What Are The Polls Saying Today?

I don’t really blame Trump for saying that the virus is ‘disappearing.’ What’s he supposed to say? That things are getting worse?   I also don’t really blame him for pretending that he’s completely recovered from the virus. Again ,what should he say? That he feels lousy as hell and can’t draw a deep breath?

Trump has one, simple problem. And the problem is this: He’s going into the last three weeks of a campaign to get re-elected as President and it turns out that a majority of American just don’t like him very much.

This is a guy who went over the 50% disapproval mark in March, 2017 and has never dipped underneath that level again. He was at 56% disapprove versus 40% approve in January, 2019, got it down to 50% disapprove versus 46% approve on March 1st, 2020, went back up to 56% negative and 40% positive on July 1st of this year, and right now the numbers sit at 53% negative versus 43% positive. Here’s how it look since mid-year 2016:

A week before his re-election campaign ended in 2012, Obama’s approve-disapprove numbers were evenly split – 49.8% approved, 47.6% went the other way. At no time during Obama’s eight-year run did his negatives outpoll his positives by more than 8%. Other than a three-day period this past March, the gap between disapproval and approval of Trump has never been less than 8%.

Trump was a novelty in 2016. His brash rhetorical style, the plain talk, the insults, the curse words, the nicknames, the rallies with the hats and the chants – it was very new and very different from what had come before. And the fact that his opponent not only entered the contest with high negatives but disappeared from the campaign trail for the last several month, didn’t hurt him at all.

I can just imagine how Rudy Giuliani felt this past Saturday when his campaign cavalcade showed up in Kingston, PA to be greeted by a crowd that maybe numbered 50 people, maybe less.  This is the reception that waited for him in front of county GOP headquarters in a county (Luzerne) where Trump got 60% of the 2016 vote. Frankly, I think I’m being charitable by saying that there were 50 people standing around:

Anyway, back to the polls. As of today, Joe leads Trump in the national polls by 52.3% to 41.9%, a gap of 10.4%.  Less than 6% of the voters are now dog-shit, which means that everyone has more or less made up their minds on how they are going to vote.

Who did the Trump campaign trot out this weekend to explain why the polls are all wrong? None other than Corey ‘retread’ Lewandowski, who appeared on Fox and gave the same spiel about ‘hidden voter enthusiasm’ that he’s been delivering since he published a piece back in July which claimed that, ”President Trump continues to draw huge ratings and massive enthusiasm, while Democratic presumptive nominee and 44-year career politician Joe Biden remains hidden away in his basement.” Back in July, Joe had a 9.5% lead. Now it’s 10.4%.

As for the battleground states, here’s how they look today:

Joe is now at or above 50% in the five states (MI, MN, NH, PA, WI) that get him over the finish line. But he is also now slightly ahead in every battleground state except Texas, where according to Ted Cruz, the race is ‘incredibly volatile.’ The word ‘volatile’ means your guy isn’t winning, okay?

On September 1st, Trump was ahead in 4 of 13 battleground states. Biden’s overall average in the 13 states was 48.15%, Trump was at 45.08%. Today, Biden’s average in the battleground states is 49.43%, Trump’s at 44.67%. Get it? Joe’s gone up; what’s-his-name’s gone down. And by the way, the dog-shit number in September was 7%, now it’s under 6%.

What Michael Moore said in 2016, that many Trump votes were ‘fuck you’ votes, was true then but sure isn’t true now. Because once you’re the man in charge, no matter how you pretend to somehow be everyone’s good friend, the ‘fuck you’ votes will be aimed at you.

But let’s not forget one very important thing. We don’t need to win. We need to kick what’s-his-name’s ass so bad that any attempt he makes to invalidate the results because it’s nothing more than another ‘scam,’ can be quickly and decisively put to bed.

I voted yesterday by mail. You better vote too.

High 5 to Paula Schapp for the Giuliani pic.

Will Trump’s Tiny Tax Bill Hurt Him At The Polls?

              Here was Donald Trump’s reply to The (failing) New York Times story published yesterday about how he’s not quite the business success he claims to be: “The Fake News Media, just like Election time 2016, is bringing up my Taxes & all sorts of other nonsense with illegally obtained information & only bad intent.”

              Maybe I’m wrong, maybe like Joe Biden I’m ‘sleepy Mike,’ but I thought that the 2016 Trump campaign was kept alive when emails illegally stolen from the DNC server were published following the release of the Billy Bush (“I moved on her like a bitch”) tape. Those DNC emails which cooked Hillary’s goose weren’t illegally obtained?

