A Reckless Weekend as Landslide Looms
Author: Greg Valliere
October 5, 2020
DONALD TRUMP DESPERATELY WANTS to win re-election but his reckless behavior in dealing with Covid-19 continues unabated — and Republicans now face a Blue Wave that could sweep away not only the presidency but the GOP Senate as well.
CAN’T HELP HIMSELF: Trump put the health of Secret Service agents at risk yesterday by recklessly insisting on a ride outside of Walter Reed Hospital to greet supporters. This horrified the agents and doctors, and will require 14-day quarantines for everyone in his car.
THIS FOLLOWED A WEEKEND in which Trump’s personal physician refused to answer questions or was disingenuous at best, as the country’s leading doctors expressed strong disapproval of Trump’s treatment and medication, a combination usually reserved for critically ill patients.
TRUMP WANTS TO PORTRAY VIGOR — AND ELECTABILITY — so he apparently was furious with Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who stated correctly that the president won’t be out of the woods for several days. Meadows is in the dog house; the White House dysfunction never ends.
WHETHER TRUMP RECKLESSLY DEMANDS TO LEAVE THE HOSPITAL today isn’t the point. The point is that 65% of voters believe Trump should have taken the virus more seriously; and only 34% believe he’s telling the truth about it, according to a Reuters poll taken before this weekend.
REPUBLICANS WE’VE TALKED WITH are increasingly resigned to Trump losing the election. This weekend’s post-debate poll by the Washington Post and ABC News, showing Joe Biden leading by 14 points, seems a little high; a 9 or 10 point lead seems more likely. If Biden wins by that much, the GOP almost certainly would lose the Senate.
TRUMP COULD GENERATE SYMPATHY AND RESPECT if he bounces back quickly; he has admirable stamina. But this election is now all about Covid-19, and the public believes he has done a terrible job of handling it.
TRUMP HAS PUT Secret Service agents at risk, he put his audiences around the country at risk, he put everyone at Amy Coney Barrett’s reception at risk — and now he is putting Mike Pence at risk. The vice president has been told to campaign, even though a Pence infection could risk a Nancy Pelosi presidency.
WHAT CAN TRUMP DO THIS WEEK, other than leave the hospital against the advice of doctors? He could Tweet and tape TV spots, he could insist that the Barrett hearings begin by mid-October, and he could offer Pelosi just about anything she wants in a stimulus bill that the markets would love. Is re-election worth $2.2 trillion? We may find out this week.
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