America gets a focused look at Trump and doesn’t like what it sees

This Boston Herald poll is another Biden +14, in addition to CNN +16, USC Dornsife +12 and NBC/WSJ +14. Will it last? Trump is doing his best to see that it does. Pro tip: it’s more 1980 than 2016.

Trump support craters after contracting coronavirus, new FPU/Herald poll reveals

Catching coronavirus has been disastrous for President Trump’s re-election hopes, with support for the president plummeting since news of the infection broke, allowing Democratic nominee Joe Biden to open a commanding double-digit lead, a new Franklin Pierce University-Boston Herald poll shows.

The nationwide poll reveals that instead of a sympathy factor for Trump, there’s been a stunning drop in the Republican president’s poll numbers since he revealed his diagnosis last Friday.

In two days of polling before Trump got COVID, the president trailed Biden by just a 46-41% margin. In the three days of polling after the coronavirus diagnosis, Biden held a 55-34% lead. That means Biden’s lead grew by a whopping 16 points from pre-COVID to post-COVID.

Among all the 1,003 registered voters in the nationwide Franklin Pierce-Herald poll, Biden now holds a 51-37% lead over Trump less than a month before Election Day. Three percent support a third party candidate while 8% say they are still undecided…

The poll also showed that COVID-19 is far and away the top issue in the campaign. One third of all likely voters cite the coronavirus as the most important issue to them, while 19% went with jobs and the economy and 10% cited social justice and racial equality.

Europe’s Second Covid Wave Starts to Spill Over From Young to Old

Hospitalizations and deaths rise on the Continent as autumn infections start to spread to older, more vulnerable people

Cases among those aged over 65 are increasing in most European countries, according to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. As a result, hospitalizations and deaths—which stayed low for much of the summer while infections spread among young people less likely to fall severely ill—are starting to rise too.

Many European countries are now recording more cases than they did in the spring, but that is partly because of better detection. The health emergency isn’t as serious as it was at the time, when only a fraction of infected people were tested for the virus, and some hospitals in countries such as Italy were overrun by severely sick Covid-19 patients.

Still, in the U.K., infections among older age groups rose sharply in late September, according to research by Imperial College London. Hospitalizations of Covid-19 patients more than doubled during September, to more than 2,000, according to official data. Deaths reached 588 in the month through Sept. 28, more than twice the number in August.


The Hill:

Biden’s wide lead in post-debate polls leaves Republicans panicking

“Republicans are in big trouble in my opinion,” said former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), a contributor for The Hill.

“In almost all of the swing states allegedly in play … the deciding vote will be independent women. That vote has historically been center-right, but these folks are totally frustrated with the president. They find his style and demeanor to be inconsistent and he’s not getting that vote anywhere. That’s the swing vote … and I think he’s lost them. People have made up their minds. He’s in big trouble. It will be a tough election for the people that are on the ticket with him.”

When asked if he thought it was too late for Trump to turn things around, Gregg replied: “Yes.”


Tim Miller/The Bulwark:

The Weirdest 90 Seconds in Presidential History

Don’t cry for Donnie, America. The truth is, he never left you.

First, Trump takes off his mask, very strongly, very heavily. This is a man who is still on several experimental medications for a deadly virus that is highly contagious and spreads through the air. I guess he thought he would look “weak” with the mask? I would think that he would want to demonstrate that he has in fact “learned a lot” since contracting the COVID. But apparently when all of the infected geniuses from the West Wing put their heads together (over Zoom) to hash out what the optics of the president’s return should be, “lessons learned” came in a distant second to “übermensch.”

So we get a madman, his face pancaked under a 2mm coat of orange powder, jacked up on steroids, straining to breathe—and not caring a whit about those around him.

And I’ve got to hand it to him: Trump nails that image.

Maggie Haberman and Annie Karni/NY Times:

Trump’s Campaign Saw an Opportunity. He Undermined It.

The health crisis was a chance for a political reset, some advisers believed, to show a new, more empathetic stance toward the coronavirus. But the candidate did not stick to the narrative.

And the president could use that to show from now until the second presidential debate, scheduled for Oct. 15, that the disease is serious but can be combated, and that he was ready to re-enter the campaign.

While that was the hope, it was severely undermined over the last few days by the president’s own behavior — no more so than Monday when he tweeted to the nation “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life!” without acknowledging that, as president, he gets far better care than the average citizen. His comments signaled a far likelier reality: that the erratic handling of his illness by Mr. Trump and his aides will remind voters of his administration’s failures and efforts to play down the deadly pandemic for six months…

It is hardly the first time Mr. Trump has undermined the desires of his aides. He has contradicted them on issues ranging from China policy to preparation for the debate last week.