              The better reaction to The (failing) New York Times story came today from Rush Limbaugh. He accused the paper of committing a “crime” by “meddling in the 2020 election.” Know what? I always thought that negative reporting about Trump might some day become a crime. After all, it’s only one step away from being ‘fake news.’

              Obviously, those of us who don’t like Trump and don’t want to see him around beginning next year enjoyed reading the article; I read it twice. Obviously, the timing wasn’t accidental; if nothing else it will give Trump something else to think about before tomorrow night’s debate.

              On the other hand, I’m not really sure that the disclosure that Trump paid $750 in federal taxes in 2016 and 2017 will make any difference in how things are going to turn out on November 3rd. In fact, I suspect that his tiny tax bill will if anything, firm up his support.

              Remember Ronald Reagan and the Cadillac being driven around in 1980 by the ‘Welfare Queen?’ Reagan’s campaign narrative focused on one thing, namely, that the federal government was your enemy, not your friend. Why was the federal government an outfit whose tax obligations should be avoided at all costs? Because after spending money on national defense, everything else the government pays for is one kind of welfare program or another. In other words, the money goes right down the drain.

              Last night one of the CNN spielers said that Trump’s non-payment of taxes meant that he was refusing to engage in the behavior which unites all Americans, namely, making sure that we can pay the costs of government programs that people really need. She then ticked off such essential federal outlays as payments for education, wildfire relief, medical care, disability and a few more.

              Now this woman (I forget her name) and the rest of the liberal media may think that everyone agrees with them about the importance of all the various government programs. I happen to know lots of folks who consider themselves conservatives (remember, I’m in the gun business) who would just as soon want their federal tax bill to be as low as Donald Trump’s.

              The GOP has been hammering away about government ‘waste’ and government ‘inefficiency’ for lo, these past 40 years. And now they finally have a Presidential candidate who is really draining  the swamp by making sure that none of his money flows into the swamp itself.

              The media is reporting that, based on this story, Trump will soon be facing the repayment of more than $200 million in personally-guaranteed debt, the reports are usually given in a rather gleeful tone. But this certainly isn’t the first time that Trump has found himself unable to pay his business debts. What about all those Atlantic City casinos? How about Trump Air? And let’s not forget the World Football League, okay?

              Trump is the only real estate developer who has used the projects he builds to promote his own name. I briefly lived in a New York City apartment on West 57th Street built by a real estate tycoon named Seymour Durst. Know when I learned that I had lived in one of his properties? When his son Robert was arrested in 2015 and now awaits his trial for murder in 2021.

              As of this morning, Joe’s lead in the 4 battleground states which he needs – NH, MI, PA, WI – is holding steady even though the national aggregate poll has him down a little bit. The good news is that everyone seems to think that the electorate has more or less made up its mind for how they are going to vote.

              We’ll see what happens tomorrow night.

All Of A Sudden, Trump Changes His Tune.

I told you so. I predicted it yesterday and I’m right. Once I saw Trump standing behind Ruthie’s coffin wearing a mask, I knew he was going to pivot again and try to make up some lost ground. And since he can’t move any further to the Right, he’s moving a little bit to the Left.

Note the picture above. Note who’s wearing masks.

Every…single…person…sitting…behind…Trump…is…wearing…a…mask!

Wasn’t it just back at the end of June when Trump did a big rally in Tulsa and nobody wore a mask? That’s right. The Tulsa rally is where his good buddy Herman Cain wasn’t wearing a mask and a week later ended up dead.

Wasn’t it just a week or so ago that Trump said for the 345th time that he believed that wearing a mask was actually a health risk?

But don’t worry. Trump has now decided to go positive about the virus and launch a $300-million ad campaign before the election which will promote the idea that all we need to do is stay positive about the way our lives have changed and everything will work out just fine. This campaign, incidentally, was the brainchild of the CDC’s PR guy, Michael Caputo, who just disappeared from public view after he accused scientists at the CDC of ‘sedition’ because the goal of their research was to undermine Trump.

So last night I decided to watch Trump’s speech at the Harrisburg rally just to see whether or not my prediction about a slight shift back towards the political center would turn out to be correct. It was correct in spades. And if you don’t believe me, just look again at the picture above. From now on, or at least for another couple of weeks until Trump changes his tune again, all of a sudden he’s now a big fan of masks.

And what’s really great is that the masks are just like the hats. They are official MAGA masks, which are already on sale for a paltry $19.99. And guess who gets the profits from the purchase of these masks?

What’s most amazing about Trump’s sudden embrace of public health is that he didn’t say one word about the pandemic in his speech last night. To the contrary, he spent the entire 45 minutes or so basically extolling everything he’s accomplished and bashing the liberal media. He particularly had it in last night for Lester Holt and the NBC Nightly News, claiming at least a half-dozen times that Holt had completely ignored the ‘fact’ that Trump was ‘nominated’ for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Know how many people were nominated this year for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize? Try 318. That’s what being ‘nominated’ for the Nobel Peace Prize really means. It means nothing. But Trump went on and on about how he was victimized by NBC because they only report ‘fake,’ not ‘real’ news.

Trump then spent another 20 minutes or so talking about the ‘tremendous’ progress being made on the Mexican wall. Back in May, he said that 182 miles had been finished; last night the number was 300 miles. The border is only 1,200 miles long, Trump says they are adding 10 new miles every week and that the whole project would be finished ‘soon.’ 900 unfinished miles divided by 10 means the job will get done by 2024. I guess that’s ‘soon.’

Of course during this segment of his speech, Trump led the crowd in his ‘build the wall’ chant. At least when he mentioned Nancy Pelosi’s name to some scattered boos, he didn’t direct the audience to do the ‘lock her up’ chant. That one’s still reserved for Hillary,

Meanwhile, for all the bullshit and all the bluster, the pre-election polls continue to drift the other way. The national aggregate poll ticked up another notch this morning – the gap now stands at 7.3 percent for Joe, and the highest-rated poll of all, the ABC/Washington Post poll came out this morning and reported that the gap is now up to 10 percent.

The poll did contain a bit of disconcerting news, namely that the two dog-shit candidates, together now represent a bloc of 7 percent – 4 percent for the Libertarian, 3 percent for the Green. But assuming that some of the Libertarians will break for Trump and some of the Greenies will make a last-minute switch to Joe, right now this is not yet a big deal.

The most interesting thing about Trump’s speech is that he didn’t seem all that interested or engaged. I mean, how many times can you get up and say the same thing again, and again, and again? Which might be energizing if it resulted in an upward boost for the campaign.

So far, the dynamic of the campaign hasn’t changed at all.

All Of A Sudden, There’s A New Trump On The Campaign Trail.

Yesterday I talked about how Joe’s 7-pojnt lead both in the national, as well as most state-wide polls, hasn’t really changed since the end of June. The size of the Sedaris dog-shit vote also keeps going down.

So Trump has been behind in this campaign from the day that Biden became his chief opponent, and typical of Trump, he immediately started off by attacking Joe. After all, calling Hillary a ‘crook’ worked in 2016. Why not try it again?

So Trump started saying that Biden was also a crook because he set up his son, Hunter, for all kinds of illegal payoffs in the Ukraine.

When that didn’t work, Trump then began saying that ‘sleepy Joe’ was to demented or senile to be President. That didn’t work.

By now, in late July, the corona virus was beginning to take a toll in red states. So Trump started telling everyone that his Administration deserved an A+ for their efforts to protect us from the virus, and by the way, we would shortly have a vaccine.

When that didn’t work, Trump decided to ‘get tough’ on crime, a message that Republican Presidents have more or less copyrighted since Nixon invented his ‘silent majority’ in 1968.

Trump even began using the phrase ‘silent majority’ in his tweets. But it didn’t work. The polls didn’t change. In fact, after he did some photo ops in Racine, Wisconsin where protestors had burned some commercial properties, his state-level numbers in Wisconsin went down.

When the ‘tough on crime’ messaging didn’t help, Trump started pushing the idea that the election would be a ‘scam’ and he wouldn’t accept the results. This one also went over like a lead balloon, even though the mainstream media is trying their best to keep this nonsense alive.

So then he pivoted to another message, which basically said that things were tough but he would lead us back to things being even better than they were before. This was a riff on Make America Great Again, but the words Make America Great Again Redux don’t fit on the front of a baseball cap.

Want my prediction for the messaging that Trump will trot out next? Believe it or not, he’s going to come out with some kind of spiel that moves him slightly towards the political center and puts just a little distance between him and the beloved alt-right. Why is he going to do this? Because the latest polls don’t give him any other choice.

