The election is just one week away. Here’s my view of how it’s going.
President Trump is now in full panic-mode. None of his patented name calling or fake Russia-produced Hunter Biden scandals seem to be working. He hit rock bottom last Sunday after walking out of an interview with Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes, complaining bitterly about the tough questions and her scorn of his incessant lying.
Me? I’ve already voted, straight blue, through-and-through. Here’s my ballot. I checked with the Pinellas County Board of Elections, my vote has already been counted.
Trump Campaign Has Failed
The following image best describes the Trump campaign.
Remember that Trump lost the 2016 popular vote by almost three million votes, but managed an electoral college victory by winning several Midwest states by razor-thin margins. This time, Nate Silver of http://www.fivethirtyeight.com predicts Trump has only a 12% chance of winning. So, what’s the difference this time? I suggest that Trump has angered two important demographic groups: suburban women and senior citizens.
His courting of Evangelicals and conservative Catholics hell-bent on overturning Roe v Wade has gone over like a lead balloon with many female voters. Trump’s condescending treatment of female reporters hasn’t gone unnoticed either.
Senior citizens are alarmed by two Trump positions: the total and catastrophic failure to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and his threat to Social Security and Medicare by suggesting elimination of its major source of funding, the payroll tax.
Another way to look at the sinking Trump campaign is the “rats leaving a sinking ship” angle. Trump’s staff is now just shameless sycophants and vapid family members; all the responsible adults are long gone. Trump bitterly complains about all the negative stories about him in the press, but it’s his own people who are feeding reporters anecdotes about his misbehavior. While Fox News is still a reliable propagandist for Trump, the right-wing Drudge Report has become anti-Trump recently. Worse yet is the Lincoln Project, a cabal of conservative Republicans that are creating the most damaging anti-Trump Internet and mass media advertising spots. Here are two Times Square billboards about Jared and Ivanka placed this week. The Kushners threatened legal action, the Lincoln Project people just laughed at them.
Another group that Trump has angered more than usual is the people-of-color contingent. African Americans have been a reliable Democratic voting block, but Trump’s coddling of white supremacists is sure to bring out Obama-level voting from the black community.
Finally, there is the tragic display of irresponsibility by Trump and his campaign staff scheduling these “super-spreader” events wherein massive crowds of MAGA supporters show up crammed together without masks, spreading the COVID-19 infections to one and all. No doubt Trump loves to bask in the adulation of these people, but he’s literally killing some of his supporters (or their grandparents). Note: for masks to work, everybody has to wear masks!
Biden Has Been Playing It Safe
There’s an old adage, attributed to Napoleon: “When your enemy is over there destroying himself, do not interfere!” The Trump campaign has been a cascade of mendacity and self-pity, with a side helping of rage-tweeting. His campaign’s wounds are all self-inflicted.
Biden’s campaign events are models of COVID-19 safety procedures. He speaks to small gatherings of people in their cars, who honk their approval or in parking lot events that are socially-distanced.
Joe Biden, and his running mate Kamala Harris, have stuck to one consistent theme: Trump’s disastrous handling of the coronavirus pandemic. They know that COVID-19 is Trump’s Achilles Heel, and they are firing arrows into it at every campaign stop.
Here’s the point: Biden and Harris may play to small crowds, but the local reporters show up, collect their soundbites, and return to their newsrooms and TV stations to report what was said. It makes its way onto social media. The image is stark: Biden is acting responsibly whilst Trump is Mister Super Spreader. The debates haven’t helped Trump either.
Here’s another old adage: “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” Trump’s first debate was a fiasco. Apparently he was told to interrupt and run roughshod over Joe Biden, expecting that this would rattle and force him to self-destruct. The exact opposite happened. Biden spoke calmly and knowledgably to the American people. He looked like a President while Trump came off as a petulant toddler.
Trump foolishly canceled out of the second debate, and then appeared intellectually defanged in the last debate. Now, there’s only one week left. All Trump has now are his adoring fans at his super-spreader events. That’s been a consistent 42% support for Trump and it’s not increasing.
I think Trump is going to be trounced by Joe Biden next Tuesday, by a landslide!
If I’m wrong, I’ll eat crow in my post-election blog post. Until then, here’s what I think of the Trump campaign.