a play for them? If not now, when? As Rush Limbaugh noted on his program Tuesday, the time could be very ripe for POTUS Trump to bring a true message of ‘hope and change’ to these Left-wing Twilight zones.
What’s more, he says that Democrats campaigning for their party’s 2020 crown a) aren’t going to talk about these bastions of disaster because the situations there were caused by Democrats — meaning things aren’t going to get any better, either; and b) will take the voters in these states for granted:
Democrats in LA are appalled that homelessness in their city is rising and so much of it, and they’re mad that the Democrat candidates for president are not talking about it. And I told the people of LA (and I’ll do it again today), “The Democrats are not gonna talk about your problems. They already own you! They don’t need to fix a damn thing in California.”
They’ve got every one of your electoral votes. The Republicans don’t exist. The Democrat candidates for president don’t even have to go to California — other than to raise money in Hollywood and Silicon Valley, and that is it. They don’t need you. They don’t need to address your problem. …
So what I have been rethinking is, I think Trump ought to start going to California. I think he ought to go there once a month. I think the Republican National Committee ought to schedule a debate in California. I think the campaign should have ads showing and highlighting the homelessness in downtown Los Angeles and pointing out that this is what happens when Democrats run things with no opposition, no checks, no balances.
The Democrats have to ignore California. They already own it! And just like African-Americans, they can ignore you because they think they’ve got your vote no matter what they do. So they’re not gonna focus much on your complaints or problems. They don’t need to. And they don’t need to fix anything.
Now, they will focus on African-Americans. They’ll blame Republican racism for all of it. But they’re not gonna fix anything. It’s not in their interests to fix anything. If they fix things, then people are not gonna need Democrats. Democrats are not gonna get credit for fixing anything. They never do, because they don’t have to.
So there’s a downside to owning a state. And the downside is, the state has heap big problems, and the Democrats do not have to even care. The Democrats don’t dare go there. The Democrat presidential candidates don’t dare highlight problems in California. It can do nothing but hurt them.
Candidate Trump told blacks and other minorities in 2016 to vote for him because “what have you go to lose?” He can certainly bring that same message to the blue bastions of filth, disease, expense, and ruin that Democrats now own lock, stock, and barrel in 2020.
Because the thing is, with Republicans, there really is a simple solution to these problems that plague Californians, Oregonians, Washingtonians, and others living in blue hell: Stop doubling and tripling down on stupid.
Go for it, Mr. President.
Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10