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The election is not today. That is really good news for President Trump. If the election were today, the President would be toast. It is really ugly out there right now. I was given the opportunity to review some polling that puts it in perspective. The poll was conducted for a major national corporation trying to get a sense of the business environment and sentiment of people. It focused on Georgia. I can’t tell you all the details, but I can tell you what I got to see. The CEO of the company subscribes to this email and is sympathetic to the President. He is deeply concerned about what his company is seeing on the horizon.
800 people who had voted in the last four presidential elections, which admittedly undersamples young voters, though they don’t turn up anyway, were contacted by landline and mobile phones. President Trump loses Georgia by two percent to Joe Biden. David Perdue is ahead of Jon Ossoff by a point. Doug Collins is ahead of Kelly Loeffler, who is in second in that race. The GOP will get wiped out in the suburbs losing the 7th congressional district and failing to retake the 6th. If the voter sentiment and trendlines are accurate, the GOP will suffer significant losses in the suburbs in the state legislature, though I would guess will barely keep their majority.
Voters are furious with the President’s handling of the virus and give greater grace to state officials, including Governor Kemp. They don’t blame the Governor for the recent spike in Georgia. They think the President has provoked and made the protests worse. They don’t blame the President for the economic collapse. They blame the President for failing to take critical steps to contain the virus.
Voters are angry. They blame Washington, not Georgia. They blame Republicans, not Democrats. They blame the President. The suburbs are angry and the anger is shared by men and women. White suburban voters who don’t identify as Democrat think the Democrats are best able to address their concerns. Republican voters are more divided than they have been.
Thank goodness for the President that it is June.
The GOP knows this. If you saw Tucker Carlson last night, you now know it. If the President loses in November, his base can blame the media, the Chinese, social media giants, Republicans, and everyone other than the President, but voters are ready to throw the President out of office.
“But 2016,” you say.
In 2016, both Trump and Clinton were unpopular and mostly unpopular at the same rate. The key difference was the voters who hated them both overwhelmingly went with Trump. Now, Biden is not hated anywhere like Trump and voters who hate both candidates are overwhelmingly going to vote for Biden.
2020 is about Donald J. Trump.
Republicans who are perceived as close to Trump are going to get hit. Suburbs are going Democrat to get as much distance between themselves and Trump as possible. In an overwhelming bit of irony, voters trust Trump to handle an economic rebound better than Biden. But in this polling, voters are so much more concerned about the virus and the protests than the economy and they think the President is making both worse.
The President a path forward.
The President actually does have several things he can do. Most importantly, he can fade into the background and just let the experts work. At this point, every time the President appears in public, voters just get madder. He’d be better off letting the good people who surround him take the lead and set the policies.
President Trump is doing himself no favors.
You can dismiss this and say it is 2016 all over again. You have an argument. But I would just remind you that in 2016, the polling average had Hillary Clinton winning within a point of what she did and we now have a polling average with such a dominate lead for Joe Biden that it is going to be hard for the Electoral College to deviate too much.
Hang your hat on this instead — it is June 26. The President has time to turn this around.
My advice to him would be very simple. You won the primary. You are the GOP nominee. Your base is mostly with you. Work now to get more voters. You don’t need to rally your base. The path forward to get the economy going is the path where voters trust you. But to get credibly on that path, you must let people know you have the virus contained. Your base may want to get back to work. No one else does. They are scared, worried, and want calm. They think you are making turbulent waters more turbulent.
There is time to fix this. But there is a real problem right now. Voters are angry. They blame the President and those perceived as too close to the President.
ONE MORE THING…
If the polling trends hold and are reflected in other states, the Democrats are going to score significant state legislative victories, which will put them in the driver’s seat for redistricting and help them lock in a decade long advantage in congress. The GOP really needs to turn this around or they’ll be wiping themselves out at the state legislative and House of Representatives level for the next ten years.