As Chris Reeves has pointed out in his valuable “Nuts and Bolts” series (here, here, andhere), in these final two weeks of the campaign, the big focus is GOTV — making sure that your supporters (who you should already have identified) actually show up and cast their ballots for you and your allies up and down the ballot. There are few “undecideds,” and few people who will be convinced to switch their allegiance from one of the other candidates. What matters most is getting millions of people from “I support her” to “I VOTED!” That’s what the campaign is focused on, in public appearances, Twitter, Facebook, and ads.
One effect of having so many states in contention this year — even states like Texas and Arizona and Georgia that haven’t been contested for decades — is that Hillary and her surrogates can say, everywhere, “Your vote really matters — that door you knock on, that phone call you make, can make a difference. Every vote matters, every voice matters.”
Yesterday Hillary was back in Florida for a GOTV rally with FL-Sen. candidate Patrick Murphy in Coconut Creek, just north of Ft. Lauderdale. She looked radiant in a red jacket, but I thought she sounded hoarse, and the speech felt a bit scattered — the usual stump speech points, in somewhat random order. She emphasized Trump’s “horrifying” response during the third debate that he couldn’t commit to honoring the results of the election, noting the obligation of the President and all elected officials to honor the Constitution, with its careful process for the peaceful transition of power from one President to the next. She also reminded people to vote early — and that there was a voting location open literally across the street from the rally, so they could do it that afternoon.
While in the area, she did a 10-minute call-in to WHQT Hot 105.1 in Miami. She responded to a question about the Clinton Foundation’s activities in Haiti following the earthquake, noting that the Foundation raised $30 million in aid. She also talked about the need to address Obamacare premiums and drug costs. She chatted with a young fan, and congratulated one of the hosts on his daughter’s recent graduation from Julliard. (Great advance work, staff!)
Hillary then was interviewed live on the show “El Gordo y la Flaca” (“The Fat Guy and the Skinny Woman”) on Univision (Miami), a first for any Presidential candidate. (The interview was conducted in English — mostly — with simultaneous interpretation into Spanish, a bit difficult to understand unless you’re bilingual, but fun to watch anyway.) She seemed entirely relaxed:
Hillary spoke of familiar themes — that she wants to be a good President for everyone in the US, paying particular attention to the Latino community with a complete immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship. She also emphasized the need for more and better jobs, and for good schools for every child regardless of where they live, with the possibility of attending college and pursuing their dreams. At the end of the show she got a brief Spanish lesson (including the word “Presidenta”), and birthday greetings from a mariachi band.
How important is Florida? Here’s Chuck Todd on yesterday’s “First Read” at NBC.com:
There is no real path to victory for Trump without Florida's 29 electoral votes. And since the first debate, we haven't seen a single poll that meets our methodological standards that shows Trump ahead in the Sunshine State. The RealClearPolitics average shows Clinton leading in Florida by four points, and to put that into context, Obama won the state by just a single percentage point in 2012.
Politico (with its notable Republican lean) suggests that Florida is spiraling out of Trump’s reach so dramatically that his only hope might be very low turnout. Good luck with that, as the lines there and the voting numbers so far are as impressive as they are in NC and everywhere else. One conservative analyst says that if Florida turnout is in the 9.2 million range, Clinton could win the state by 275,000 to 460,000 votes. This is not, in other words, a rerun of 2000.
(Warning: There is a new Florida Bloomberg poll, with sketchy crosstabs, showing Trump +2. Do not panic!
Hillary is remaining in FL for another day, with rallies today in Lake Worth (Palm Beach State College) and Tampa. And Obama is doing another rally there on Friday, in Orlando.
Joe Biden went back to Pennsylvania yesterday for a rally in Pittsburgh, doing GOTV and promoting Katie McGinty’s Senate candidacy. He sharply criticized the Senate GOP — including McGinty’s opponent Pat Toomey — for abusing its power by blocking the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.
The rest of Hillary’s A-Team was busy yesterday with less public events. POTUS wrapped up a fundraising trip to California. Tim Kaine participated in a yummy-sounding “Hill’s Kitchen” foodie fundraiser in New York City, while Anne Holton did an education roundtable and phone-banking in Nevada.
Here’s an effective ad from Wisconsin, another ordinary person explaining and showing why she’s supporting Clinton/Kaine:
A special thanks to all of you who are phonebanking, knocking on doors, taking food to campaign offices, talking to friends, sharing good stuff on social media. It all helps. It’s not too late to volunteer. If you can, make a special birthday donation — $69, or $45, or whatever you can — by clicking here.