Donald Trump for some reason granted exclusive access to his direct marketing and social media operation to a reporter from Bloomberg Businessweek, and the result is a long and detailed article titled Inside the Trump Bunker, With 12 Days to Go. Probably the most relevant part of the story is that, yes, Trump is doing internal polling . . . and he knows he’s losing:
Despite Trump’s claim that he doesn’t believe the polls, his San Antonio research team spends $100,000 a week on surveys (apart from polls commissioned out of Trump Tower) and has sophisticated models that run daily simulations of the election. The results mirror those of the more reliable public forecasters—in other words, Trump’s staff knows he’s losing. Badly. “Nate Silver’s results have been similar to ours,” says Parscale, referring to the polling analyst and his predictions at FiveThirtyEight, “except they lag by a week or two because he’s relying on public polls.”
. . . .
Trump’s team also knows where its fate will be decided. It’s built a model, the “Battleground Optimizer Path to Victory,” to weight and rank the states that the data team believes are most critical to amassing the 270 electoral votes Trump needs to win the White House. On Oct. 18 they rank as follows: Florida (“If we don’t win, we’re cooked,” says an official), Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Georgia.
Oof. If you read my post yesterday about early voting, you know that early voting is dismal in North Carolina, and that Republicans’ slight edge in Florida early voting in smaller than it was in 2012, when Obama (narrowly) won the state. Meanwhile, polls in Pennsylvania look consistently dismal, with the latest of several shoes dropping this morning: a Pennsylvania poll showing Clinton up by 7 points.
Another note from the story is absolutely certain to be blown up and distorted by Big Media: a Trump staffer’s claim that the campaign is engaged in “voter suppression” of women and blacks:
To compensate for this, Trump’s campaign has devised another strategy, which, not surprisingly, is negative. Instead of expanding the electorate, Bannon and his team are trying to shrink it. “We have three major voter suppression operations under way,” says a senior official. They’re aimed at three groups Clinton needs to win overwhelmingly: idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans. Trump’s invocation at the debate of Clinton’s WikiLeaks e-mails and support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership was designed to turn off Sanders supporters. The parade of women who say they were sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton and harassed or threatened by Hillary is meant to undermine her appeal to young women. And her 1996 suggestion that some African American males are “super predators” is the basis of a below-the-radar effort to discourage infrequent black voters from showing up at the polls—particularly in Florida.
This passage — with its inflammatory quote about “three major voter suppression operations” including one targeting blacks — plays into every leftist stereotype of Republicans’ attitudes towards minority voters. To “suppress” something is to “forcibly put an end to” it. But Trump’s folks are not talking about sending beswastikaed alt-righters to polling places to glower at blacks while menacingly wielding Louisville Sluggers. They’re talking about persuading leftists, young women, and blacks to not want to vote for Hillary. This is not “suppression” but (as a friend notes to me) demoralization.
(And it’s not a bad idea. Because, frankly, low turnout is generally a good thing for those of us who believe in limited government. When only the most motivated people come to the polls, you get more education per voter capita, resulting in more informed voters and better results.)
And yet, the mindless and sensationalistic repeating of this “voter suppression” claim has already started, with the New York Post running a piece titled Trump campaign organizing voter suppression operations. What Big Media has really been salivating after in this race is undeniable evidence of Trump’s racism towards blacks. They were dubiously promised a recording of him using the n-word and this wishcasting never resulted in any actual evidence, but Big Media still wants something, and I believe they will latch onto this.
So, I predict that once leftist Big Media reporters (but I repeat myself) start to become aware of the allegations in this piece, it’s all you will hear about for one or two news cycles. If my prediction comes true, remember where you read it first.