The Democrats Get Cocky
Author: Greg Valliere
July 13, 2020
HUBRIS, A DEADLY FLAW: Giddy over new polls — and the repeated mis-steps by Donald Trump — Democrats have suddenly gotten cocky. They’re talking about a potential landslide, and may pour resources into states like Texas, a high risk/low
FOUR YEARS AGO, Hillary Clinton decided that her victory was so likely that it made sense to mount a challenge in states like Georgia, which she lost — while ignoring Wisconsin, where she never appeared — and also lost. One would assume that a lesson was learned.
YET HERE’S JONATHAN MARTIN, reporting in yesterday’s New York Times that the Democrats are intoxicated by the prospect of a sweeping victory that could give them a solid Senate majority and a mandate for their progressive agenda. That kind of hubris often backfires.
DEMOCRATS APPARENTLY ARE URGING BIDEN to expand the map and compete for Texas, Ohio, Georgia, Montana, etc. Democrats’ fundraising has been impressive, and suddenly they think they can comfortably take the Senate by contesting states like Georgia, which often look enticing in July but not in November. They’re also upbeat over their prospects for redistricting after this year’s census.
THE DEMOCRATS ARE CORRECT that Trump consistently mis-steps. Polls show that by 2-to-1, the public disapproves of his handling of the pandemic. He probably will mis-handle the opening of schools. He has muzzled Dr. Anthony Fauci, even to the point of sending negative talking points on Fauci to the press.
AND TRUMP MAY HAVE MORE “get out of jail” cards to play for convicted felons — which will hurt him with moderate voters, who will agree with Mitt Romney that the Roger Stone commutation showed “historic, unprecedented corruption.” Trump’s base was happy, but he cannot win re-election with only his base.
IF THE ELECTION WERE HELD TODAY, Biden would win enough states to win more than 300 electoral votes (270 are needed) and Democrats would re-capture the Senate. But the election is on Nov. 3 — so there’s plenty of time for Trump to bash Joe Biden’s mental acuity and his embrace of a left-wing agenda.
THE AGENDA COULD BECOME AN ALBATROSS FOR BIDEN: Bernie Sanders essentially has signed off on an expensive agenda that would greatly expand the role of government. There’s so much news right now that Biden’s acceptance of that agenda attracted relatively little publicity last week.
BIDEN AGREES WITH SANDERS on sweeping climate change provisions, but the former vice president is more moderate on several other issues, rejecting Medicare for All (Biden favors expending Obamacare), student loans (no free college for everyone), and tax hikes (Biden’s top rates would only revert to pre-Trump levels). But Biden’s laundry list would cost trillions of dollars and is ripe for a Trump assault.
BOTTOM LINE: The financial markets, which lately haven’t worried about anything,
may think that this race is far from over, sure to tighten this fall. And that could
be correct. It won’t be the sweeping victory that many Democrats anticipate — and
their cocky anticipation of a landslide may look foolish by late October.
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