Another Lost Day For Donald Trump
July 29, 2020
WE CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THE POLLS WILL NARROW — but not if President Trump has more days like yesterday. Every day is crucial as the election looms in three months, yet Trump embraced Covid-19 falsehoods and bickered with reporters, as Joe Biden held a solid press conference, showing no signs of mental slippage.
THIS MORNING’S NATIONAL AVERAGE OF POLLS on the RealClearPolitics web site shows Biden ahead by 9 points. The average of betting sites gives Biden a 61% chance of winning. Why do we think these numbers will narrow? Biden’s embrace of an expensive Big Government agenda — paid for with massive tax hikes — gives Trump an issue to exploit.
BUT TRUMP CAN’T RESIST THE BAIT, and he pouted yesterday that Dr. Anthony Fauci has better polls. “Nobody likes me. It must be my personality,” Trump said, as U.S. fatalities surged past 150,000.
THE KEY TO TRUMP’S POLITICAL WOES is his plunging ratings on the virus; less than a third of the public approves of how he has handled this crisis. Yet Trump endorsed a quack doctor yesterday who believes in aliens and promotes hydroxychloroquine. And Trump proclaimed, falsely, that large portions of the country are corona-free.
TRUMP NEEDS TO WIN MOST of the days between now and Nov. 3, but yesterday Biden helped himself. He took questions from reporters — some softballs, no Chris Wallace-class grilling — and the Vice President handled it well, with one minor gaffe (saying “Tallahassee” when he meant “Jacksonville”).
BY VIRTUALLY INSISTING THAT BIDEN IS SENILE, the Trump campaign is setting a very low bar for the debates this fall. All Biden has to do is avoid a major gaffe — and make his subjects and verbs agree — and viewers may conclude that he is fit. Biden’s agenda will become the larger issue.
FOR TRUMP, YESTERDAY SHOWED that he can’t stay on message, as he did for several days last week. He’s furious that Fauci is idolized despite some dubious calls by the doctor early in the pandemic. Ironically, both men essentially agree that a vaccine could come fairly soon; that upbeat scenario might help Trump on Nov. 3.
WE STILL THINK THE ELECTION WILL TIGHTEN, as states like Ohio and Florida probably return to the GOP fold, narrowing the Electoral College math. But each day is important, and Trump had still another bad one — as his party bickered in public over a stalled stimulus bill that will be crucial to the president’s re-election prospects.
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