Answer by Matt Chanoff:
In this game of inches like you need to do five things:
- Energize your base and your likely voters
- Logistically support them coming out to vote
- Suppress your opponent’s strong-lean voters; give them reasons to not come out.
- Court your opponent’s weak-lean voters and swing voters two ways: by giving them a reason to run from Trump
- And by giving them a place to go.
For Hillary, #1 involves working with the progressive leadership, Bernie, Robert Reich, Elizabeth Warren, Rev. William Barber, Sherrod Brown, and others on the Progressive side to sell the platform and agenda that Bernie and Hillary agreed to. It also means a lot of grass roots politicking by Tim Kaine and Joe Biden, particularly in Virginia, PA, Ohio, Wisconsin, etc.. Michelle Obama needs to be active. Above all, Barak Obama needs to be very active and prominent campaigning.
Number 2 involves strong local organization. Hillary seems to have this pretty wired.
Number 3 is an illegitimate tactic when it’s used to physically stop people from voting, as with the recently overturned laws limiting voting hours and required IDs. But it’s perfectly legitimate to emphasize aspects of Donald Trump’s campaign that would cause even strong GOP leaners to stay home. Not showing his tax returns, not knowing the constitution, acting as a patsy for Vladimir Putin - different things will work with different people.
More moderate voters and fence sitters are less likely to be animated by hot button issues, and more likely to be calm enough to look at policies from a rational perspective. So number 4 involves emphasizing his inexperience, temperament, the radical impracticality of proposed policies like building a wall on the Mexican border, blocking all Muslims from the country, pulling out of climate and trade agreements unilaterally, attacking NATO, can all be emphasized.
The last thing to do is #5, giving those voters a place to go. There are a lot of people who really dislike Trump but don’t see the Democrats taking them seriously or listening to them. Hillary’s convention speech was in service of #1 above; it was a party unification speech. She and the campaign have different work to do here. Most of the jobs replacing jobs lost during the recession have been relatively low wage service jobs, and almost none of them have been for people with a high school education or less. This means lots of people who used to make $22/hour, and often with benefits, are now working at $15/hour service jobs without benefits. Lots of people own and love guns, and believe gun control laws are pushed by politicians who are ignorant and biased on the subject. There are other issues, but these are key ones, and Hillary needs to hear their concerns and respond to them.
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