I don’t believe in astrology, but, if I did, I’d have to say the stars are aligning for Donald Trump in the last 10 days of this tumultuous election. Beginning with the second presidential debate where Trump finally displayed presidential behavior and Joe Biden expressly proclaimed his goal to transition away from oil (i.e., kill it), virtually every unfolding event has aided Trump’s cause for reelection. Though he still might not win, the momentum is clearly behind Trump as Election Day nears.
First, Biden’s comment on energy at the last debate certainly hurt him with energy industry workers and their families in western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. Because virtually all of the sand used in fracking comes from Wisconsin, Biden’s gaffe also will hurt him in that key state too. The Trump campaign immediately went on offense in those states forcing Biden to play defense.
Next, the Tony Bobulinski claims about the Biden family, especially his very detailed and credible allegations about meeting twice with Joe Biden about a deal with a Chinese company tied to the communist government, undermine one of the core tenets of the Biden candidacy; namely, he is not corrupt and compromised like Trump. As more Americans learn about these allegations, Biden’s credibility is crumbling. It doesn’t help that his campaign refuses to deny Bobulinski’s story and that Jim Biden says ‘no comment’ to the press who dare to ask. Most people believe the natural response to being accused of something you didn’t do is to explicitly deny it. That isn’t happening with Bobulinski’s accusations.
Then there is the renewed rioting in Philadelphia after Walter Wallace Jr, a black man armed with a knife, was shot and killed by police. The rioting has been all over the news, with images of looters breaking into stores and walking off with televisions and appliances. It is hard to fit those images in the ‘peaceful protest’ box. This unrest just days before the election will unnerve suburban voters in Pennsylvania and plays right into Trump’s image as the ‘law and order’ president. Such unrest also will drive a portion, however small, of urban black voters in Philly and elsewhere to vote for Trump. Each vote the Democrats lose is one they can ill afford to lose.
Though a continent away, two events in Europe also are helping Trump. First, the exploding COVID infections shutting down Europe will spur some voters to dismiss Biden’s attacks on Trump’s pandemic response. Because the media and Democrats spent so much time from March to August castigating Trump and praising European leaders for their pandemic response, Americans seeing the massive rise in cases in Europe will forgive Trump a bit, especially given that the death count in Europe is now greater than it is in America and new daily infections are well above the US rate.
The second event is the double beheading in France by an Islamic jihadist this week. Terrorism thankfully has receded as a major issue for Americans over the last few years. With this gruesome attack married with the beheading last week of a teacher in Paris, Americans are reminded that the terrorist threat is never too far away. Trump has strong record on terror: destroying Isis; killing Iranian terror leader Qasem Soleimani; taking out several al-Qaeda leaders this week, along with his efforts to extract America from the endless wars in the Middle East. Compared to Biden’s terrible record on terrorism, a percentage of Americans will get behind four more years of a strong Trump instead of risking four years of a weak Biden.
Economically, the news on Thursday that the third-quarter Gross Domestic Product exceeded 33 percent will further strengthen Trump’s claim as the guy who can best rebuild the economy after the pandemic. Jobless claims also came out well below expectations. Together with the huge jobs recovered already, these data points will persuade undecided Americans focused on the economy to stick with the devil you know versus take a risk on the devil you don’t (and suspect will get pushed farther left by the progressives).
Lastly, beyond the media blackout on the Bobulinski-Biden allegations, the news that the New York Times gave anonymity to a policy adviser, Miles Taylor, instead of a principal will cement any doubt that the mainstream media is in the tank for Biden. As a former counselor to the deputy secretary and executive director of a $3.5 billion-office in the Department of Homeland Security, I can tell you Taylor didn’t get anywhere near Trump during his nine months in the administration. Secretarial meetings with the President usually only involve the secretary and the relevant agency head whose agency is the focus of the discussion (i.e., Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
If, by chance, policy staff do get near the President, it is for a limited time on rare occasions and certainly not enough to make deeply informed judgments as asserted in the op-ed and book Taylor wrote. Though I lack hard evidence, I am quite confident Taylor’s op-ed and book included anecdotes he didn’t actually witness, but that he was told by higher-ups who did have access, such as DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, that he then used to grind his ax against Trump. Regardless, the NYT’s characterization of Taylor is way off base, as he was nothing close to a ‘senior official’ and his claims should have been verified by secondary sources before publication. Voters already hold the media in fairly low regard. This latest episode will harden those feelings and likely result in some movement towards Trump, because they realize he must not be as bad as the media say he is.
Maybe I missed something, but every event that has occurred since the last debate has cut for Trump and against Biden. Along with the huge rallies Trump is holding in battleground states multiple times a day, these developing events place the momentum of this race behind Trump. That momentum might not allow him to dig out of the hole he dug himself into, but it will give him a chance to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat.