President Donald Trump and his supporters are hoping that if his hardcore MAGA base shows up in big numbers in November and Democratic turnout is weak, he will be able to pull off another Electoral College victory. In order for that to happen, Trump will need to fire up his base as much as possible in swing states.
But according to new, updated analysis from the Cook Political Report, former Vice President Joe Biden has an increasing advantage in many of the swing states that Trump needs to win.
“This election is looking more like a Democratic tsunami than simply a blue wave,” Cook’s Amy Walter reports. “President Trump, mired in some of the lowest job approval ratings of his presidency, is trailing Biden by significant margins in key battleground states like Pennsylvania (8 points), Michigan (9 points) and Wisconsin (9 points). He’s even running behind Biden in his firewall states of Florida and North Carolina.”
This month, Walter explains, Biden is looking even better in swing states than he did in June — and Cook has changed its Electoral College ratings to “reflect this reality.”
Walter explains that according to Cook’s analysis this week, “Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Nebraska’s 2nd District move from ‘toss-up’ to ‘lean Democrat.’ Maine, once in ‘lean Democrat,’ moves to the safer ‘likely Democratic category.’”
The Cook reporter adds, “Georgia has joined Arizona, North Carolina and Florida in the ‘toss-up’ column, although at this point, Biden would be slightly favored to win at least Arizona and Florida.”
Florida has been a swing state for a long time. President George W. Bush won Florida twice, but so did President Barack Obama — before Trump carried the state in 2016. But only in recent years has once-red Arizona become a swing state.
The victory of Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona was one of the big political bombshells of 2018, and poll after poll has shown Republican Sen. Martha McSally trailing Democrat Mark Kelly in this year’s U.S. Senate race in that state. Moreover, Biden appears to be quite competitive in Arizona, which for decades, was a deep red state synonymous with the conservatism of Sen. Barry Goldwater and later, Sen. John McCain.
Trump’s poor performance in recent polls is being felt on Wall Street: according to Axios reporter Dino Rabouin, Wall Street is now betting on a Biden victory — a change from earlier this year.
Rabouin reports: “Betting markets have turned decisively toward an expected victory for Joe Biden in November — and asset managers at major investment banks are preparing for not only a Biden win, but potentially, a Democratic sweep of the Senate and House too…. The shift is the latest indicator of how quickly the political and business worlds have aligned in the view that Trump is unlikely to win a second term as COVID-19 infection numbers have spiked again and the economy looks to be stalling.”
On May 11, Rabouin reported that Wall Street was expecting Trump to win a second term. But more recently, according to Rabouin: “A Citigroup poll of 140 fund managers released last week found that 62% expect a Biden win, compared to 70% who expected a Trump victory in the same survey in December. And according to Kace Capital Advisors Managing Director Kenny Polcari, ‘Talk of a Democratic sweep (is) now common’ among investors.”
Walter, on Cook’s website, stresses that the “Democratic tsunami” in November could include not only Trump losing to Biden, but also, Democrats retaking the U.S. Senate and expanding their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
None of that is to say that Trump won’t turn things around between now and November. There were summer polls that, in 1988’s presidential race, showed Democratic nominee Mike Dukakis with a double-digit lead over Vice President George H.W. Bush. But in 1988, the U.S. wasn’t coping with the world’s deadliest pandemic in more than 100 years.
Walter adds the caveat that the race could still change, noting:
One of the biggest unknowns, however, is voting itself. As we’ve seen this spring and early summer, most states are not prepared for an onslaught of absentee ballots. And confusion about how/where to vote could impact turnout.
She also floats the possibility of voters splitting their ticket this year — that is, voting for Biden over Trump but voting GOP in Senate and House races. However, a GOP strategist interviewed by Cook is predicting that many voters will go straight Democratic this time.
“If voters start to sense that the race for president is a blow-out, will they be more willing to split their tickets to ensure a ‘check and balance’ in Washington next fall?” Walter writes. “At least one Republican I spoke with, however, was wary of a check-and-balance working this year, telling me that ‘people are looking for a restart and a reset.’ That includes down-ballot candidates as well as the president.”
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Peter Doocy Admits No ‘Concrete Evidence Joe Biden Personally Profited’ From Hunter’s Business
In a report focused on House Republicans’ plan to vote on a resolution to open an official impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy told viewers there is no evidence of impeachable offenses.
“The House Oversight Committee has been at this for years, and they have so far not been able to provide any concrete evidence that Joe Biden personally profited from his son Hunter’s overseas business but they are going to try again with this impeachment inquiry set to start next week,” Doocy, who often criticizes President Biden in White House press briefings, said Friday on Fox News Business.
Other news outlets this week have also stressed Republicans have come up empty-handed.
The right-leaning news outlet The Hill, reporting on the resolution Thursday, noted Republicans’ current investigation “has struggled to connect President Biden to the activities of his son, and they’ve failed to prove their most salacious allegation — and the one that would be most key for impeachment: that the president accepted a bribe.”
