Biden reelection campaign launches push for Republican votes

NEW YORK — President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign has reportedly launched an outreach effort aimed at wooing Republican voters amid some signs of GOP discontent with former President Donald Trump.

A former aide to #NeverTrump ex-Rep. Adam Kinzinger has been tapped to lead the so far unnamed Republican outreach effort, which will focus on identifying and promoting GOP surrogates for Biden and messages that may win over a slice of GOP voters, CNN reported Thursday.

“Republicans are leaving Trump in numbers that are well beyond what we’ve ever seen before,” said Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s 2024 campaign chair.

Democrats point to Trump’s conviction in the Manhattan hush money case and his erratic calls for retribution against enemies as key talking points to win over some Republicans.

They say Trump’s unpopularity in some GOP circles is proven by his loss of upwards of 30% of primary votes to Nikki Haley in many affluent and well-educated suburbs despite Haley dropping out of the race months ago.

But polls say Republicans have overwhelmingly rallied behind Trump and will likely vote for him en masse in November.

Some pundits on both sides of the aisle say the Biden campaign push is a no-brainer given the tightness of polls.

Doug Heye, a Republican strategist, says even a tiny sliver of the Republican electorate could deliver the election to Biden if they defect from Trump.

“In an election that will be decided on the margins, this is the right decision,” “(But) the months that have gone by without any outreach to Nikki Haley or Chris Christie makes you wonder if they know what they are doing.”

But other analysts say Biden is wasting his time wooing Republicans when the overwhelming majority of them believes he has spent four years poking fingers in their eyes on issues like immigration and the economy.

GOP strategist Scott Jennings said Biden would be better served working on papering over the gaping cracks in his own Democratic base instead of fishing for non-existent anti-Trump Republican voters.

“He promised to unite the country and he has been one of the most partisan, divisive presidents we’ve ever had,” said Jennings, a former aide to Sen. Mitch McConnell. “The only hand (reaching) out to Republicans has been a fist.”

The Biden strategy may involve enlisting ex-Republican lawmakers and other figures associated with the GOP who have abandoned Trump or been pushed away by his MAGA loyalists.

Like in 2020, Democrats may roll out some of the #NeverTrump Republicans at the Democratic National Convention, then use some of them as surrogates on the campaign trail, especially in targeted appeals to constituencies like veterans, foreign policy hawks or senior citizens.

A wild card will be ex-Rep. Liz Cheney, the former Republican heavyweight who famously broke with Trump over the Jan. 6 attack. The daughter of ex-Vice President Dick Cheney has vowed to prevent Trump from returning to the White House but has not tipped her plans for the fall campaign.

Biden is locked in a tight race with Trump with most national polls showing a dead heat and Trump a hair ahead in the battleground states that will determine the winner.