What Donald Trump promised would be an optimistic and hopeful celebration of Republican leadership has predictably turned into a dystopian nightmare exalting an aspiring totalitarian dictator. The dark and hostile themes articulated by one speaker after another were unflinchingly foreboding and resolutely reverential of Trump and only Trump.
This steadfast devotion to the Cult of Trump was intended to jump start his floundering reelection campaign. Joe Biden has been consistently beating Trump in both national and swing state polling for months. So the nasty tone set by Trump and his convention plotters was chosen in an attempt to boost his approval and to smear Biden in such a way as to bring him down to Trump's level. They sent out their heavy artillery including four members of the Trump family (Eric, Don Jr, Tiffany, and Melania). They were fortified by notorious Trump-fluffers like Rep. Matt Gaetz, Rep. Jim Jordan, Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo, and the screeching stylings of former Fox News host, Kimberly Guilfoyle.
However, early indicators show that this strategy is working about as well as everything else Trump has tried to do in his presidency (i.e. utter failure). One week ago Trump proudly tweeted that he had reached a peak approval rating of 51% as surveyed by the disreputable right-wing pollster, Rasmussen Reports. Rasmussen is without a doubt Trump's favorite pollster and the only one who has ever shown Trump with a majority approval rating.
Now, after two days of RNC ranting, and worshipful characterizations of Trump as Messiah, Rasmussen has him at 47% approve, 51% disapprove. That's a four point drop (and an eight point negative swing) that occurred in just the two days since the convention began. Additionally, Rasmussen has Trump with a 36% strongly approve rating, and 44% strongly disapprove.
To repeat, Rasmussen is the most Trump-friendly pollster on the planet. For comparison, other recent polls show Trump with considerably worse numbers. RealClearPolitics' average “poll of polls” has Trump in the red 10.6%. And his performance in the crucial swing states is particularly dismal. Biden is leading in six of the seven states considered as battlegrounds (Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Ohio, and North Carolina). North Carolina is the only state where Biden is not ahead, but he is either tied or close. Biden is also challenging Trump in traditionally red states like Texas and Arizona.
Trump's decline this week so far does not bode well for the remaining days of the convention, Ordinarily, a candidate could look forward to a game changing speech at the conclusion of the convention, But Trump has already played that card by casting himself in prominent roles every day. He even included official duties (the granting of clemency and a swearing in ceremony for new citizens) in his convention events, which many legal experts contend is a violation of federal law.
Consequently, the final two days hold little suspense. Firebrands like Kellyanne Conway, Ivanka Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and a parade of d-list members of Congress will be speaking. The remaining star power consists of Mike Pence, who is scheduled to give one of his always tranquillizing addresses on Wednesday. Then on Thursday, Trump will close the show with what will likely be a sequel to his infamous “American Carnage” inaugural horror story.
How any of that can be expected to move the polling needle is a mystery. But that's all that the Trump camp has in store. Unless, of course, he surprises us with Hillary's lost emails, a check from Mexico for the border wall, or a coronavirus vaccine he whipped up in the White House guest bathroom. Stay tuned.
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