Nothing is certain until the votes are tallied, but things aren’t looking great for Donald Trump’s reelection. The president has faced accusations of calling the war dead “losers,” a scathing book from Robert Woodward, and lessened fund-raising turnout all in the span of a week.
This is all capped off by the news that Biden still leads Trump in several swing states, including North Carolina and Arizona.
Political handicappers are putting Joe Biden as the tentative favorite to win the 2020 election. The odds will become a bit more complex as we approach election day, though: this one is expected to be a bit different.
Millions of Americans are expected to cast their vote by mail, instead of in-person. This could slow the rate at which election authorities are able to count the ballots. This could mean “election night” may spill out into “election week”.
In August, the Trump Campaign was able to raise $210 million. However, Biden was able to raise $365 million in that same span of time, allowing him to outspend his opponent in advertising and “get out the vote” efforts.
Trump confided in top Republicans that he used the White House as the venue for the Republican National Convention partly as a way to conserve cash. The campaign has pulled ads from some TV markets in order to focus on battleground areas.
This is a grim reality for Trump, who has seen his public support slipping since the COVID-19 pandemic began. That, coupled with the widespread unrest of the Black Lives Matter movement, has given Trump’s reputation a beating.
In recent days, the Atlantic’s reporting that Trump called the US war dead “losers” and avoided visiting a memorial seems to have struck a nerve with Trump.
Polling throughout the Summer showed Trump has similar numbers of approval ratings to one-term presidents like Jimmy Carter and George HW Bush.
Historically speaking, he is unlikely to secure reelection, given the disparity in his public approval. However, this doesn’t mean that the race is over, at all. In the modern era, a lot can happen in a short two months.
The ongoing pandemic is the ultimate variable in this most unusual of races. Depending on how the virus is being handled, things could still change dramatically before November 3. Both candidates have dug in their heels for a long fight, and potentially even a battle over the legitimacy of mail-in ballots.