As the electoral college map keeps expanding for former vice president Joe Biden, eventually there will be no viable path to 270 electoral votes for
PresidentTrump. Wisconsin and Michigan slid into Biden’s column weeks ago. The FiveThirtyEight poll average for Michigan has shown Biden with about a seven-point lead since June; in Wisconsin, that same lead has held steady since July. The possible question mark was Pennsylvania. It is no longer so questionable. Biden has never trailed Trump in Pennsylvania in the FiveThirtyEight average. The last two polls look ominous for Trump. Biden leads by nine points among likely voters in both the Post-ABC News and the New York Times-Siena College polls. It should not be surprising that Pennsylvania looks more and more like Wisconsin and Michigan. In 2016, we learned those states tend to move in tandem. If Biden wins those three and nothing weird happens, that’s it. He has 278 electoral votes. But Biden has a small lead in Arizona and is essentially running even with Trump in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Iowa and Ohio — all states Trump won. Increasingly, the question is not who will win but just how big Biden’s win will be.
Now, it is a matter of holding off a deluge. Republicans face a sea of blue.
They have additional worries, given that Trump has scared Republicans off from early and absentee voting. If the race is not close on Election Day, many Republicans will not bother showing up to wait in long lines. As demoralized Republicans stay home, Democrats up and down the ballot could start racking up wins in unusual places. It is not inconceivable to see Democratic Senate wins not just in Maine, Colorado, North Carolina and Arizona but in Iowa, Montana, Alaska and Georgia.
Trump may not believe this polling. He may not think lying about the severity of covid-19 or insulting the troops or evidence his business losses are so large that he is vulnerable to foreign influence matters. But they do. Republicans can read the polls with less self-delusion. They see Trump’s numbers collapsing. Worse, they see their own races going to seed. One need only look at Sen. Lindsey O. Graham’s pathetic, desperate pleading for money for his South Carolina race to see that they know all too well: Trump is dragging them under.
Republicans might start overtly separating themselves from Trump on his attacks on mail-in voting. They might even suggest it is just not right for someone who claims to be very, very rich (let’s dispense with the notion he’s a billionaire; in all likelihood, he is worth “only” seven figures) to pay no taxes.
These things might help, but frankly the only chance for some of them is to plead: Don’t give Biden a blank check. And that’s precisely what he will have if Trump drags Republican senators under. It would be fitting if they join the ranks of the unemployed they could not spare time to support.
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
The GOP Ship is Deservedly Capsizing
Washington Post looks at the state of the GOP 35 days out from the 2020 election. Here are excerpts: