No Longer Pretty Early
- Trump still has pretty decent winning chances (~30% in our model) but I don't really buy that his chances are *increasing* and I don't get why there seems to be some sentiment to that effect. In some ways, rather, this was the most reassuring week of the campaign for Biden.
- Why? If you're behind, you only have so many chances to turn the campaign around, and Trump whiffed on a couple of chances this week. He did not get much help from his convention. Nor does his "LAW AND ORDER" focus seem to working, at least if you trust the polls.
- To put it another way, with the late conventions this year, we're rapidly transitioning from "it's still pretty early" to "we're in the stretch run". And out of that Trump went from...trailing by 8-9 points to 7-8 instead? (And that small bounce might fade anyway.) Not great.
- Underlying conditions may be getting a bit better for Trump. We did get a great jobs report this AM. COVID cases have been falling. (Though more of a plateau lately, which is a bit concerning.) Some optimism about vaccines. (Along with concern they'll be rushed out.)
- But it's also clear that Trump isn't very focused on any of that. Just look at his Twitter feed this week. It's about obscure cable news stories instead. About Nancy Pelosi going to the beauty parlor. About John McCain. About the Drudge Report. About "mini-strokes".
- The chaotic news cycles induced by Trump can sometimes be make it hard for his opponent to drive a message. If he was ahead, they could help him to run out the clock. But now *he's* behind and *he's* the one who needs something to change and *he* has to drive a message.
Law and Orders Isn't Resonating
As President Trump continues to push a “law and order” campaign message, we’ve been keeping an eye on the polls to see whether there’s any truth to the narrative that the recent unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, will help Trump politically. So far, the answer is no. Polls conducted this week and late last week suggest that public attitudes aren’t really breaking in Trump’s direction, even though the Republican National Convention focused a great deal on characterizing the Democrats as the party of chaos and anarchy.
Many Americans doubt his ability to fix the problems and reduce tensions that have precipitated the demonstrations. According to a YouGov survey on Wednesday, 56 percent of adults said that the violence happening at protests would get worse if Trump were reelected this November. Fifteen percent thought the violence would stay at similar levels, while 18 percent thought it would improve (11 percent said they didn’t know). Conversely, 43 percent thought protest violence would get better if Joe Biden won, and just 23 percent thought it would worsen. Somewhat similarly, 50 percent of likely voters told Quinnipiac University this week that they felt less safe with Trump as president, compared with 35 percent who said they felt safer. These voters were more split on Biden, however: 42 percent said they’d feel safer with Biden in the White House, and 40 percent said they’d feel less safe. Regarding Trump’s and Biden’s rhetoric on the protests, ABC News/Ipsos survey found that 55 percent of Americans thought Trump’s statements made things worse, while about half the country (49 percent) thought Biden’s statements didn’t have much effect either way.
Winding Path to Victory
The lead image from 538 Election Forecast
The word "forecast" is inaccurate and 538 would agree even though that is the link title.
The accurate words are "snapshot" at the moment. But the election isn't now.
North Carolina Back in Biden's Column
A few days ago North Carolina was narrowly in Trump's column. But his election bounce is fading. North Carolina is now narrowly back in Biden's column.
The election is less than two months from now. Moreover, Trump's key message hasn't resonated.
Vote Twice Unlocked
Trump Encouraged Election Fraud
Trump clearly encourage election fraud. A number of states issued warnings regarding those Tweets.
There is no guarantee in any state to have votes tabulated before or on election day.
It's no longer early and Trump keeps making Tweet gaffes. The latest on McCain, and literally telling people to try to vote twice.
That's quite a set of Tweets coupled with his primary message of "Law and Order".