Donald Trump is chasing every possible opening across the electoral map. Joe Biden is sitting on his lead, carefully surveying the landscape for states that might serve as insurance policies.
It’s a jarring flip of the script for an incumbent president and his challenger eight days before Election Day. Trump, in the last gasp of his campaign, is barreling across the country, hoping large rallies and bets placed across the board will pay off for his underdog campaign. Biden is doing fewer and smaller events — and even peering past the election toward governing…
Trump’s advisers maintain they are confident Republicans will turn out in heavy numbers on Election Day. The president himself continues to express unalloyed optimism about his chances. He derides Biden as a creature of Washington, often referring to his “47 years” of government experience. Yet as the current occupant of the White House — as opposed to the candidate who had never before held elected office, as in 2016 — he is laboring under the weight of incumbency.
Nick Trainer, the Trump campaign’s director of battleground strategy, said the distinction is not so much incumbent-challenger as, “It’s insider versus outsider. It’s someone who sat in the United States Senate for decades, and most of what he did there was not helpful for the American people, and as vice president, a lot of things that he’s now saying he would do were never considered.”