A conference call hosted by President Donald J. Trump’s campaign leadership heard top campaign officials express cautious confidence in the outcome of today’s election. Campaign Manager Bill Stepien opened the call saying he actually agreed with the Biden campaign’s assessment of the pre-Election Day turn out. However, he disagreed with their belief that today’s voter turnout will resemble 2016.
“Biden’s campaign cannibalized their Election Day vote by pushing so hard for their people to vote early. To that we say ‘congratulations.'”
Stepien said the turnout data bears out their belief. He pointed to Arizona where, he said, the “Dems are sounding alarms.” According to Stepien, Democrats started knocking on doors over the weekend in the Grand Canyon State because they saw they are falling short of the absentee and early votes needed as they came toward elections day. He said the same was true in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida.
They left a ton of votes on the table. We are driving turnout today, very much making up the shortfall coming into Election Day.”
In Pennsylvania, Stepien said the turnout is “very much matching our expectations of being very much a Trump vote.” He said Democratic districts across the state, including in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, were underperforming their 2016 numbers while GOP precincts were matching or exceeding 2016 turnout numbers. They provided several counties as examples of where Trump was going to outperform his 2016 tallies.
Senior Campaign Advisor Jason Miller said the numbers in Pennsylvania were such that Biden was scrambling to turn out its base today. “They’re seeing the same numbers we see,” said Miller. “While we’re executing our plan, they’re making emergency trips to Philly and Scranton to talk to voters that don’t exist with bullhorns.”
In Wisconsin, Stepien said there was “heavy, heavy” turnout in Trump counties today, noting that some of the Trump counties were actually printing more ballots. “We very, very much like what we’re seeing in places where we want high Election Day turnout. Our operation is clicking at high efficiency.”
They discussed at length their extensive Hispanic and African American voter outreach in Florida, confident that, combined with turnout in their traditional strongholds across the state, it would lead to a solid victory in the state.
Stepien also said turnout in pro-Trump areas of Michigan was also very high.
We’ve been executing the plan we’ve been building for four years and we’re seeing exactly what we wanted to see.”
Miller discussed the turnout among black voters and those in the suburbs and exurbs. He said the the Democrats “can’t take the African American vote for granted anymore.” He said the support of a number of high profile African Americans, like Herschel Walker and several rappers, who are well known, liked and respected in the community have given black voters “permission” to vote for Trump. He also noted that the black turnout is down from 2016. “We’re going to get a much bigger chunk of a smaller pie,” he said pointing to polling data showing the President receiving record support from the African American community.
About those suburbs and exurbs, both men said there are long lines in those GOP strongholds across the country. They believe that bodes well for their prospects.
They believe Trump is attracting a significant number of new voters to polling places. Demographic research done on the attendees to President Trump’s many and large rallies shows that approximately a quarter of the attendees are people who didn’t vote for him in 2016. “They know their vote matters this time and they’re voting this time,” asserted Miller.
The campaign hit the “Red Mirage” narrative hard in the call, saying it was literally a talking point from the Democratic National Committee. They stressed that while they want everyone whose followed the rules and submitted their ballot on time to be counted, they would fight efforts to count the ballots of those who didn’t follow their state’s rules or didn’t get their ballots in by the deadlines. They pointed to ads being run by the Democrats on social media as proof that they know have a “lack of confidence” in the Election Day results. “Hollywood stars saying ‘don’t worry, the election’s not over,'” they say is evidence that the Democrats are trying to buy time to use mail in voting to try on overturn the results. They’re hoping to win enough Electoral College votes tonight so that states with long after Election Day counting periods won’t matter.
They said the election was going to be “extremely close” and that “every vote counts” but they were confident that the election was unfolding as they predicted or better.