Trump’s debate victory raises fears Biden may be replaced by a more formidable opponent

Trump’s debate victory raises fears Biden may be replaced by a more formidable opponent

The New York Times reports from a campaign rally in Chesapeake, Virginia:

Never one to miss out on a spidery conspiracy theory, Mr. Trump seemed as freaked out as any of his supporters about what is now possibly, perhaps, underway.

“Many people are saying that after last night’s performance, Joe Biden is leaving the race,” he said from the stage, followed by scattered, seemingly confused applause. “The fact is, I don’t really believe that,” he continued, “because he does better in the polls than any of the Democrats they’re talking about. You’ve seen that, Glenn?”

Mr. Trump spent the next few minutes explaining to his followers why the alternatives to Mr. Biden are actually weaker. He said that Gov. Gavin Newsom “can’t run California,” and the crowd booed. He mentioned Vice President Kamala Harris and the crowd booed louder. “It might’ve been Joe Biden’s single best decision, putting her vice president, because nobody wants that. I’d be very happy with that.”

Then he said, “Have they polled Michelle Obama? She polls very badly. She polls terribly.” The crowd went oddly still. Nobody seemed to be buying that one — least of all Mr. Trump, even as the words were coming out of his own mouth. “It’s hard to believe,” he said, pausing. “But crooked Joe Biden polls better than those people.”

This was all somewhat undercut by the fact that, during a different part of his same speech, Mr. Trump had told them that pollsters were never to be trusted.

“Michelle Obama would be an interesting choice,” mused Mr. Capron, wearing an “Alex Jones was right” T-shirt. “I actually think she would garner a lot of support. A lot of people really liked the Obama years.”

Ms. Silvasy said, “Unfortunately, I think it’s going to be Gavin Newsom.”

Mr. Alter, the Miami dentist, feared the same. “Yes, that would make me very nervous. I hope Joe is too stubborn and he just stays on the ticket and he thinks he can win.” [Continue reading…]

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