The Biggest Obstacle to Donald Trump’s Re-election
October 28, 2020
PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS TREMENDOUS ENERGY: His eagerness to campaign throughout the country — often holding three rallies per day — is remarkable. He appears to have some momentum and the race may be tightening. But he faces a major obstacle.
THAT OBSTACLE IS HIS TERRIBLE NUMBERS among female voters. Trump trails Joe Biden among women by about 20% in all the polls we have seen; by contrast, Trump lost women by about 13% in 2016. (Trump’s lead among men is in the mid-single digits — not enough to make up for his deficit among women.)
FEMALE VOTERS OVERWHELMINGLY OPPOSE Trump’s handling of the pandemic, and they are concerned about health care and jobs. Trump’s coarse language — “I’m working my ass off,” he proclaimed yesterday — hasn’t helped him. Women, as Trump frequently has complained, simply don’t like him.
AND TRUMP FACES ANOTHER DEMOGRAPHIC PROBLEM: Senior citizens, who backed him by roughly 9% in 2016, have broken for Biden by nearly 20 points in all polls. Seniors cite Trump’s handling of the pandemic, which has inflicted a disproportionate number of fatalities on them; about two-thirds of all deaths have been among seniors.
A WEEK IS A LIFETIME IN POLITICS, and there’s still a chance that Trump could close fast. He’ll get a tremendous third quarter GDP report tomorrow morning from the Commerce Department; it could show growth of 30%, a statistical make-up from the terrible second quarter, but Trump will boast that the economy is roaring back.
AND EVENTS COULD MOVE THE NEEDLE A BIT: Looting in Philadelphia will give Trump an issue, as will ongoing reports of Biden’s involvement in business deals with China and Ukraine.
THIS MORNING’S AGGREGATE OF ALL POLLS on the RealClearPolitics web site shows Biden ahead by 7.1 points — down a little from earlier this fall — and while he leads in most of the battleground states, those leads are not insurmountable.
SENATE RACES HAVE BEEN SCRAMBLED by a huge infusion of cash, mostly to Democrats; the Republicans could hang on by one seat or they could get blown out. A modest “light Blue Wave” for the Democrats seems likely, with them narrowly gaining control of the Senate, perhaps in a 50-50 tie.
THE MOST ASTONISHING POLITICAL STORY this fall is the enormous amount of voting ahead of the election — now 50% of all 2016 voting — which initially showed overwhelming support for Democrats. But that trend may fade as Republicans vote in large numbers now, and on election day.
A BIDEN VICTORY IS FAR FROM CERTAIN, as Trump fires up his base in raucous rallies — but has he expanded his support beyond his base? He may gain among men in this final week, but the math doesn’t look good for Trump because female voters overwhelmingly oppose him.
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