Maybe the polls are wrong.
I don’t know?
One hundred days before the presidential election, Joe Biden has built a commanding and enduring lead over Donald Trump, whose path to victory has narrowed considerably in the months since the coronavirus pandemic began.
The president’s fortunes appear increasingly tied to the trajectory of a public health crisis he has failed to contain, with the death toll past 145,000 and the economy in turmoil.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll this month showed Biden far ahead of Trump, 55% to 40% among registered voters. That contrasted with March, when Biden and Trump were locked in a near tie as the virus was just beginning to spread.
The same poll found Trump’s approval ratings had crumbled to 39%, roughly the same share of the electorate that approved of his response to the outbreak while 60% disapproved. Especially troubling for the president are a new spate of polls that suggest he is losing his edge on the economy, formerly Biden’s greatest vulnerability.
“It is very hard to envision a scenario where you can make an argument for the president’s re-election if unemployment is well over 10% and there’s no sign that the pandemic is under control,” said Michael Steel, a Republican strategist who was an adviser for Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign.
“The political environment and the economic situation could look very different 100 days from now, but if the election were held today, it is very likely that the former vice-president would win – and pretty substantially.”
Surveys show Biden ahead in a clutch of battleground states that secured Trump’s victory in 2016, including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. A Quinnipiac University poll of Florida, seen as crucial for Trump, found Biden up by 13 points.
Biden’s campaign is now eyeing an expanded electoral map that could also deliver control of the Senate, challenging Trump in traditionally Republican states like Arizona, where the president has consistently led in statewide polls, as well as in conservative strongholds like Texas, where a new Quinnipiac poll found the candidates neck-and-neck.
Trump has dismissed polling that shows him losing as “fake”, adamant that he defied Beltway prognosticators in 2016 and is poised to do it again. “I’m not losing,” he insisted during a recent Fox News Sunday interview, when presented with the network’s latest poll showing him trailing Biden by eight points.
Political strategists caution that much can – and almost certainly will – change in the coming months, especially in a race shaped so profoundly by the pandemic. There is a general expectation the contest will be closely fought, as presidential elections have been for decades in a deeply polarized climate.
At the same time, widespread uncertainty hangs over the security and administration of an election again threatened by foreign interference and disinformation. The pandemic has raised new concerns about voting procedures, amid Trump’s escalating attacks on mail-in ballots and unprecedented efforts to sow doubt about the legitimacy of the result in November.
Trump’s prospects likely hinge on his ability to persuade Americans he deserves a second term. Yet he remains almost-singularly focused on rallying a loyal but shrinking core of supporters. In recent weeks, he has sought to stoke white fear and cultural backlash with an aggressive response to anti-racism protests, a defense of Confederate monuments and a dark Fourth of July speech in which he claimed children are being taught to “hate” America.
Even if the polls are wrong, and even though we do have signs of Trump’s support increasing in certain sectors, we are nonetheless facing a disaster. Right now, I would bet money against Trump winning this election.
We need to do everything we can to support him, because if he loses, all hell is going to break loose, and our country is doomed. There will be no going back to normal. It will be game over for America as we know it and our only path forward will be to push for the breakup of the United States.
That is the plan moving forward, by the way, in the case that Trump loses. So, get ready for that.