The incumbent Donald Trump is facing a rough week. Last week, the Atlantic published a story that alleged Trump called the US war dead “losers”. Trump fumed over the story, telling his aides to deny it.
By the weekend, however, he seemed simply defeated by the story outpacing his communications efforts. News broke earlier in the week that Trump’s campaign fund-raising is falling short of Joe Biden’s. Trump’s opponent is out-spending him in numerous battleground states.
Moreover, Biden is leading Trump in critical battleground states, according to new polls. Despite the expected bump in approval from the Republican National Convention, Trump trails his opponent in Arizona, North Carolina, and other critical states. This bizarre election year has seen Republican stalwart areas shifting towards competitive polling for the first time in decades.
Finally, the new book “Rage” from Bob Woodward shows that Trump “downplayed” the COVID-19 pandemic. In interviews with Woodward in February, Trump mentions how deadly and dangerous COVID is.
However, he later confides in Woodward in a March interview that he has sought to “downplay” the pandemic’s seriousness so as not to cause a panic among the people.
Many large GOP donors seem hesitant to break open the coffers and fill Trump’s war chest. Several already wrote huge checks for an RNC event that ended up going digital. Trump’s campaign used the White House as the venue for the RNC as a way to save money, according to sources close to Trump.
What’s more, the campaign has pulled ads from many former battleground states that are trending into “lean Democrat” territory.
Biden, meanwhile, is outraising Trump. In August, he raised $365 million to Trump’s $210 million. This has allowed Biden to double-down on his advertising in battleground states. Should polling of the most competitive states translate to actual votes, Biden is likely to carry the Electoral College in November.
And, unfortunately for the Trump campaign, they’re running out of chances to change public opinion.
There are only two months before the election, yet Trump trails Biden in national polls by a gap that is outside of the margin of error. Put simply, Biden is the favorite to win the election.
Republicans hoped the RNC would give Trump’s public profile a boost, but it seems like Trump’s message has already reached everyone who wants to hear it. There are no new Trump supporters, only the same base from 2016.
Meanwhile, Biden is receiving the support of a groundswell of younger voters. Voters who have turned 18 since the 2016 election represent some of the strongest support for Biden in the country.
This mismatch of voting enthusiasm could prove the be a problem for the incumbent. Of course, nothing is certain until the votes are cast. However, Trump has a rough, uphill battle for reelection ahead of him.