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Sweet and clear as moonlight through the pines

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I’ve seen some pushback against Biden’s choice to visit Georgia today, but I think it’s misplaced. While Clinton can be fairly criticized both for not focusing resources carefully enough on likely tipping point states and being slow to let new polling data affect their a priori assumptions about what the battleground states would be, Biden’s campaign has been more disciplined and focused. Some may see this choice as a departure, but I would tend to give them the benefit of the doubt (particularly since it seems pretty clear, as Paul said earlier, that Trump’s internals are looking awful.) I think there is good reason to think that pushing for Georgia in the last week is consistent with an approach on tipping point states:

  • The tipping point states for the White House aren’t they only ones that matter. Biden winning without the Senate would be pretty disastrous, and even assuming Dems take it back there’s a big difference between 50 and 53 Dems. Georgia has two competitive Senate races, justifying the investment of resources in itself.
  • The open willingness of the Trump Court to help steal the election confounds typical tipping point analysis because a race that comes down to Pennsylvania is very risky even if a majority of the state’s voters cast ballots for Biden. The best-case scenario is for Biden to get a knockout blow on November 3 by carrying one of the southeastern swing states Trump has to have.
  • Biden is in a stronger position than Clinton was, which doesn’t mean that Biden should start taking wild shots at unwinnable states like Rove in 2000 but does make a little calculated risk to expand the field some a better gamble.

Overall, seems like a sensible choice by a campaign that’s mostly seems very well-run.

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