A tip for the Trump campaign in Oregon
Believe it or not, the Trump campaign is considering making a play for Oregon in the 2020 election. We have a suggestion for the president: Stop treating the West Coast like enemy territory, and put some federal money where your mouth is.
CNN reported this week that it had obtained a memo from a pollster to the Trump campaign about “expanding the map” to give the president more options to get to the 270 electoral votes he needs to win reelection. That expanded map reportedly includes New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada and Minnesota — all states Trump lost in 2016 but where the campaign already has put resources into play.
That hasn’t happened yet in Oregon, which Hillary Clinton won by 11 points and where voters haven’t backed a Republican for president since 1984. If it does, Trump doesn’t stand a chance if the only “resources” are campaign operatives and advertising dollars.
The West Coast hasn’t forgotten Trump’s response to the deadly wildfires that destroyed Paradise, California, and ravaged Ventura County, among other places in the state. The president blamed “gross mismanagement of the forests” for the damages and threatened to withhold unspecified federal funding if California did not “remedy” the situation.
Trump didn’t blast Oregon last year, although fires plagued us, too — but he didn’t pay us much attention either. Why should he? Oregon is a solidly blue state with only seven electoral votes.
Imagine, however, a massive infusion of federal dollars to beef up firefighting capability and wildfire prevention efforts, not just here but across the West, which is bracing for another hot, smoky summer.
Whether Trump has the interest or the ability to make that happen is anybody’s guess. Even if he does, there’s no guarantee Oregon would turn red. But without it, he has no chance of “expanding the map” in this neck of the woods.