President Donald Trump waves after answering a question from the media as he arrives at the White House, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in Washington. Trump is returning from Florida after viewing damage from Hurricane Irma. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
“My people are so smart…and you know what else? I have the most loyal people,” Trump said. “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”
Who will argue that it’s not true? Over the last four years, Trump has been accused of everything just short of murdering someone in the street, and just a few weeks ago, when coronavirus was still deadly, he was accused of that too.
Yet Trump’s fans still love him, and viciously attack anyone who thinks the president is anything other than practically perfect in every way. He’s Mary Poppins, y’all. It’s been long held that none of that matters; that Trump’s core fans aren’t enough to elect him, and his continual fan service, boosting their egos in order to keep max air pressure inflating his own, is only harming him.
And that’s mostly true, too. But all stories have another side to tell. Trump’s other side is the media, which can turn anything the president does or says, no matter how reasonable, into an abomination. Trump says he’s listening to the black community’s concern, for example, and they focus on his friendly relationship with the police. It takes two sides to divide, and Trump has a reliable partner in the mainstream media, which hates him beyond all reason.
If that was all that mattered, then who really cares if almost daily, Trump tweets something so inflammatory or hurtful or bat-guano crazy that if he wasn’t in possession of the nuclear launch codes of the most powerful nation on earth, nobody would pay him the least bit of attention?
Trump’s Twitter feed is a running sewer, and yes, it does matter.
Remember that the president won three states by a combined 70,000 votes. He lost the national popular vote by more than two million votes. There is likely no possible way Trump could win both the popular vote and the electoral vote in November. So his only path to victory is to win enough states to hang on.
Joe Biden has an 8-point lead in the RCP average. Worse for Trump, Biden leads in the very swing states that flipped from Obama in 2016.
Michigan: Fox News has Biden up 8, in fact Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is more popular than Trump.
Pennsylvania: a virtual tie, with April’s Fox News poll giving Biden 8 points, and the latest CNBC poll shows Trump up 4.
Across the 6 “battleground” states, that same CNBC poll has Biden up 7 points.
Trump has to take ALL those states to win. If the election were held today, Trump would lose, despite all his loyal, smart voters. And the media would rub it in endlessly, encouraging Democrats and Biden to pursue the Trump administration and the former president without mercy.
Of course, all that could change.
But it won’t change unless Trump changes. He cannot win if he continues tweeting attacks against people just a few years ago he was so proud to work with. Maybe the ones who don’t care if Trump actually does shoot someone on 5th Avenue don’t care about that, but enough voters care that he’ll lose the election.
Perhaps Trump doesn’t want to win? Perhaps he’s bored with being President and decided to go out in a total and spectacular supernova of ego. Maybe he’s already planning his next move, into media with TrumpTV or Trump News. Or maybe he’s so totally lost perspective and retreated into a paranoid haze where anyone who is not loyal to the death is his enemy?
This matters. Voters don’t want to throw their vote away. Conservative voters don’t want to see the policies Trump advocated, most of which are very mainstream GOP (except the ridiculous spending), but they won’t vote for an unstable, paranoid man they can’t trust.
Trump has to show the voters who still might vote for him why they should bother. To do that, he has to stop playing to his smart, loyal fans, and start changing his behavior.
The Global Assessment of Functioning Scale has been around for many years. It is a tool used by mental health professionals to quantify how well persons who suffer from mental illness are functioning …