Over the weekend, Mr. Trump’s political advisers said they were cleareyed about who they were dealing with: Mr. Trump is widely seen as a figure incapable of empathy. But the hope was that discussing his own experience would help him manage the pandemic going forward, and could have political benefits.


Aaron Kall/USA Today:

Harris-Pence vice presidential debate is hugely important, and not just due to Trump’s COVID

Are Harris and Pence ready to be president? Can a debate be civil? And does Pence have a prayer of saving Trump’s campaign? What we’ll learn Wednesday.

The stakes are even greater for Pence in 2020, given Trump’s health and the many other obstacles facing the campaign. There are reasons to believe that Pence can replicate Biden’s debate success story from 2012. He will again benefit from low expectations given Harris’ high-profile record and experience. And she will be constrained from delivering a full throttle attack against Trump as he continues recovering from COVID, also a potential advantage for Pence.




Washington’s worst-kept secret

IS IT OVER? Here is what everyone in Washington is thinking but does not want to say out loud: President Donald Trump is going to lose this election in 28 days, probably by a large margin.

A growing number of insiders, including many Republicans, are starting to venture — privately — that this outcome is likely to be clear on Election Night, not days or weeks later.

And Trump’s collapse is likely to take Republican control of the Senate with him.

Is this a certainty? No. We all remember 2016. But the system is blinking red…

But again, we all remember 2016. So there is a quiet conspiracy to emphasize the uncertainty and stress to readers and viewers that anything could still happen.

Here’s where the protocols of journalism require a meaty paragraph of qualifiers and caveats known in the business as the “to be sure graf.” In the event of a Trump victory I can point to the following as evidence that you were warned this thesis might be wrong:

He’s gonna lose. The question is will he lose big?


Quinta Jurecic and Susan Hennessey/Atlantic:

The Reckless Race to Confirm Amy Coney Barrett Justifies Court Packing

We used to reject court packing as a dangerous game. Now we believe it may be the best way to restore the Court’s legitimacy.

We understand these objections; until recently, we shared them, and dismissed court packing as institutionally corrosive and politically unserious. But no longer. The current battle over the Supreme Court changes the calculus; if Barrett is confirmed and Trump loses the election, adhering to norms and accepting the status quo on January 20 poses a greater harm than expanding the Court would. We have now come to believe, more in sorrow than in anger, that adding justices may be the only way to restore the institutional legitimacy of the Court.

Tim Alberta/Politico:

4 Funny Feelings About 2020

With 28 days until the election, it’s time to inch out on a limb.

I do believe, however, there is a silent majority against Trump. In my travels, this group could be considered “the kid curmudgeons.” They are younger Gen Xers and older millennials: college-educated folks ages roughly 28 to 42, who are not ideological, who are not partisan, who consume little political news, who rarely if ever vote, but who might flood the polls this fall simply because Donald Trump annoys them.

Is that overly simplistic? Perhaps. But I’ve been stunned at how many people I’ve encountered who fit this description. They’re establishing careers, starting families, buying first homes—building a life—and don’t really have the time or inclination to get engaged politically. They don’t know a ton about either party’s policy platform or legislative record. What they do know is Trump irritates them to no end. He reminds them of the lightweight underclassmen at a college kegger; his raucousness was entertaining at first, but the act has worn awfully thin. They just want to get rid of him and get on with the party.

In addition to CNN +16 and NBC/WSJ +14, there’s this:

NY Times:

After Meat Workers Die of Covid-19, Families Fight for Compensation

Employees of a JBS meat-processing plant in Greeley, Colo., got sick or died, but their families have so far been denied compensation.

Several lawyers who are familiar with the Greeley workers’ compensation claims said that the paperwork associated with filing them — as well as the denials — presented extra hurdles for workers at the plant, many of whom do not speak English as a first language.

“It’s a game of attrition,” said Mack Babcock, a lawyer representing the family of Daniel Avila Loma, a JBS employee who died of Covid-19 in April, at age 65, and whose request for compensation was tentatively denied in June. “I think it’s immoral, and I think it’s nauseating.”

Don’t forget Trump wants to give the Batista brothers who own JBS liability protection, in general one of the stimulus stumbling blocks.

So …


In fact, look at this WV poll, with Trump up 18 in a state he won by 42 in 2016. That’s his post debate slide, just like in 1980.

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