For the longest time, it appeared that nothing was going to derail the Trump train. The President looked to be Teflon Don. No matter what happened, nothing seemed to stick to Donald Trump.
Suddenly, though, it’s Trump who appears stuck. He continues to mishandle the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic as America’s death toll mounts well in excess of 100,000, and unemployment runs rampant during the accompanying economic downturn.
His equally inept decision making during the recent Black Lives Matters rallies following the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd at police hands dug the hole Trump finds himself in even deeper.
With Americans due to go to the polls in the 2020 U.S. Presidential election on Nov. 3rd, as far as the odds on the race are looking, Trump appears to be that frail old lady in those Life Alert commercials.
He’s fallen, and just keeps on falling. And time is running short for him to get up.
Trump Tumbling In Polls And Odds
The website fivethirtyeight.com compiled 10 separate polls on the outcome of the 2020 Presidential election and all put Biden ahead of Trump. Only two of the 10 polls show Trump closer than six points behind Biden. Two displayed Biden’s advantage to be in double digits.
While the polls have been against Trump for quite some time, it’s only recently that the betting odds also changed sides. As recently as June 1, a cross section of leading online sports betting sites cited Trump as the odds-on -130 favorite to win reelection to the White House. Democratic challenger Joe Biden was offered at a betting line of +110.
Two days later, with the protests sweeping the nation, Biden (-114) moved ahead of Trump (+101) in this betting market for the first time. It was also the first occasion that Trump found himself at plus-money odds since November of 2019.
It’s only grown worse for the President ever since. By June 8th, Biden was at -123, while Trump’s line climbed to +108. A week later, Trump’s odds lengthened to +113.
Currently, Biden is the solid -145 chalk. Trump continues to slide, dropping to +123.
Trump continues to pander to his base but that tactic isn’t having the same impact that it did during the 2016 election. His recent rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma saw approximately 6,200 show up inside the 19,019-seat BOK Center.
The strategies that Trump’s camp deployed so effectively during the 2016 campaign aren’t displaying the same impact this time around, and there’s reason for that. An incumbent must run on their record, and Trump’s record appears to be broken.
Playing his old hand again this week, Trump came down hard on immigration. He signed an executive order canceling temporary work visas for several immigrants. He planned to visit his border wall for a photo op.
Experts insist this is entirely the wrong strategy. Shunting skilled workers from entering the USA at a time when the economy is in need of turnaround will cause more problems than it will solve. Indeed, Canadian tech companies were quickly swooping in to scoop up some of the immigrants refused a visa by the USA.
Meanwhile, Trump is dropping hints that he might impose new tariffs on items such as chocolate, beer made from malt, and butter, as well as reimposing tariffs on Canadian aluminum.
All this talk of putting trade restrictions in place is concerning economists, who point out that during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the implementation of tariffs only served to send the U.S. economy plummeting further into chaos.
“This is exactly the wrong move at the wrong time,” Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM International, told CNN. “We’re inching toward the same mistakes we made during the Great Depression.”
The Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 imposed tariffs on all countries that shipped products to the USA. Those trading partners simply retaliated by implementing tariffs on U.S. goods.
“For many of us, Smoot-Hawley was a joke in ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,’” Brusuelas said. “This is not a joke. This is very serious.
“It would be a significant policy error that would put at risk the nascent recovery.”
He Can’t Killary Biden
The attack mode that worked so well against Hillary Clinton, Trump’s 2016 Presidential election opponent, isn’t making the same impact against Biden.
It was effective when facing Clinton because she is a toxic personality to a certain portion of the American electorate. Biden isn’t a polarizing character. Trump’s name calling and accusations against him aren’t landing with the same impact.
On the other hand, Trump is widely disliked by a significant and evidently growing portion of the American voting public. He needs to convince people that he’s the lesser of two evils.
That strategy worked against Clinton. It won’t have an impact against Biden.
“People are not afraid of Biden,” Ed Rogers, once a top official in the George H.W. Bush White House and longtime Republican operative told the Los Angeles Times. “He’s not a good enough bad guy to make the focal point of a negative campaign.”
Biden His Time
Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager, tried to score some points recently on social media by pointing out 82 days had passed since Biden’s last press conference.
The thing is, Biden doesn’t need to hold media gatherings. He’s opting to follow social distancing and is doing much of his campaigning via the internet.
In recent weeks, Trump has gassed protesters to clear a path for a photo op in front of a church. He’s threatened to shoot looters and to turn the U.S. military against the American people. He announced plans to halt federal funding for COVID-19 testing at the end of June.
Biden doesn’t need to win this election. He can just sit back and let Trump lose it