Pandemic overwhelms Trump’s message in critical N. Carolina

Pandemic overwhelms Trump’s message in critical N. Carolina

In one of the nation’s most consequential swing states, Trump’s push to inject new dynamics into the final weeks of the 2020 election is being overshadowed by the frightening realities of everyday life during a pandemic. Trump and his allies hope the escalating Supreme Court nomination fight will help unify a fractured Republican Party that has lost its grip on college-educated suburban voters, particularly white women. Trump’s challenge is acute here in North Carolina, a state that his senior aides describe as a “must-win.” A loss in the state, which Democrats have carried only once at the presidential level in the last 30 years, would make Trump’s path to a second term incredibly difficult and signal dire challenges elsewhere on the electoral map. Public polling, backed by private discussions with strategists from both Trump’s and Democrat Joe Biden’s campaigns, indicate that North Carolina remains a true tossup five weeks before Election Day. And lest there be any doubt about Trump’s concerns about his standing here, he has traveled to North Carolina every week for the last five weeks, second only to Pennsylvania. Trump’s standing will also help decide races for governor and senator, a set of competitive contests that has drawn more political advertising dollars to North Carolina than any other state in the nation. More than $246 million has been spent or reserved to communicate with North Carolina voters online and on television about the presidential and Senate contests so far, according to the media tracking ...
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