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Biden bets on a beefed-up campaign operation: From the Politics Desk

By 37ci3 Apr9,2024



Welcome to the online version of From the policy deskevening bulletin that brings you the latest reporting and analysis from the campaign trail, the White House and Capitol Hill from the NBC News Politics team.

In today’s edition, we examine how Joe Biden built his massive campaign operation. Plus, the national political reporter puts Donald Trump’s new stance on abortion into historical context.

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Biden is ramping up his campaign. Trump seems to be lagging behind.

Peter Nicholas, Allan Smith, Vaughn Hillyard, Adam Edelman, and Ben Kamisar

President Joe Biden is fundraising in record numbers and pouring the money into an expanding campaign operation in a battleground state that surpasses anything Donald Trump has ever built.

Flushed with $71 million in cash by the end of February — twice as much as Trump’s campaign — Biden has parlayed his fundraising dominance into a hiring spree, now boasting 300 salaried employees in nine states and 100 offices in parts of the country that will decide by 2024. according to the details provided by the election campaign.

Trump’s advisers would not disclose staffing levels, but his main game is still in its early stages of development. His campaign last week hired state directors in Pennsylvania and Michigan, people familiar with the hiring process said.


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The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee have fewer than five staffers in each battleground state, two Republicans familiar with the organizational structures of the committee and the Trump campaign in 2020 and 2024 said.

At this point in 2020, Trump Victory already has state directors, regional directors and field organizers in battleground states, testing field operations and activating volunteers, the two people said.

“It’s like comparing Maserati to Honda – in 2020 there were staff and bodies to conduct the vote,” he said. “This current iteration is starting from scratch and we are seven months away from the election. It makes no sense and puts them at a huge disadvantage for Biden, who is staffed in droves.

The dynamic shows how Trump and Biden made different bets on their way to victory in November.

Biden believes a muscular campaign operation will impress voters that he supports popular policies and carry them through if he is re-elected, his advisers said. The question is whether brick-and-mortar offices and phone banks are enough to dispel doubts about his age and fitness.

Trump faces a different problem. His political power has always been rooted in an emotional bond with his loyal base more than any political apparatus. It’s strong in the polls, but it’s drowning in drama, distractions, and several ongoing trials.

More →


Trump is trying to close the growing gender gap

Analysis by Steve Kornacki

Trump is set to run this fall on a position on abortion that no Republican candidate has taken since 1976 — perhaps not coincidentally, the last election before the emergence of the “gender gap” that has dominated American politics for decades.

Trump announced on Monday he refuses to take a position on the federal abortion ban, preferring to leave the issue up to the states. It’s similar to the stance President Gerald Ford took when he sought a full term 48 years ago. This is the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. which found abortion a constitutional right. It was the first presidential election after the Wade decision.

In response to that decision, the rising conservative wing of the GOP called for a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe and ban nearly all abortions. But Ford sought a middle ground, arguing that Roe should simply be reversed and the issue sent to each state. Although Ford narrowly lost to Jimmy Carter that year, the most striking feature of the result—at least from today’s perspective—is the complete absence of a gender gap. Among both men and women, according to exit poll data, Carter beat Ford by the same margin.

This has not happened since. Four years later, running against Ford from the right in the 1976 primaries, Ronald Reagan won the GOP nomination and favored a more conservative turf on cultural issues. Support for the Equal Rights Amendment dropped from the GOP platform; was a call to ban abortion through a constitutional amendment. That fall, Reagan beat Carter, but the women’s margin was only one point. It was with the men that Reagan put up a 17-point thrashing of Carter.

There was a gender gap. Each subsequent GOP platform has endured, as has promised support for the Constitution’s “amendment to human life.”

Of course, abortion is not the only reason for the gender gap. The 1980 GOP platform was part of a broader shift to the right and a long-term shift in the cultural, demographic, and geographic orientation of the party’s coalition. It is also true that there is no great gender difference in the issue of abortion itself. A Pew Research Center survey Last year, there was broad support for legal abortion in most or all cases, with men only slightly less supportive than women.

The background of the current abortion debate is significantly different from the 1976, Roe v. Wade is now rejected. Still, Trump’s stance puts him at odds with conservatives who, like Ford, favor federal action to restrict or even outlaw abortions nationwide. Whether that will sway any voters in his favor is an open question. But with the gender gap rising to an all-time high in the last two elections, Trump reckons it will at least help close it.



🗞️ The best stories of the day

  • 🌵 Abortion in Arizona: The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the abortion ban, which has been in place since 1864, can be enforced. Voters in the battleground state may weigh in on the issue this fall as abortion rights groups seek to place a constitutional amendment on the November ballot. More →
  • ☀️ Speaking of Arizona: The Arizona Senate race will be one of the most competitive in the country, and Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego is making a play for the middle. avoiding the “progressive” label. Gallego and Republican Kari Lake also spoke with New York magazine for a deep dive into the race. More →
  • 🫸 The main obstacles: As part of Biden’s re-election campaign, Roe v. He vows to restore Wade, but will have to overcome a series of challenges to make it happen. More →
  • 🏃 High turnover: Election officials are leaving their jobs at the highest rates in decades, new research suggests, as thousands of new officials are in place to oversee the tense and high-stakes 2024 presidential election. More →
  • 🚗 Electric: “Bloodbath,” “assassination” and “conspiracy” are some of the words Trump has used to warn of a push toward electric cars, a key issue in the Michigan battleground. More →
  • ⚖️ The impeachment trial was postponed: House Speaker Mike Johnson will delay sending the articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate until next week. More →
  • 🏀 Huskies winning roast: A UConn Huskies victory over Purdue in the NCAA men’s basketball championship will also earn Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont root beer, cream pie and bacon from Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb. More →

For now, that’s it from The Politics Desk. If you have feedback – like it or not – send us an email politicsnewsletter@nbcuni.com

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