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|Date: 2022-07-03 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00018166|
The Trump Presidency
Economy & Politics
Opinion: Five reasons Trump won’t win in 2020
Raining on Trump’s campaign kickoff rally in Orlando
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Supporters of Donald Trump are a tough bunch, braving the rain before the kickoff campaign rally in Orlando on Tuesday, but there aren’t enough of them to re-elect the president.
Say one thing for senior citizenhood, as my own approacheth: You have time on your hands. Witness the crowd waiting for hours Tuesday outside Orlando’s Amway Center in the rain to hear a 76-minute speech containing nary a coherent thought. By a president who will lose the re-election campaign he kicked off last night.
There. I said it. And, yes, I did refer to “President Hillary Clinton” in 2016, when I was ready to call that race.
Also read: Why Jeffrey Gundlach thinks Trump might drop out of 2020 presidential race
But I’ve got five reasons why Donald Trump is going to Florida for good in 2021. If you think they’re wrong, tell me why at @timmullaney on Twitter, or in the comments. If you cite 2016, remember Trump lost the popular vote by 2.9 million — and see the second reason, below.
1. Everybody has already made up their mind about Trump — and his numbers stink
Right now, Trump’s net approval rating is minus 8.5 percentage points in the RealClear Politics polling average. Fivethirtyeight.com says it’s minus 10, as 53% disapprove, 43% approve and 4% won’t say. That spread was first “achieved” in March 2017. Trump hasn’t narrowed it below nine since, Fivethirtyeight says.
In other words, no one’s changing their minds about Trump. About 40% of us like his act, if only to “own the libs.” Everyone else? Nope.
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2. His state numbers are just as bad
Oh, but the Electoral College! says Twitter, where confident young people educate me about their hero’s resilience in Midwestern battlegrounds where he snatched victory from popular-vote defeat in 2016. Thanks for that. Really.
Like, in Michigan, where Morning Consult puts Trump’s net approval at minus 12? Trump’s Michigan numbers haven’t been green in 26 months. Morning Consult says he’s doing two points worse than in October, before Republicans lost two House seats there and the governorship.
Trump’s polling in Wisconsin? He’s minus 13. In Iowa, minus 12, and his party lost two of its three House seats.
In Pennsylvania, birthplace of former Vice President and possible 2020 rival Joe Biden, Trump is minus 7, a point worse than last fall. Democrats won the generic House vote in Pennsylvania by 10 points.
Just on those four, Trump’s 306 2016 electoral votes fall to 254 (270 needed to win) and it’s over. But as many as 215 Trump electoral votes could be in play, based on state-by-state polls.
Yes, early polling isn’t great on head-to-head matchups. But the relationship between late-first-term presidential approval and re-election prospects is pretty close — if it changes, an intervening recession, war or economic boom explains why. This brings us to….
3. Trump isn’t getting credit for the economy — and he won’t, either
When the unemployment rate goes to 3.6% from 10%, the guy who came along at 4.7% doesn’t get the credit.
Trump’s whole case on the economy is that he should.
But wage growth — already unexceptional — is slowing. So is job growth, at a year-to-date monthly average 26% below 2015, the third year of the last presidential term. Manufacturing job growth has slowed too.
The stock market (Trump’s favorite indicator) has stalled — the Standard & Poor’s 500 index SPX, +0.11% and Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.09% have bounced around, driven by Trump’s on-again-off-again tariff wars. The Dow peaked in January 2018, the S&P last September.
That we are back near the peaks shows only that the Federal Reserve has taken the wheel, moving toward more interest-rate cuts. It’s not confidence in Trump. Twitter’s ranter-in- chief turns it off to coolly assess economics, and economics alone? Sure.
4. He’ll keep screwing up
Right now, Trump’s meandering toward armed conflict with Iran. But wartime leadership requires trust, not telling 10,796 lies in office, Trump’s count according to The Washington Post last week.
That means Trump either climbs down (again) from his latest pseudo-crusade, or tries war without public support. Neither makes him more popular.
Next, he’s throwing himself a July 4 rally at the Lincoln Memorial — nothing tacky there. Trump will salute Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural, and the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, offering charity toward none and malice for nearly all. Stories about his lack of respect will follow as night follows day.
Then he’ll mess with trade again, making your portfolio more volatile. Open more barbed-wire refugee camps. Lose some of their kids. Blow off subpoenas, keeping investigations of his inauguration, foundation, taxes and Russian influence alive. He even says he’ll try another Obamacare repeal bill, after 2017’s failures handed Democrats the House.
5. Hillary’s not running — neither is Hunter Biden
The reason Trump is president is Clinton’s e-mail scandalette. That and her family’s history of diving for dollars, even taking $675,000 for Hillary’s speeches at Goldman Sachs.
But who’s he gonna chant lock ‘em up about this time?
Of the Democratic candidates, Elizabeth Warren’s well off — she wrote books, her husband has a good job, and their house is worth five times its 1995 purchase price. All legit. Bernie Sanders became a millionaire through book sales, begrudgingly. Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper ran brew pubs. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has simple finances; he works, and his husband teaches at a Montessori Academy. Biden, who has unfortunately been cashing in on speeches too, made his tax returns public during his vice presidency and surely will publish his 2016-2019 returns.
Not a lobbyist with his hand out, or foreign potentates staying in their hotels, to be found. Let alone a multi-year tax fraud, as asserted in Trump’s case.Trump wants to make hay about Biden’s son’s businesses, but his own son-in-law met with potential lenders to his real estate business — in the White House. That dog won’t, ahem, Hunter.
Enjoy Mar-a-Lago, Mr. President. Wait! You don’t want Florida? Here’s a sixth reason you’re going south.
In this life, not the next. That’s another column.
New Yorkers like you even less than Washington, so a cloister far from madding crowds is in order. You know the folks who would love you if you shot someone outside Trump Tower? They don’t live here.
Published: June 20, 2019 9:13 a.m. ET (Accessed January 2020)
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