Back to Navigation

US Election – Trump’s Road to Victory | Munk Debates

EPISODE #44

US Election – Trump’s Road to Victory

Be it Resolved, don’t count out President Trump’s re-election bid. He has a compelling path to victory on November 3.

Guests
Jeff Roe
Terry Sullivan

About this episode

Six weeks to go to one of the most consequential elections in a generation, and the incumbent, President Donald Trump, is facing an increasingly challenging political environment. His Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, has enjoyed a consistent lead in the national polls as well in many key swing states. Add in a pandemic that has killed over two hundred thousand Americans and an economy with 40 million people on unemployment insurance, and the conditions are ripe for a political sea change on November 3. But seasoned election watchers say it’s far too early for the Biden’s campaign to be measuring curtains for the White House. They argue that Trump has maintained his capacity to surprise the pundit class. He has an enthusiastic and loyal base, a highly sophisticated digital campaign tailormade for getting out the vote, and a storm the barricades attitude to campaigning that captivates public and media attention. He has also made surprising inroads with minority voters, notably Hispanics. Throw in a late October surprise vaccine announcement and more good job numbers, and Joe Biden could find himself joining Hilary Clinton as a defeated democratic nominee.

Share:

Guests

Jeff Roe

If you’ve got to get one of those two men to get the ball over the top at the goal line, I'm rolling my dice at the Trump casino.

Jeff Roe

If you’ve got to get one of those two men to get the ball over the top at the goal line, I'm rolling my dice at the Trump casino.

Jeff Roe is a nationally recognized Republican political operative. As the Founder of Axiom Strategies, Jeff has built the largest Republican consulting firm in the nation. In 2008, he made his early primary states debut on the Presidential level, coordinating phone contact and GOTV efforts for Governor Mike Huckabee, and in 2012, worked for Texas Governor Rick Perry. In 2015 Roe began running Senator Ted Cruz’s Presidential Campaign. According to the Washington Post, “Ted Cruz ran the best campaign of any Republican politician in the 2016 primary.” Others have noted that Ted Cruz’s campaign was “the most sophisticated” the nation had ever witnessed. 

A Brookfield, Missouri native, Jeff grew up working on his family’s hog farm, is an Eagle Scout and joined the Army National Guard 155mm Howitzer Unit at the age of 17. He graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, MO. 

Terry Sullivan

Never in the last 20 years has there been a race that has had this clear of a front runner. The facts are that Joe Biden is in a far superior position to win this than Donald Trump.

Terry Sullivan

Never in the last 20 years has there been a race that has had this clear of a front runner. The facts are that Joe Biden is in a far superior position to win this than Donald Trump.

Terry Sullivan has played a senior strategic role in over 100 campaigns, including more than two dozen US Senate, Gubernatorial and Presidential campaigns. Over his career he has worked for some of the biggest names in politics, including Jesse Helms, Jim DeMint, Mitt Romney, Trey Gowdy and Marco Rubio, for whom he served as Campaign Manager on his presidential campaign. He has also built and run multiple award-winning communications and media firms over the years, including TV, digital and print. 

Sullivan has a bachelor’s degree from UNC-Wilmington, and has served as an adjunct professor at George Washington Graduate School of Political Management and as a featured speaker at numerous universities including Harvard and NYU. He has appeared as an expert on numerous major and cable networks, as well as in major news publications ranging from The New York Times to National Review.

Show Notes

During the debate, both Jeff and Terry agree that poll results should be taken with a grain of salt. The introduction of technology has substantially changed how polling is conducted. To learn more about how political polling works, read this article in the Harvard Business Review and this piece by the Pew Research Center. 

During the debate Jeff mentions that President Trump’s campaign did not take advantage of a historic peace agreement spearheaded by the Trump administration. The Abraham Accords Peace Agreement was signed jointly by the United States, Israel, and the UAE on September 15, 2020. The agreement formally establishes diplomatic relations between the two countries in the Middle East. You can read the declaration here. The impact and consequences of the agreement are described in this New York Times editorial and this article by the Atlantic’s editor-in-chief. 

Both speakers note the critical role the state of Florida is expected to play in the upcoming election. Florida represents the state with the largest population among the key swing states, carrying 29 electoral college votes. According to Jeff Roe, Florida is also significant because the state's demographics represent the full diversity of the U.S. rather than one homogenous population. This article by the Washington Post digs into the different populations that make up Florida’s diversity. 

A swing state refers to a state that can reasonably be won by either the Democratic or Republican presidential candidate by a swing in votes. To learn about how voting in battleground states may determine the 2020 election, visit this interactive explainer by the New York Times. This Politico piece also explains the role battleground states play in the election. 
 
During the debate Jeff refers to a Pew Research Center survey that focuses on American attitudes to the COVID-19 pandemic. He identifies answers to the polling question “are the worst of the problems the country faces from the coronavirus outbreak still to come or is the worst behind us?” as a leading indicator for the presidential ballot. You can find  the results of this survey here.

Comments