Joe Biden’s campaign manager asserted Tuesday that the Democratic presidential nominee will have “multiple pathways” to the 270 Electoral College votes he will need to boot Donald Trump from the White House.
“I would say based on the stability of the race [and] the strong support the vice president has, that we maintain the same pathways and have seen an expanded footprint on states that are in play than we have seen in recent memory,” Jennifer O’Malley Dillon said in a POLITICO Playbook interview.
Pointing to traditionally red Arizona as one potential expansion of Biden’s electoral map she is “super bullish” on, O’Malley Dillon contended that the campaign is working to keep a number of different states in play come November to allow the campaign flexibility. She also pointed to the Democratic nominee’s fairly consistent leads in swing states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, though some polls in those states have shown tighter races as of late.
While she conceded that the race has tightened over the past month or so, O’Malley Dillon insisted the campaign had expected what once was a commanding lead for Biden to shrink some, attributing the shift to this year’s electorate being more polarized than in 2016, with less of a pull toward third party candidates.
“We have a far more expanded map,” she concluded, and “we are playing that.”
In a Playbook interview last month, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien also asserted that Trump’s campaign has multiple pathways to victory in November.
“We have a quiet confidence based on our pathway,” Stepien said, stressing the need for “optionality.”
“I’m asked all the time, how are you going to run the table in the Upper Midwest again? He just has to win one of three,” he continued, pointing out that Trump “won with 306 electoral votes, not 270, not on the button. We have some cushion there.
But O’Malley Dillon contended that Trump’s campaign is not as well-positioned as the president frequently boasts, arguing that despite campaigning in Nevada this week, and a pledge to win New Hampshire, Trump is “not playing heavily” in either state and his campaign is “doubling down” in states like Georgia and North Carolina.
While Stepien said the Trump campaign views “near misses” in 2016 in states like New Hampshire and Minnesota as potential pickups, O’Malley Dillon argued that goal has not translated financially.
“There’s so much work to be done, we have to earn every vote but we feel very confident that we have an expanded map here, and multiple pathways to 270, and the resources to be able to execute on that strategy,” she said.