The Trump campaign has 50 staffers in a war room fielding alleged voting irregularities, Bill Stepien, the president’s campaign manager and a New Jersey native, said tonight.
“That’s why we’re staying in the fight,” Stepien said in a conference call with New Jersey Republicans.
Stepien and other Trump campaign staffers joined Doug Steinhardt, the state’s GOP chair, for what was billed as an election update.
Here was the bottom line – Donald Trump exceeded expectations in so many areas, so how can he lose?
O.K. This is rather circular logic, but here’s the argument.
The president and Republicans did very well on Nov . 3. They held the Senate (presumably) and made gains in the House.
And then, there was Trump himself.
Steinhardt noted that Trump already has surpassed his vote total in New Jersey from 2016 and votes are still being counted. For the record, Trump had about 1.6 million votes in 2016 and he now has about 500,000 more than that.
Stepien and others pointed out that Trump did better this time around nationwide with Hispanics, black men and even to a certain extent, Native Americans in Arizona.
The obvious weakness with this view is that turnout was so robust. So, the argument that Trump is getting more votes in New Jersey is meaningless. Here’s why. Hillary Clinton got about 2.1 million votes in the state; Joe Biden already has about 2.3 million.
Duplicate that around the country and you can see how the 2020 numbers add up.
Stepien reiterated some of the complaints we have heard since Nov. 3 – namely that Republican observers were not allowed to oversee the ballot count and a suspicion that mail-in ballots may not have been handled properly. There was talk about ballots being counted in the “dead of night,” but that’s normally when a lot of ballots are tabulated.
Steinhardt began the evening saying, “The media does not determine the presidency of the United States.”
He’s right. Voters do that.
And that is the challenge for the Trump campaign. The election is “close” in a lot of key states, but then again, it’s not that close.
The spread in Michigan is well more than 100,000 votes. Biden leads by about 50,000 in Pennsylvania, 20,000 in Wisconsin and 14,000 in Georgia.
Are these margins going to be turned around by a recount, or the throwing out of even a thousand or so improper ballots? Doubtful.
Before we leave this topic, we must point out that in the midst of a presidential fight, Stepien took the time to comment on the fact Anthony M. Bucco has pulled slightly ahead in the LD-25 state Senate race. Stepien once worked for his father, the late Anthony R. Bucco.
This nugget proves once again that all politics really is local.