An Australian political strategist working in the United States says he expects Joe Biden will win the presidential election by picking up key voters who elected Barack Obama twice but backed Donald Trump in 2016.
Walter Koch has previously worked on Labor campaigns in Victoria and federally, and is now working as campaign coordinator for Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey.
The LA district attorney race, coming in the wake of the controversial death of George Floyd, is expected to be one of the most closely watched contests around the US.
Mr Koch, who worked on Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign before moving into his current role, said the key difference in the Trump and Biden campaigns was the “contrast in message discipline”.
“To their credit, the Biden campaign has maintained a strong message that primarily focuses on key economic issues as well as of course turning the race into a referendum on Trump’s handling of the pandemic,” Mr Koch told AAP.
“Joe Biden himself has not been lured by the progressive wing of the party into taking positions that would hurt him in the states they need to win.
“They have done a terrific job maintaining their focus despite a news cycle that could have led to distractions.
“This has enabled the campaign to expand its base and pick off key voters who voted for President Obama twice but backed Trump in 2016.”
He said the Trump campaign had failed to find a consistent line of attack against Biden.
“They’ve struggled to come to terms with the fact that there is not the same level of toxicity in the electorate for Biden as there was for Hillary (Clinton).”
As well, Trump had failed to prosecute the same message of “economic nationalism and cultural populism” as he did in 2016 to win over America’s rust belt states.
“I think Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will win tomorrow night with roughly 288 electoral college votes,” Mr Koch predicted.
The winning candidate needs at least 270 electoral college votes.
Mr Koch said Biden’s lead in state polls has been higher and considerably more stable than Clinton’s in 2016, polling consistently above 50 per cent in the more reputable surveys.
Biden had also made gains into Trump’s base.
“He is performing better among white voters without college degrees and he is building on the Democratic advantage among suburban voters, in particular suburban women,” Mr Koch said.
“The key question that remains is if Biden can garner strong enough African American and Latino turnout.”