Top strategist projects narrow Electoral College victory for Democrats

A top Democratic strategist on Tuesday projected his party would win a narrow Electoral College victory over President Trump if the election were held today, but cautioned that the contest could go either way depending on the make-up of the electorate.

According to the new forecast from Priorities USA, the largest Democratic super PAC, the Democratic candidate right now leads the Electoral College vote count 278 to 260.

{mosads}Trump won 304 electoral votes in 2016, compared to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s 227, by carrying traditionally blue states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

The Priorities USA model moves those states back into the Democratic column, but not by much, and if Trump were to hang on to only one of those three states, he’d win the Electoral College, according to the projections.

“The reality is that we’re dealing with an incredibly close election,” said Guy Cecil, the chairman of Priorities USA.

Trump would also win, Cecil said, if turnout among people of color is 2 percentage points below Priorities USA’s forecast or if support for Democrats from white working-class voters is 1 percentage point lower than the group’s projection.

“This highlights how close many of these electorally important states are,” Cecil said. “We’re dealing with margins of a point or two in either direction.”

Priorities USA will spend $100 million this cycle on digital advertising and election infrastructure in battleground states such as Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, all of which Trump carried in 2016. The group will also invest in New Hampshire and Nevada, which went for Clinton.

Priorities USA is spending $350,000 to $400,000 every week for the “foreseeable future,” Cecil said. As part of that effort, the group rolled out a new digital advertising campaign on Tuesday to make the case that working families have not benefitted under the Trump economy.

“Americans are experiencing Donald Trump’s economy in a way that is fundamentally different from most of the headlines,” Cecil said, arguing that while most believe that the economy is strong, a majority of voters believe that their wages will not keep up with the cost of living or health care.

The Priorities USA chairman implored Democrats not to be distracted by the daily outrages in Washington and instead to stay focused on jobs, wages and health care, which consistently poll at the top of voter concerns.

“People want to hear about the economy, they want to hear about health care, they want to hear about how we’re going to make health care more affordable,” Cecil said. “Every poll conducted by Priorities, almost every poll conducted by every outlet, continues to scream at Democrats to talk about this.”

Cecil acknowledged that Trump’s approval rating on the overall economy is “very good,” but he said that many Americans still feel economic anxiety and that it is incumbent on Democrats to make the case that Trump has done nothing to address the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs and that his tax cuts only benefitted the wealthy.

 “Our job is to be clear that trump’s economy is not working for most people,” Cecil said.

The Priorities USA chairman said that impeachment would be an “all encompassing” distraction.

“I’m not sure at the end of the day that would lead to electoral victory,” Cecil said.

He urged Democrats to focus instead on defeating Trump at the ballot box.

“We’re getting pretty close to the election so at some point [impeachment] becomes a pretty unproductive conversation within the party,” he said.

Tags Donald Trump Guy Cecil Hillary Clinton Priorities USA
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