The Battleground State Report: Are Trump Rallies Enough to Motivate ‘Undecided’ Voters to Show Up and Vote?


On Friday’s Battleground State Report with Steve Gill, Michael Patrick Leahy and Doug Kellett – a one hour radio show from Star News Digital Media in the early stages of a national weekend syndication roll out – Gill and Leahy talked about the success of the Trump rallies that continue to mobilize his base. They were concerned, however, about whether or not these rallies could help move undecided voters to the voting booths.

Towards the end of the segment, the men suggested that Trump take a more emotional approach and go to the battleground states and show people the positive changes he has made in people’s lives.

Gill: President Trump goes to New Hampshire on Thursday night, has a big rally and actually broke the record for attendance at that Manchester arena. Elton John had the previous record and Donald Trump shows up and breaks the record with more people. He didn’t even show up in the big glasses, (Leahy laughs) and the high heeled shoes and flashy attire but still had the crowd rocking and rolling.

Do these rallies, again they make him feel good, they draw media attention, rev up his base, but are they moving voters, those Independent voters, who are those not really engaged voters? Again getting that based engaged and involved is important but is he winning the hearts and minds of those with these rallies who are not necessarily Trump voters?

And we’ve talked before that these are great. Keep doing these, but go do more of visiting that mine in Minnesota that was shut down three years ago. Wasn’t open and is now open and employing people. Go to that factory in these battleground states in Ohio, in Michigan, in Pennsylvania. Go to those factories and highlight the fact that they are now opening new areas. That they’re getting new business and employing more people.

Talk to the people who are employed and were unemployed just a few years ago. Remind people that we can go back. Remind people that the tax cuts that are putting more into their pocket right now can go away particularly when you have the Democrats promising to do so.

Leahy: Can and will go away. I think there’s no question about that. What I thought was interesting is that you mentioned Steve, this rally in New Hampshire this past week. He talked about the Minnesota mines opening up. But talking about it at a rally is one thing. Having the visual of being there at the mine in Minnesota with people working–that’s something entirely different.

Gill: Having some 55-year-old woman who was unemployed a couple of years ago and is now employed at a factory at a shop. At an office that was closed but now is open because of the opportunities. Having them say “Thank you, President Trump. Three years ago I didn’t have a job. Three years ago I was on food stamps. Today I’m working and I’m self-sufficient. Thank you.” This is what Make America Great means. This is what Keeping America Great means. That’s the theme they’ve got to hammer. And they’ve got to do it where it has a personal connection. A visual connection. A local connection.

Leahy: Absolutely.

Gill: And I don’t know why his team isn’t doing that frankly.

Leahy: Well, there’s a lot of things that we don’t know about the Trump campaign. (Leahy chuckles) One of the things is though, you’re absolutely right. Donald Trump loves these rallies. He’s a performer. He’s an entertainer. And he loves the adulation that he gets. And he’s really great in those rallies but we come back to the issue of the undecided voters.

And the question is really, that I would pose to you is, we’ve talked about this before, our friend Steve Bannon says this is going to be a mobilization election, not a persuasion election. Clearly, those rallies help mobilize his base. The question though is, how many undecided voters are there out there?

Gill: Well it’s the margins.

Leahy: It’s very tiny margins.

Gill: That’s what won in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota, that’s the margin.

Leahy: OK. And it’s not the undecided voters in California. It’s the undecided voters in Pennsylvania.

Gill: 50,000-100,000

Leahy: There are 100,000 people who live in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan who are undecided right now. And who is going to determine whether Trump is re-elected? Would you agree with that?

Gill: I think that’s exactly right. And it is getting those 100,000 in each state to pick you and then show up and vote. To pick you and be caring enough about it and show up and vote. They might have decided, “Yeah, I’m for Trump.” But if they sit home and don’t go vote, again we get back to Steve Bannon and the mobilization election, even if you convince them to be for you, even if you convince them that you’re marginally better than the opponent, you still have to convince them that it’s marginally important enough for them to get up off their rear ends and go vote.

Leahy: So, two things then, what President Trump has to do is mobilize his base, the rallies do that. But, the 100,000 undecided voters who live in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The way he get’s them, is he goes into those communities and goes into his success stories. Click, click, click. Picture, picture, picture. That’s a strategy right?

Gill: And it’s not just that they see him at the factory. But the people that are working at that factory then they’ve been personally touched by the President. That story has touched them and their families so that again how do you cobble together that 100,000 that you’re trying to reach. And reach them in an emotional way as well as an intellectual way.

That personal contact. That hand to hand combat that the left is doing. They’re mobilizing their snowflakes. They’re going to have their people pounding door to door in those seven, eight or nine really battleground states. We’re talking about 16 or 17 that can be.

But in the final six, seven or eight states, people are going to be inundated with these volunteers with clipboards and t-shirts coming to the door. That doesn’t make the same emotional connection of a President who comes to the factory and hugs your mom. And she says, “Thank you for employing me.” And then her activation of her kids, her nephews, her nieces, her friends, her neighbors, her church social members.

Leahy: Mom’s got a job because of President Trump kids. Go out and vote for President Trump.

Gill: It’s like throwing a pebble into a glassy pond. The ripple effect is important. But that ripple has to be an emotional connection, not just an intellectual.

Listen to the full show:


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Tune in every Friday morning and listen to The Battleground State Report with Steve Gill, Michael Patrick Leahy, and Doug Kellett.



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