Political analyst John Heilemann said he takes President Trump's efforts to keep his base ahead of the 2016 election as a "red warning sign" for his 2020 re-election campaign, citing the fact that they are running ads in Iowa, a state Trump won by 9 points in 2016.
JOHN HEILEMANN: Think about the ‘Obamagate’ thing, Joe, all the stuff you’re talking about.
We talked earlier about the notion of elections, especially with incumbents, won or lost in the spring of the election year, not the fall. You’re Donald Trump — what’s the Obamagate thing? About in all of these conspiracy theories, purely about your base, right? All base reinforcements, not about expanding your vote.
Axiomatically, if you’re an incumbent president in the spring of the election year and you’re in trouble worried about your base, as opposed to having your base locked down and trying to expand your vote, you’re in trouble.
Where he’s on the air last week, was for the sixth core battleground states, right?
Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan — those are the six we know both sides will fight for, and then they’re on in Iowa, right? The seventh state, so in the spring of Donald Trump’s re-election, he’s putting money into a state he won by nine points in 2016. That’s a dangerous time for the Trump team and then you look at those battleground states. The markets on the air — Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the Pittsburgh suburbs, in the panhandle of Florida.
Joe, you tell me what it means for Donald Trump in May that he needs to reinforce, shore up his base in the panhandle of Florida in May of 2020?
That is a flashing red warning sign, not just they’re in trouble, but know they’re in trouble.