The facts about Trump’s chances of getting reelected

The facts about Trump’s chances of getting reelected

Daniel W. Drezner writes:

Over the weekend, the hard-working staff here at Spoiler Alerts read a lot of analysis about what the Trump administration was thinking and doing about reelection. What all of this analysis had in common was a refusal to acknowledge some brute facts.

My personal favorite is this headline on an Associated Press story: “Coronavirus could complicate Trump’s path to reelection.” I know the AP is as strait-laced as possible in its coverage, and to be fair, the story is straightforward in describing Trump’s challenges come November. Still, this is equivalent to a headline on Dec. 8, 1941, saying: “Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor could complicate America First’s desire for isolationism.”

The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post all ran stories over the weekend covering the Trump campaign’s belief that it can attack Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, as being soft on China. One Trump spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times’s Eli Stokols and Janet Hook that internal research “shows that Joe Biden’s softness on China is a major vulnerability.” The Gray Lady’s Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman report that “while Mr. Trump’s team knows that his own words will be used against him, they believe they can contrast his history favorably with that of Mr. Biden.”

My Post colleagues Michael Scherer, Josh Dawsey, Annie Linskey and Toluse Olorunnipa have the most jaw-dropping opening: “President Trump’s campaign is preparing to launch a broad effort aimed at linking Joe Biden to China, after concluding that it would be more politically effective than defending or promoting Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.”

All of these stories are interesting but nonetheless contain an air of unreality about them. They assume that the Trump campaign’s gambits can somehow alter the trajectory of the general-election campaign. [Continue reading…]

Comments are closed.