Last week this observer wrote that presidential elections come down to circumstances, ideas, and candidates. If a party has any two of these it is in great shape. If a party has three, it’s invincible. With that in mind, let’s take a look at Democrat Party nominee Joe Biden.
Joe Biden is a historical accident. The former Vice President stumbled his way through the primaries but outlasted stronger and more intersectionally viable, but deeply flawed, candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. When the nomination came down to Biden and socialist Bernie Sanders, the Democrat Party threw its support behind Biden and convinced the rest of the candidates to drop out. In this way, the Democrat Party nominated a 77-year-old white man who has been in politics since the Nixon Administration.
In 2008, the young Barrack Obama picked Biden for vice president because he chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and therefore had foreign policy experience. Biden brought nothing else to the ticket, not a constituency, not a state. Biden represented Delaware, a small state where getting elected once usually means one can hold office for life. Never in his Senate career did Biden have to run a tough race. The 1994 Crime Bill was Biden’s greatest legislative accomplishment, but progressives and African Americans now blame the Crime Bill for ‘mass incarceration’.
Biden is a bad candidate and an even worse campaigner. Talking about Biden’s many, many gaffes in this space would be cruel. That said, the man is slipping, he is in cognitive decline. On the stump, Biden reads from an impressively large teleprompter and is usually whisked away by staffers before reporters can ask him a question. Biden’s occasional rallies attract…dozens. Son Hunter’s ever growing financial and personal scandal are a further drag on his father, even if the media wants to pretend the allegations are 'Russian disinformation.' As for Biden's ideas, Biden has no ideas, except one. He’s not Trump but that’s not enough.
In contrast to Biden, Trump’s a strong candidate. After four years of political turmoil, Trump can point to several achievements. He renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement on terms favorable to the United States. He used tariffs to get trade concessions from Beijing and to force Mexico to end the passage of Central American migrants through Mexico to the United States. Mexico is not only paying for the border wall, as Trump promised, Mexico is the border wall. Speaking of, the Trump Administration has completed 371 miles of border wall with several hundred more miles under construction or in the planning stage.
On the foreign policy front, Trump pressured recalcitrant NATO members into spending more on their militaries while rebuilding America's own. Trump defeated Isis in Syria and killed terrorist mastermind Al-Baghdadi and Iran Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani. While Trump has signed no treaty with North Korea’s Kim, he has deescalated the situation. There is no more talk of ‘fire and fury’.
Remaking the Federal judiciary has long been a project of conservatives, and here the president has delivered. Trump has appointed dozens of judges to lower courts and three judges to the Supreme Court, including Amy Coney Barrett just this week.
Democrats slam Trump’s handling of COVID, but they said his China travel ban was racist and xenophobic while urging everyone to go on with their lives as normal. Trump worked with American companies on manufacturing personal protective equipment and started Operation Warp Speed, a crash program to develop a COVID vaccine.
Thirty years ago, Clinton campaign manager James Carville declared, ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’ So, it was and so it is. Before the lockdown, the economy was booming and created more than six-and-a-half-million jobs in three years. After the lockdown economic crash, the economy added millions of jobs per month, more than 10 million in total. Just yesterday morning the Feds announced the US Economy grew at a 33.1% annualized rate in the third quarter.
This is the record of a successful president.
Pundits like to talk about the polls and most polls show Biden winning a blue wave election. But non-horserace numbers tell a different story. In the Rasmussen daily tracker Trump’s job approval rating tops 50%. This includes high job approval ratings with African Americans and Hispanics, two traditional Democrat constituencies where Trump is making great gains. Fifty percent of those surveyed in an NBC News poll say they are better off now than they were four years ago. Fifty-six percent said the same in a Gallup poll. A Pew poll taken in August showed Biden beating Trump 53-45, but also said Trump beat Biden in supporter enthusiasm by 20 points 66-46. In this case, data is backed by observation. Trump events attract thousands of attendees and tens of thousands of viewers. Trump supporters organize their own rallies, car caravans, and boat parades. The GOP base has never been more motivated to re-elect a Republican president.
Biden has done nothing to win over the working-class voters Hillary lost in 2016. In fact, he’s driving them away. Biden wants to ban hydraulic fracking, a major industry in the crucial swing state of Pennsylvania. Biden says he wants to move the US economy away from fossil fuels. Campaign surrogates have tried to explain Biden’s comments, saying he means in the future. But, in politics if one is explaining, one is losing. Biden’s losing Hispanic and African American voters to Trump who is working hard to win them.
Horserace numbers showing a huge Biden win are ludicrous. Pollsters have not learned from their 2016 mistakes and they haven’t figured out how to account for shy Trump voters who won’t tell a stranger who they support, and mischievous Trump voters who give pollsters false data. These same pollsters predicted a big Hillary win in 2016. They have learned nothing. Data died in 2016. When polls say Biden wins, but your eyes say Trump wins, believe your eyes.
Biden’s a bad candidate who generates little enthusiasm, has no ideas, and spends most of his time in Wilmington. Trump’s a great candidate with a massive campaign organization that has expanded the GOP base at the expense of Democrats, closed voter registration gaps with the Dems in swing states and will drive Trump voters to the polls. While Biden rests, Trump holds two or three rallies per day. Enthusiasm, organization, and effort will pay off for the GOP. Trump will win 50% of the popular vote and about 325 electoral votes.