04:38 - Source: CNN
'Inside Politics' forecast: Ready, set, campaign

Story highlights

Donald Trump has a head-scratching stump schedule next week

Ivanka Trump will be on the trail to combat negative opinions some women have about her father

Washington CNN —  

Why is Donald Trump campaigning in New York? Where will we see daughter Ivanka next? And why is Mike Pence going against the top of his ticket?

Those stories and more are all part of today’s “Inside Politics” forecast.

1) Can Trump change the electoral map?

Election Day is 100 days from Sunday, and so the candidates are getting more serious about where they spend their time and money.

But there is still a bit of experimenting going on – or in Trump’s case, maybe a little bit of pride and stubbornness.

CNN’s Nia-Malika Henderson noted that Trump is campaigning this week in Maine and New York, two states that traditionally go blue in presidential politics.

He’ll also be in Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. But it’s the two states he’ll be in Thursday that are raising eyebrows among Republicans.

Maine makes sense because it’s a funky state that splits its electoral votes, though that’s never happened. Trump has also said he wants to play aggressively in his native New York, where some Republicans on the ground think he may do well in rural areas upstate.

But other Republicans say it’s not a good idea for him to spend any time at all in New York, which Hillary Clinton represented in the Senate for eight years.

2) A legal win for Democrats

Democrats are big fans of same-day voting registration and early voting, and are thrilled with court decisions this past week they believe will help their turnout efforts this November.

CNN’s Jeff Zeleny said that barring an about face in higher courts, the rulings could factor into the outcome in key battleground states:

“If the Clinton campaign is able to register voters on election day in North Carolina, if they have one more week of early voting and if they’re able to use all kinds of IDs, not just driver’s licenses, that could be the biggest development…that’s one of the most significant things the Clinton campaign thinks would help them.”

3) Can Ivanka help close the gender gap?

Ivanka Trump was a star of the Republican convention, and her already important role in her father’s campaign is likely to expand as a result.

Matt Viser of The Boston Globe reports that Team Trump hopes Ivanka can help slice into Hillary Clinton’s big lead among women voters:

“The campaign is telling us … to expect her in TV ads, expect her doing more interviews, and expect her on the campaign trail with and without her father. There is only so much that she can do. There are reasons to be skeptical. But that’s one way the campaign is looking to change the opinion of Donald Trump.”

4) Pence vs. Trump

No two running mates see eye to eye on everything, so it’s not fair to play up every difference as a sign of dysfunction or tension.

But since being picked by Donald Trump to share the GOP ticket, it’s clear vice presidential nominee Mike Pence is in a very different place than his new boss on issues ranging from the proper tone of political discourse to how to talk about Vladimir Putin and Russia.

Jackie Kucinich of The Daily Beast wonders whether these differences are being aired as part of a campaign strategy to reach different audiences or part of a Pence effort to protect his brand:

“Whether this is simply not a disciplined message or whether it’s a deliberate tactic to show one side of the Republican ticket is actually reasonable or whether it’s a way to preserve Mike Pence’s brand of the presidential race, it isn’t working out. It’s certainly worth keeping an eye on.”

5) Dems and the labor vote

Blocking Donald Trump’s path to 270 electoral votes was a major topic of discussion at the Democratic National Convention, and the votes of union members and their families was a key subplot.

Labor is always an important constituency for Democrats, but all the more so this year because of Donald Trump’s electoral strategy. Trump is targeting the Rust Belt, and union leaders from Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan have been warning the Clinton campaign that Trump has broad appeal among their members.

In 2012 President Obama won 58% of votes from members of union households to 40% for Mitt Romney, according to exit polls. The Clinton campaign hopes to nudge that number up a bit, and is being urged by labor leaders to adopt an aggressive surrogate program.

In conversations throughout the week in Philadelphia, a constant observation from labor leaders was that good surrogates can help shape political conversations at the workplace, at the neighborhood bar or around the kitchen table.