One of the main pillars of Republicans’ allegations against President Biden, the “narrative that President Biden pushed Ukraine to fire its prosecutor to help his son, who served on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burimsa, has largely been refuted,” The Hill also reported.
“Republicans have engaged in wide-ranging inquiry into Mr. Biden for months,” The New York Times reported Tuesday, “hunting for evidence to back up their allegations that he corruptly profited from his family members’ overseas business dealings and accepted bribes. To date, they have failed to deliver compelling evidence to back up their boldest claims.”
Watch Doocy below or at this link.
Peter Doocy: “The House Oversight Committee has been at this for years, and they have so far not been able to provide any concrete evidence that Joe Biden personally profited from his son Hunter’s overseas business.” pic.twitter.com/a5N44hIRrQ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 8, 2023
Jobs Report Forces Fox News to Admit Biden Economy ‘A Lot Stronger Than Anybody Understands’
The monthly jobs report released Friday morning is being heralded as “robust,” “upbeat,” and “stronger than expected,” as unemployment again dropped to a near-50-year low (3.7%) while the economy added another 199,000 jobs.
“It’s the little engine that could, and this little locomotive keeps a chugging along…” declared professor of economics and public policy scholar Justin Wolfers.
“So the last three months have seen jobs growth at a very healthy average rate of +204k per month,” he added. “For context: Average monthly job growth from Jan 2000 to Dec 2019 was +87k.”
“If I had asked you a year ago to sketch what you thought a soft landing might look like,” he said, praising America’s post-COVID pandemic economy, “it’s likely you would have pretty much drawn the current economic data.”
On Thursday, Wolfers had discussed the incongruence between what economic data consistently shows about the strength of the U.S. economy, and what Americans are telling pollsters.
“There’s no question people are telling pollsters they’re miserable about the economy. But riddle me this,” he asked, “Why can’t we find evidence of this pessimism in anything other that public opinion polls? Every non-poll based indicator of confidence suggests folks are optimistic.”
Heather Long, The Washington Post economic columnist, offered this view in response to Friday’s jobs report.
“Step back for a minute and look at this US job market,” she wrote.
“4.7 million more jobs than pre-pandemic
Below 4% unemployment for two years
Wages growing faster than inflation
Women (ages 25 to 54) at an all-time high for labor force participation”
Even Fox News was forced to deliver positive comments while reporting on Friday’s monthly numbers.
“Overall you’ve got to look at this report as a big positive,” admitted pro-Trump Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. “We’ve got more jobs created than expected.”
Speaking to the former chief economist of The White House National Economic Council under President Trump, Bartiromo said, “Joe LaVorgna, you’ve been saying this, the economy is a lot stronger than anybody understands.”
Watch below or at this link.
it’s time for my favorite Friday tradition — Maria Bartiromo having to cope with announcing another strong jobs report pic.twitter.com/bsOIQToEwe
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 8, 2023
Right Wing Evangelicals Are ‘Marinating’ in ‘Information Aimed at Making Them Fearful, Hostile’: Journalist
Rather, he argued, it is part of a deliberate campaign to radicalize and terrify them into loyalty — and part of what’s driving that is a “disproportionality crisis” of the information they are receiving.
““If you go to church on Sunday morning, you are going to be in the word with your pastor for, you know, 30 minutes, maybe 40, 45 minutes, and you sing some songs, and you say the prayers, and then you are out in the world for the rest of the week,” said Alberta. “And for most of these folks, as they’re out in the world, they are marinating in talk radio, in cable news, in social media—all of this information that is aimed at making them angry, fearful, hostile.”
Whereas they may hear Jesus’ message of tolerance, love, and forgiveness “on Sunday morning for 45 minutes, but then for 4, 5, 6, 10 hours during the week, you’re hearing the exact opposite. And it’s that ratio being so far out of whack that I think is really at the heart of the crisis here.”
And that’s assuming they’re at a church that will even give them messages of love and forgiveness in the first place — many pro-Trump pastors, like Greg Locke of Tennessee, have messages that are far angrier.
“[Trump] may not share their views, he may not sit in the pews with them, he may not read the good book like they do, but in some way, that’s his superpower,” Alberta explained. “He is free to fight in ways that are, you know, unrestrained, unmoored from biblical virtue. And that relationship with Trump has obviously evolved over the last eight years. What started as this very uneasy alliance for a lot of evangelicals with Trump has now morphed into this situation where, look, desperate times call for desperate measures. The barbarians are at the gates and we need a barbarian to keep them at bay.” This means that Trump’s increasingly dictatorial rhetoric is a natural outlet for the rage and frustration these evangelical voters are being fed.
None of this is to say that Trump has completely unified the evangelical world. Cracks have appeared in recent months, with prominent evangelical leaders like Bob Vander Plaats of Iowa endorsing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis out of concern about Trump’s electoral viability.
Editor’s note: Tim Alberta is an award-winning g journalist, a staff writer for The Atlantic, and author of “The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism,” and “American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump.”
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