Public polling may show President Donald Trump underwater among New Hampshire voters, but Corey Lewandowski tells NHJournal that internal polls show the race for the Granite State is close.
“I’ve seen internal polls showing us within the margin of error,” Trump’s close adviser said. “Trump only lost by 2,700 votes in 2016, and now the people of New Hampshire have seen what he can do to create jobs. We have a record of accomplishments: four years of promises delivered.”
Polls show Democrat Joe Biden with a nine-point lead nationally and a five-point lead among the battleground states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The latest head-to-head poll, taken by St. Anselm College in June, gave Biden a seven-point lead in the Granite State.
However, while New Hampshire has been reliably Democratic in presidential races since 1992 — the only exception being George W. Bush in 2000 — both Trump’s narrow margin and the state’s favorable demographics (voters are older and whiter than the U.S. as a whole) make it potentially competitive.
In addition, multiple NHGOP sources have confirmed to NHJournal that their internal polls show Trump within striking distance, though not necessarily within the margin of error.
If so, this helps explain why the Trump campaign would have scheduled the (eventually cancelled) Portsmouth rally in deep-blue New England.
“We don’t need 306. We just need 270. We can lose Michigan and lose Pennsylvania and still win,” a Trump adviser told Politico earlier this month, noting that a win in New Hampshire — combined with one in Nevada or New Mexico — would provide enough Electoral College support to prevent defeat.
New Hampshire Democrats aren’t buying it.
“Was it a poll of his family?” quipped Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley when NHJournal asked about Lewandowski’s comment.
“But seriously, while current polls look solid for a Biden win, that along with every rating prognosticator out there all declaring Biden will win New Hampshire, we are not taking anything for granted. Joe Biden has the entire united NH Democratic Party working for him. While our phenomenal grassroots is legendary, I honestly have never seen volunteers so energized.
“It’s going to be a great year up and down the Democratic ticket in New Hampshire,” Buckley said.
Lewandowski laid out what he believes is a winning message for Trump headed into the fall, based around the theme of security: Economic security, national security and homeland security.
“On economic security, everybody saw what President Trump was able to do for our economy before COVID-19, and he can do it again. We’ve had record low African-American unemployment and Hispanic unemployment. Americans trust Donald Trump on the economy,” Lewandowski said.
“On national security, Donald Trump has spent billions of dollars to rebuild our military to make sure our country is safe and secure. He’s put fear back into our enemies, and he’s told our friends it’s time to pay their fair share.”
“And on homeland security, Democrats want our borders opened and our schools closed. Donald Trump wants our borders secure and our schools open,” Lewandowski added.
And what about the President Reagan question: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”
“Of course there’s been a slowdown. We’ve had a once-in-a-century pandemic,” Lewandowski said.
“I spent time with the president, and he understands the country is in fear, and that providing a solution to the COVID-19 problem is of paramount importance.”
Lewandowski’s message to those who are writing off Trump’s chances in November?
“We are light years ahead of where we were in 2016. We’ve got the power of incumbency, plus we’ve far more organized than we were four years ago.”
Veteran NHGOP strategist Dave Carney tells NHJournal “New Hampshire is in play this year and it will be a huge battleground. Either side can win.”
So will Donald Trump be back for a Granite State rally redux?
“The president has been resolved in the fact he wants to be in New Hampshire,” Lewandowski told the Boston Herald. “He’s reminding me of that almost on a daily basis.”