On Thursday, Fox News published a poll which showed that Joe was now leading in Ohio – that’s Ohio – for the first time since August 16th. Now this isn’t a poll conducted by The (failing) New York Times, or CNN, or one of those other liberal media operations. It was conducted by Fox News which, by the way, is a highly-rated polling operation, according to Nate Simon and his 538 team.

It’s not just that Joe has jumped out to a small lead in Ohio that’s important to understand. It’s that the Sedaris dog-shit vote is down to 3 percent and worse, eight percent of the voters who voted for Trump in 2016 have decided to pull the paper lever for Joe. In other words, Joe’s lead in Ohio is based on bleeding votes away from Trump!

So here’s what Trump is going to do. Mark my words, he’s going to start describing himself as some kind of nice, compassionate, understanding guy who just wants the best for everyone in America, even if he has been running a campaign which until now has appealed to the absolute worst.

Why do I say this? Because Trump not only went to pay his respects to Ruthie although he was too busy to show up at Elijah Cummings’s funeral, but he also then appeared in public – ready? – wearing a mask!

You wait and see. Trump is going to try this new script for a couple of weeks. And he’ll receive nothing but unquestioned plaudits from the ‘enemy of the people,’ i.e., the liberal media and the ‘lamestream’ now mainstream press.

What Will We Write About If Biden Wins?

              The latest issue of The Atlantic Monthly contains an article which makes the case that Trump could still pull things out in November because he has key advantages that our side doesn’t have. The problem with this article, however, is that it’s based on a mish-mash of quotes from various sources, all of whom will find themselves without anyone to talk to if Biden actually wins. Let’s look at each argument in turn.

              Argument #1. Trump will spin a slight recovery into the beginning of a real economic return. To buttress this point, the author of The Atlantic piece, Peter Nicholas, says that a new ABC-WaPo survey still gives Trump a 50 percent mark for how he’s handled the economy. Except the mark is actually 47%, Trump is tied with Joe in the new poll and his positive number has dropped by 19 points since March.

              Argument #2. The polls are no more correct than they were in 2016.  Which experts does Nicholas quote for this idea? None other than KellyAnne Conway, who deserves the Lifetime Medal of Freedom for how much bullshit she has pitched for Trump over the past four years.

              Argument #3. Trump can use the powers of incumbency to campaign all the time. Nicholas uses as an example of Trump’s media presence his daily briefing on Covid-19. Except there’s only one little problem. Trump has now twice abandoned those briefing because he looks and sounds like a fool.

              Argument #4. Biden still can’t convince the Bernie supporters to get onboard. This argument is bolstered by a comment from big-mouth Nina Turner, a co-chair of the Sanders campaign, who believes that voting for Biden is like eating a “bowl of shit.” The pro-Trump media has had a field-day with that one.

              Argument #5. Biden’s vote might be suppressed because Trump is against the mail-in vote and in-person voting sites are being reduced as a protection from Covid-19. Why do we assume that making people wait longer to vote will only hurt Biden? Why couldn’t the same lack of voting sites hurt Trump?

              Argument #6. Trump could always pull an October surprise. Trump can pretend that a vaccine is ready to hit the market, but how does such news mitigate the fact that because of how Trump responded to the ‘Chinese plague’ back in February, we need to rush a vaccine into production at all? And what about the possibility that an October surprise would be pulled off by Biden against Trump?

              Trump may want to believe that he’s a ‘wartime’ President but Americans aren’t lining up to support him the way they supported George Bush after the Twin Towers came down. Why not? Because Trump isn’t a wartime President. He’s a real-estate salesman who figured out how to use social media against an opponent who ran a totally inept and mismanaged campaign.

              When Obama was President, every time I walked into a bookshop there was always a big display of anti-Obama books. He was undermining the Constitution, he was promoting nefarious social policies, he was born outside the United States, he was doing this or doing that.  Now I go into bookstores and that same display case is filled with anti-Trump books. He’s a Fascist, a crook, a liar, next month Michael Cohen’s tell-all will be on display.

              So here’s the question: What are all these writers going to do if Biden wins? Can you imagine an anti-Biden book which argues that he’s a threat to this or a threat to that? If things keep going the way they are going in this campaign, nobody’s going to buy a book which tries to prove that Biden’s anything other than what he really is – a nice guy who might have beaten Trump in 2016 except he didn’t run because of the untimely death of his older son.

              Yesterday the President of the United States got up in public and promoted the medical views of a doctor who actually believes that DNA from outer-space aliens is being used to treat patients here on Earth. And Biden’s the demented candidate this year?