In the homestretch, Republicans smell the stench of defeat (Round-up)

NY Times:

Why Trump Can’t Take Red Counties in North Carolina for Granted

Even some people in Gastonia, N.C., are a little perplexed about why the president was holding a rally in a small community that’s already in his camp.

In this final sprint of the campaign, Mr. Trump is now holding up to three rallies a day to try to “juice” his base, in the words of advisers, as he bleeds support among the suburban voters who helped fuel his victory in 2016. His trip to this bedrock Trump county, and to Wisconsin and Ohio suburbs and exurbs on Saturday where his once-solid support is sliding, reflect his need to energize as much of his base as he can since many swing voters are now behind former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and there are few undecided voters left.

NH Union Leader:

Our choice is Joe Biden*

* While Joe Biden is the clear choice for president, it would be a disservice to the country to send him to the White House without a backstop. We suggest splitting the ballot and electing a healthy dose of GOP senators and representatives. The best governance often comes through compromise. The civility of the Biden administration will help foster such compromise, but a blue wave would be nearly as disastrous for this country as four more years of Trump. It would result in a quagmire of big government programs that will take decades to overcome.

“The paper’s editorial board, which supported only Republicans for over a century until endorsing Libertarian Gary Johnson in 2016” says Forbes. In other words, not in a hundred years…

Alex Isenstadt/Politico:

Paranoia and finger-pointing in Trumpworld as election approaches

Accusations are flying in all directions and about all manner of topics.

President Donald Trump’s top advisers have plunged into a bitter round of finger-pointing and blame-shifting ahead of an increasingly likely defeat.

Politico:

Scarred Democrats begin accepting a possible Biden win

“Every time I get too happy I slap myself and stick my hand over a fire.”

That’s not to say feeling upbeat comes naturally to Democrats. Or as Missouri Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver put it: “Every time I get too happy I slap myself and stick my hand over a fire.”

“I’m a nervous ninny,” Cleaver added. “I read the polls … but I’m scared to feel like we’re going to win because we’ve seen what happened in 2016.”

Sure enough, Democrats’ talking points are filled with bromides about taking nothing for granted and working all the way through Election Day, after Trump’s shocking win across just enough swing states to take the Electoral College four years ago. But beneath the surface, there’s growing confidence among key Democrats that things are actually going to go their way this time.

NBC:

In the homestretch, signs Trump’s hard-sell seniors pitch may be falling short

“I can’t do it this time,” one older voter who backed the president’s first run in 2016 told NBC News. “I’m just sick of all of his s—.”

Polling this year has shown an increasing number of older people abandoning Trump, in part due to that brand of pandemic messaging. An October NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed that trend accelerating: Trump was hemorrhaging support among registered senior voters, with 62 percent supporting Biden and only 35 percent supporting the president.

David A. Graham/Atlantic:

It’s All About the Investigation

Trump is betting his reelection on ginning up another investigation—the same demand that got him impeached.

For days, the Trump campaign has hyped a coming scoop from The Wall Street Journal about Hunter Biden, the son of the Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden. Last night, the story finally arrived. Actually, it was two articles. First, there was a column by the Trump-friendly opinion writer Kimberley Strassel, which was heavy on innuendo, but otherwise caveated into opacity. Later in the evening, the Journal’s news side published a story that was clearer and less juicy.

The upshot of the reports, insofar as there is one, is that a disgruntled former business partner of Hunter Biden’s alleges that Biden tried to cut his father, the former vice president, into lucrative deals. The claim seems to rest almost entirely on an email that reads,“10 held by H for the big guy?,” which the business partner says refers to Joe Biden. The Biden campaign says he was never involved, as does another business partner, and the news article reported, “Corporate records reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show no role for Joe Biden.” And the Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich searched the emails and poured cold water on the claims.

And let’s finish with this:

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