Peter Nicholas throws cold water on the gaslight that is building up, anticipating stunts galore before November’s election day. Jobless numbers, 151,000 dead, and basic incompetence could still be tolerable for a “majority”, considering the faults in the US election system. Too many stupid things can still happen. GOTV.
“If Trump could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose supporters, he could also raise the dead on Fifth Avenue and not gain any supporters,” Charles Franklin, the director of the Marquette Law School poll, told me.
1. The economy could come back just enough.
Reckless though it was to reopen businesses while the virus raged, states that lifted stay-at-home restrictions gave the economy an unmistakable jolt. A record-setting total of 7.5 million jobs were added in May and June. The numbers might well cool off in the coming months, but Trump can spin what might turn out to be fleeting gains as a full-fledged recovery.
2. Polling could be wrong (again).
Four years ago, the race between Trump and Hillary Clinton came down to Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Trump narrowly won all three. This time around, Biden is leading in each of the same three states by anywhere from 6 to 8 points, the RealClearPolitics average of polls shows.
3. Trump can campaign all day long.
If they choose, presidents can exploit the office for reelection purposes with brutal efficiency. They can push policies that matter most to prized constituencies, and fly to swing states for campaign stops masquerading as official visits. Trump can no longer hold rallies whenever and wherever he wants, but even during a pandemic, he can capitalize on his surroundings in ways that a challenger can’t.
4. Biden’s got his own problems.
Biden has suffered personal loss, which has made him a comforting figure to grieving Americans who have lost jobs and loved ones in the pandemic. Yet he still symbolizes a brand of establishment centrism that leaves some younger voters and some in the party’s activist wing uninspired.
5. Biden voters might not get to vote.
If the state elections held in recent months are any sort of dry run, November could be a disaster. The number of polling places was slashed in the face of COVID-19, forcing voters to wait hours in line. More than 80 voting locations were shut down or consolidated in the Atlanta metro area last month, while places in Milwaukee were cut from 180 to 5.
6. What if there’s an October surprise?
Ever the showman, Trump could try to shake up the race with a late announcement of dramatic progress in fighting COVID-19. News of a “breakthrough” would get ample attention, and whether he’s right or wrong might not get sorted out until long after the votes are counted. By that time, it wouldn’t matter; Trump could lock in a chunk of voters grateful for any news of an antidote.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) July 29, 2020
— Chris Warshaw (@cwarshaw) July 28, 2020
— David Shimer (@davidashimer) July 19, 2020
“Everybody was prepared for the worst-case scenario,” she said.
— Teri Kanefield (@Teri_Kanefield) July 29, 2020
Ã¢ÂÂ Really American Ã°ÂÂÂºÃ°ÂÂÂ¸ (@ReallyAmerican1) July 29, 2020
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) July 29, 2020