Whenever the possibility of shooting the moon—i.e. turning solidly red states like Georgia, Utah, and Arizona blue—has presented itself, the Clinton campaign has jumped on the opportunity. Back in late July and early August, for instance, when Donald Trump was in free fall after spending a week attacking a Gold Star family, the campaign transferred funds and organizers to Georgia and Arizona. A month later, Clinton collapsed at a 9/11 memorial and Trump was once again on the rise. The Clinton campaign reverted to its normal plan, and after two disastrous debate performances, a tape of Trump bragging about sexual assault, and a host of disturbing allegations of harassment and assault, Clinton once again is solidly in the lead. Which means, of course, that the Clinton campaign is once again eyeing Georgia, Utah, and Arizona.
There are compelling reasons to run up the score. Because of her opponent, it’s likely that there will be attempts to delegitimize Clinton’s victory starting November 9. Establishment Republicans will argue that she faced a historically weak candidate who is barely a Republican, and certainly not a conservative. Her opponent, meanwhile, has clearly signaled that he will claim that Clinton won because of massive voter fraud. Winning states like Georgia and Arizona won’t quell these protests, but they could quiet them: All Clinton would have to do is point to the scoreboard.
But three weeks is both too long and not long enough for the Clinton campaign. It’s too long in that there is still plenty of time for an unforced error—another dizzy spell or a Wikileaks revelation, perhaps—to derail the campaign once again. And it’s not long enough in that successful field organizing requires time, and three weeks is cutting it very close. Clinton has a clear path to victory and she’s on it right now—there just isn’t a compelling reason for her campaign to change the map with 22 days to go.