The Great Showman Begins the Campaign Tomorrow Night
Author: Greg Valliere
June 19, 2020
A FRIEND ASKED US YESTERDAY: Admit it, you’ll watch a little (or a lot) of
the president’s speech tomorrow night in Tulsa, won’t you? Indeed we will, because a Donald J. Trump campaign speech is irresistible theater, must-see TV.
HOW COULD WE NOT WATCH? Trump is virtually guaranteed to throw out some controversial one-liners, savaging Joe Biden’s mental acuity, ripping into the Supreme Court, mocking Fox News polls. And plenty more, thrilling 20,000 non-mask wearers in a state ravaged by covid-19.
WE RECALL ASKING A PRODUCER AT CNN in the summer of 2016 why the network had Trump on TV so frequently as he was battling for the GOP nomination. “He’s great for ratings,” she replied.
THAT’S MUSIC TO TRUMP’S EARS, because ratings mean so much to him. We’d guess that he will get fabulous ratings tomorrow night; his base will tune in, and millions more will watch just for the entertainment.
THIS IS ONE OF MANY REASONS WHY IT’S WAY TOO EARLY to write off Trump — he’s outrageous, he’s crude, he’s funny, he’s not another cookie-cutter Washington politician. Would millions tune in to a Joe Biden rally? Nope.
THE STAKES ARE HIGH TOMORROW because the polls have turned sharply against Trump; he demanded an apology when CNN showed him trailing by 14 points earlier this month, but yesterday Fox showed him 12 points behind. Yes, his base still adores him, but that’s far from a majority of voters.
SO THE CAMPAIGN BEGINS IN EARNEST in Tulsa, with Trump doing what he does best — making headlines, controlling the dialogue, slashing his opponents. Do you want to bet against him? That didn’t work out very well in 2016.
IF THE ELECTION WAS TOMORROW, Trump would lose decisively; betting sites have him far behind, and his campaign may be ready to throw in the towel in Michigan. But the election isn’t tomorrow — it’s Nov. 3, plenty of time for Trump to make a case that Biden is unfit.
THIS WILL BE A MEMORABLE ELECTION, perhaps a disputed election because of controversy over mail-in ballots. It’s still too early to make a prediction. We want to see if Trump, now 74, still has the passion — so we’ll be glued to the TV tomorrow, which is exactly what he wants.
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