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OPINION

Why President Trump and Senate Republicans’ Prospects Are Still Good

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Alex Brandon

While the mainstream media is crowning Joe Biden as our next president and Democrats in control of the U.S. Senate, they are ignoring some glaring facts.  When one dives deeper into history, the Trump record of accomplishments, and downplays the impact of Trump administration palace intrigue, a brighter future for the Republican Party comes into focus.

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The New York Times has jumped on the bandwagon of the mainstream media meme with a story titled “Trump’s Sagging Popularity Drags Down Republican Senate Candidates” that relies on a NYT/Siena College poll. The self-proclaimed arbiters of the news seem to forget that it is only June, and we have a long road ahead before Election Day.

The Times story puts Sens. Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) in trouble while conceding the fact that Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) is on borrowed time in heavily Republican Alabama. Senate Democrats need to pick up 4 seats in the Senate, if they win the presidency, to take over control, assuming Sen. Jones loses. The Times references troubles for retaining the seats of Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Susan Collins (R-ME). The only way Democrats pick up the Senate is if a Democratic wave for Biden carries at least four of the five Democrats running for these seats into the Senate. The problem with this analysis is that it relies on polling, and in 2016, the polling was wildly wrong in swing states that Trump won. 

The evidence outside of one poll points towards a close election with Trump having an edge. No mention by the Times that it is difficult to take down an incumbent president. Looking back at 2012 polling, Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) led in the RCP average of polls for roughly two weeks leading up the election, with President Obama losing momentum.  President George W. Bush consistently trailed Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) in polling from July 5 to August 25, 2004, by margins less than what we see today. In both cases, the incumbents won. 

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This poll may not be accurate for another reason. When it comes to President Trump, he has a “silent majority” who don’t get picked up in polls.  Just look at Wisconsin in 2016, where the public polls had him losing the state by 6.5%, and Hillary Clinton’s internal polls kept her out of the state. The polls were consistently wrong in 2016 and one explanation is that Trump draws non-traditional voters who will not get picked up by pollsters.

President Trump still has the support of the American people for his stewardship of the economy, which the coronavirus has temporarily tanked. The president bragged at his 2020 State of the Union that his administration “created 7 million new jobs,” including all-time lows for the “unemployment rate for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans” and wages were soaring for “low-income workers, who have seen a 16% pay increase.” The old Bill Clinton campaign adage “It’s the Economy Stupid” is still true today. There is a good chance that the economy sees a significant rebound, and the voters give the president credit for his tax policies, regulatory relief and pro-business climate.

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There is also the prospect of Democrats doing what they do well – Snatching Defeat Out of the Jaws of Victory.

Democrats often overreach, and they seem to be going down that well-worn path again. The American people are going to get angry with the endless rioting and tearing down of statues from sea to shining sea.   Voters are showing great sympathy to tackle racial issues facing America, yet they are not going to reward a party that supports occupied zones in American cities, looting, and random acts of violence between the militant protesters and the peaceful ones. A good way to lose a vote for your cause is to lay down on a highway and stop traffic for a few hours with no discernable goal, and we are seeing Democratic Governors and Mayors allowing the streets to become lawless with burning buildings and left-wingers torching police cars. Voters will not reward lawlessness.

One other factor that has largely been ignored in analysis, is the fact that Biden’s basement-based campaign has been sleepy. It can’t be left unsaid that Democrats have spent many nights waking from nightmares of what may happen to Joe Biden in a real debate. Biden himself is perfectly capable of running a listless and low-energy losing campaign mirroring the train wreck that was Hillary Clinton’s effort.

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The next time one of your liberal friends spikes the football and says that President Trump and Senate Republicans are toast this fall, remind them of the depression they experienced in January of this same year when, after impeachment, it seemed like Trump was still on track to win a second term. 

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