Monday, July 27, 2020

Weekend Polls Results Continue to Bring Republicans Bad News; Reagan Foundation Does Not Want to be Associated with Trump

Last column was on Friday.  I wanted to update on the weekend state presidential polls as well as those released, thus far, today.

Presidential Race (in parenthesis is Trump's winning margin in the state in 2016):

North Carolina:  +7 Biden (Trump +3.6)
Ohio:  +1 Trump (Trump +8.1)
Michigan:  +6 Biden, +12 Biden (Trump +0.3)
Florida:  Biden +5 (Trump +1.2)
Arizona:  Biden +4, Biden +5 (Trump +3.5)
Pennsylvania: Biden +3 (Trump +0.7)

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign continues to flounder in its effort to find a 2020 message.  First, the "Sleep Joe" nickname proved  counterproductive as voters seem interested in a nap after four years of
Trump chaos.  So then Trump tried "Dementia Joe" only to find the nickname put under the microscope his own cognitive abilities, which polls show voters are more worried about than Biden's.  Then it's "law and order," an attempt to somehow blame urban unrest on Biden even though its occurring under his watch.  That message does not seem to be working either.

There are two poll results for Trump that are devastating.  One is the number of people who say they will absolutely not vote for Trump under any circumstances. That number is running around 50%, a devastating figure for any candidate, much less an incumbent.

The second number is the "double hater" poll result.  That looks at who voters that dislike both candidates say they will vote for.  In 2016, Trump won that category against Hillary Clinton.  But in 2020, double hater voters heavily favor Biden over Trump.  That means Trump running up Biden's negatives, won't move the needle much.   What Trump desperately needs is to not run down Biden, but improve his own favorabilities.   He needs to find a way to be seen as more competent, more empathetic, more likeable.  I just don't see how he can pull that off.

The Trump campaign will also try voter suppression.  No, not the made up "voter suppression" Democrats are screaming about, things such as voter ID laws, purging non-voters, and less early voting.   I mean real voter suppression like trying to force people to risk their lives by going to the polls to cast a ballot in the middle of a pandemic instead of allowing the option, albeit an  imperfect one, of mailing in their ballot.

Trump will also no doubt welcome, again, foreign interference into the presidential election, as long as that interference is on his behalf.  But if the election does not appear like it's going to be close, Russian President Vladimar Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping might decide to sit this one out instead of getting on the wrong side of the incoming Joe Biden administration.

OOP's short takes:

  • The Reagan Foundation is telling the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee to stop using Reagan's likeness to raise money.  Good.   As a Republican, I find nothing more offensive than the worst President in American history, Donald J. Trump, being associated with one of the best, Ronald Reagan.  Trumpism is a stain on the Republican Party and I hate to see it used to drag down one of its icons.
  • The Trump campaign responds that the Reagan Foundation earlier accepted the assistance of the Trump family in raising money.  That's a good point.  It also tried to allege that the Reagan Foundation took its position because the CEO of the Washington Post is on the board of the Reagan Foundation and former GOP Speaker Paul Ryan is on the board of Fox, which is issuing "suppression polls."  Okay, that's just stupid.
  • I am afraid the MLB season may not make it to the end.  Several players have already tested positive for Covid-19.  So many on the Miami Marlins tested positive that the team had to cancel its next two games, including tonight's home opener.  If baseball, which has some social distancing built into the sport, can't make it, I can't imagine how the NFL season is going to happen.  You can't social distance and be a good football player. 
  • The initial thinking was the Republican might lose four Senate seats (Arizona, North Carolina, Nevada and Maine) while gaining a seat in Alabama.  While Alabama still looks like it will be flipped in the GOP's favor (even though the primary produced a weaker Republican candidate), it looks like the Democrats might win 6-8 seats.  It could go even higher.

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