Fretting and Worries About Trump in 2020

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

There is a lot of consternation presently about President Trump’s chances of reelection in November.  Placed in perspective, a look at recent history from February 2020 to the present is in order.  In February, the United States was riding a wave of unprecedented economic growth with record low unemployment, a growing GDP, and all the ill-effects of tariffs proffered by the likes of the Chamber of Commerce and Paul Krugman were proving to be false.  Then along came the coronavirus and the country closed up, including its vibrant economy, forcing the government to intervene with a huge bailout.

As the country was recovering and things were starting to look better, a video of George Floyd in Minneapolis came along.  Peaceful protests quickly turned violent and the protests spread beyond the death of a black person in the custody of police and became what we are witnessing today- a hijacking of the Floyd protests by antifa and radical elements within the Black Lives Matter movement.  It is no longer about police brutality, but an attack on American history, iconic figures and names, culture, and heritage- all things the detractors claim were the precursors to systemic racism which was the “real” cause of the Floyd death.  

In effect, there was a confluence of events- a pandemic, economic upheaval, and civil unrest- that created a perfect storm against President Trump.  It was also the intersection of these events in which any President would suffer some damage regardless of if their last name was Trump.  It was a Leftist miracle and a wet dream come true.  There is likely coordination among those currently involved in the civil unrest having nothing to do with the original reasons for the protests and rioting and everything to do with “keeping the pressure” on Trump.

As a result, if one goes to any NeverTrump website (a/k/a The Bulwark), they are revelling in every poll showing a Trump loss in November with many even penning a post mortem on the current administration.  The preening by this class of loser is steeped in overconfidence that Trump is headed for certain defeat in November.  This writer read one editorial somewhere predicting a Biden victory with 400 electoral votes, illustrative of the overconfidence among Trump’s detractors.

Right now, the detractors are gleeful in the reports of the Trump rally in Tulsa.  Brad Parscale noted that over 1 million signed up for tickets to the event, but several outlets are quick to show the many empty seats as either there was some interference to keep the attendance numbers low by local officials, or the Trump campaign was spoofed by a coordinated Tik Tok social media campaign.  Whichever, perhaps Brad Parscale should be quiet in the future.  However, a single rally’s attendance figures should not be indicative of Trump’s fortunes.  And neither should polls.

In effect, the polls are doing the job for Joe Biden right now in an incessant negative feedback loop with Trump caught in the vortex.  The polls are designed to lessen the spirits of Trump supporters.   CNN recently wrote a story “Biden has what it takes to beat Trump” apparently because he attended a sparsely-attended speech with a large American flag draped behind him.  This is the same appearance when Biden forgot the name of his hometown newspaper and had a list of reporters to call upon.  Like his little-watched podcasts from the safety of his basement complete with honking geese outside his home, Biden is proving- besides his obvious dementia- that he cannot motivate the Democrat base.

On April 8, 2020, Bernie Sanders dropped out of the presidential sweepstakes after the Democrat establishment swooped in to resurrect the moribund candidacy of Biden.  Since then, many states have held primaries and some of the results are interesting.  Leaving aside the Tulsa rally, even though running unopposed, the numbers for Trump in states where the GOP has held primaries exceeds those of Obama’s reelection effort in 2012 for the Democrats.  In 15 states where the Democrats have held primaries after Sanders dropped out, Biden averages 73.85%.  Conversely in the seven states where Republicans have held primaries in the same time period, Trump averages 94.6% support.  Note that both candidates were running unopposed in this time period, but enthusiasm for Trump among Republicans exceeds that of Biden among Democrats by almost 22 percentage points.

Two key battleground states held primaries in this period- Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.  In Wisconsin, the number of people voting for Trump outnumbered those for Biden by 30,590 in raw votes and Trump outperformed Biden in Pennsylvania by 19,620 raw votes.  Clearly, there is more enthusiasm for Trump among the GOP faithful than there is enthusiasm for Biden among the Democrat faithful.  Even though all the results are not tabulated, on a percentage basis, Biden performed better in red Kansas than in blue New York.  Hence, those polls showing Trump trailing by 9-11 points in this or that state must be viewed with a grain of salt.  There is also the future to consider.

As the crazies in the streets take the craziness to new levels, the ultimate pushback is likely to be reflected at the ballot box in November.  The country was already on edge after a months-long government-enforced lockdown over the coronavirus.  The Democrats and NeverTrump crowd are already sounding the alarms about a resurgence in the coronavirus and one surmises they wish for it to keep the economic pressure on Trump.  In effect, the Democrats have entered into an unholy alliance their with hopes hanging on a virus and arsonists.

Biden will have to emerge eventually even though he announced he would not hold rallies or campaign appearances.  When you have the media waging your campaign, Biden can afford to remain holed up in the basement, making the occasional appearance emerging like Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day.  Then, there is the huge elephant in the room- Biden’s dubious record as a Senator and Vice President, allegedly his biggest selling points (other than he’s not Trump).  Part and parcel of these considerations is the impending Durham investigation, although this writer would not pin his hopes on it.  But, Trump would be a fool not to bring up Joe Biden’s true Ukrainian quid pro quo, and the scandals that seem to swirl around the Biden family.  

The news that Trump is disenchanted with Jared Kushner’s political advice is encouraging.  Even more encouraging is the overconfidence of the opposition.  By the same token, no one on the Trump side should be confident either.  Despite the many drawbacks of Biden, the election will likely be close and every vote counts- now more than ever in 2020.