Thursday, April 23, 2020

November Election Could Get Really Bad for Republicans

News yesterday portend the distinct possibility that November's election will be calamitous for the Republican Party.

Three battleground polls came out showing Trump trailing.  Fox News polls show President Trump trailing Joe Biden by 8 points in Michigan and Pennsylvania.  A Quinnipiac poll has Trump losing Florida to Biden by 4 points.  While the later result is well within the margin of error it is nonetheless noteworthy.  Going into Election Day 2016, Trump led (albeit narrowly) polling in Florida in 2016 and ended up winning the state by just over 1%.

Right now, Biden leads the polls in every swing state.  That includes Ohio, which Democrats were foolishly set to write off just months ago.   Using today's polling averages (or recent polls if there are not enough polls for Real Clear Politics to offer an average), Biden would win 352 electoral votes to Trump's 186 assuming the polls broke exactly as they are now.

More notably, Biden has gotten this lead while sitting in his basement while Trump is given free media time, seven days a week, to say whatever he wants about Covid-19 or any other topic during his daily press conference.  Trump fashions himself as his best spokesperson.  Hint...he is not.  The continued coverage of Trump at these pressers makes the President look like the person  who he really is  - a man who is ignorant, unprepared, dishonest and a bully.  Trump has demonstrated beyond any doubt that he is more interested in positive spin than being honest with the American people about the sacrifices that are needed and the difficult days ahead.  Given the hours of free media time, you would think Trump would at least once get around to displaying some empathy toward Americans who have gotten sick or died during the pandemic.  Nope.  Covid-19 is not about people getting sick and dying or people losing their jobs. Covid-19 is about Donald Trump.  In Trump's mind, everything is always about him.

Trump's edge regarding his handling of the economy (standard admonition that Presidents do not run the American economy) is just about gone.  A CNN poll this month has Trump's approval on the economy down to 48% a drop from 54% in March.  That may be just the beginning of of
John James, Republican Candidate for Michigan Senate
the decline, however.  60% of Americans now view the economy as "somewhat poor" or "very poor."  Meanwhile, this morning it was announced that 4.4 million Americans filed for unemployment last week.  That makes a total of 26.5 million who have filed since March 14th.  When the numbers are released in early May, some economists believe unemployment will approach 20%, depression era type numbers. 

Don't expect a repeat of the 1936 election, however.  Trump is not Herbert Hoover.  Unlike Hoover, Trump has a loyal band of followers, maybe as much as 38% of the electorate nationwide (obviously higher in some states), who will support him, now matter what.  Unlike Hoover, Trump has media outlets, from whom conservatives get almost all their news, that will praise him no matter what he does.

Trump's base will ensure red states will have enough of a reddish hue to prevent a wipeout of the Republican Party in the 2020 election.  But the backlash may well be enough for the Democrats to oust enough Republican Senate incumbents in competitive seats to take control of the Senate. It may even make competitive Democratic opponents against Senators like Mitch McConnell in Kentucky and Lindsey Graham in South Carolina,  races which could only won if the Democrat at the top of the ticket wins big..  Yes, keep an eye on the Senate.

Expect that many GOP candidates, with nomination in hand, to begin distancing themselves from President Trump.    John James,an Army veteran and businessman, is making his second run for the Michigan Senate. James who praised Trump in the primary round and in 2018, has found Trump is major liability going into the Fall, even in swing state Michigan.  So James has taken to emphasizing his "independence" in an effort to assure the voters he would not be a Trump rubber stamp.  The strategy is not working.  James, who has trailed incumbent Gary Peters in every 2020 poll, now finds himself 10 points behind in the most recent Fox News poll.

Even Republican Governors, most who are enjoying a bump from their handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in their states, will likely see their approval ratings decline as the crisis fades away and the economic downturn takes center stage. Here in the Hoosier state, Republican Eric Holcomb enjoys a 20 point lead over his Democratic opponent Woody Myers according to a recent Indy Politics/Change Resource poll.  That is in comparison to Trump's 13 point lead over Joe Biden.  Mark my words, the Indiana Governor's race will get a whole lot closer before November.

There is still time for the GOP to turn things around for the Fall election.  But the Covid-19 virus needs to go away this summer and the economy needs to snap back dramatically by September, if not August.  While both seem highly unlikely, there is still a chance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Don't expect a repeat of the 1936 election, however."

1932 - FDR wipes the floor with Hoover. Get it? Hoover. Floor. heh. heh.