Is Trump imploding or in self destruct mode? Is he desperate,...

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    Is Trump imploding or in self destruct mode? Is he desperate, and you know what they say about people who get desperate?

    The latest US unemployment numbers are incredibly fishy , go figure, but it worked to boost the stock market, and that seems to be the only thing going for the President. Which is why I had said, at best this market has a used by date Nov 3.

    And judging from the polls below, most Americans may have had enough of him, including retired Generals and past Presidents and amongst his own Republican Senators. They can finally see his true colours , wake up from their slumber to recognise that he wishes an autocratic regime similar to Putin, Xi and Kim, in those countries they make their leaders life long leaders. As the saying goes, if it sounds like a duck, walk like a duck, it is most likely a duck.

    And as I have said, the end of Trump is going to send a big shock wave to the US equity markets. In fact, as we near the election possibly in Sept-Oct, we may well see nervousness showing in the markets if we continue to see a widening gap in polls favouring Biden. It was no longer the case of whether Biden would be a great President, it was about who, between the two, would be greater toxic to the American society.

    US now has reached out to Australia to see if we can put up a name to take over WTO leadership position after Brazilian incumbent resigns, because Europe is interested. US cannot put their own people nor China because they probably would not get past each other. Trump wants to put people in positions that he can control (by implication we are). WTO has been trampled all over by his policies so it is little wonder it (WTO) has become a lame duck. Must we respond to his calling?

    * A Fox News poll in Arizona shows Joe Biden leading Trump 46% to 42%
    * A Fox News poll in Ohio put Biden at 45% to Trump's 43%
    * A Fox News poll in Wisconsin had Biden at 49% and Trump at 40%.
    * A Quinnipiac University poll in Texas had the race at Trump 44%, Biden 43%.
    How bad are those numbers for Trump? To put a fine point on it: Really bad.

    The last Democrat to win Arizona at the presidential level was Bill Clinton in 1996. In Texas, no Democrat since Jimmy Carter in 1976 has carried the state in a presidential race. Ohio was one of the swingiest states in presidential races at the start of this century but moved heavily toward Trump in 2016, as he carried it by 8 points. And Wisconsin is widely seen as the most likely state that Trump flipped in 2016 to again support him. (Polling in Pennsylvania and Michigan -- two other longtime Democratic states Trump won in 2016, suggests he is behind Biden at the moment.)

    And according to tabulations made by CNN's David Wright, the Trump campaign has already spent more than $1 million on ads in Ohio, Wisconsin and Arizona since the start of the year. Which means that even with Trump's preferred message being beamed to their TV screens, voters in those states aren't persuaded -- at least not yet.

    Now, let's look at what these numbers would mean to Trump's chances of getting to 270 in November.

    Start here: Trump got 306 electoral votes in his 2016 win. Now, consider these 2020 scenarios (all calculations made via
    * If Trump loses Texas (and wins everywhere else he won in 2016), he loses to Biden, 270 electoral votes to 268 electoral votes.
    * If Trump loses Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin (and wins everywhere else he won in 2016), he loses to Biden 278 to 260.
    * If Trump loses Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania (and wins everywhere else he won in 2016), he loses to Biden 279 to 259.
    * If Trump loses Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin (and wins everywhere else he won in 2016), he loses to Biden 276 to 262.
    * If Trump loses Arizona, Ohio and Wisconsin (and wins everywhere else he won in 2016), he loses to Biden 271 to 267.

    The point here is not to say any of these electoral map scenarios are locked in. After all, we are still 152 days away from the November 3 election. (And, yes, I counted.)

    Rather, they are to note that Biden, as of right now, has a WHOLE lot of different paths to 270 electoral votes, while Trump has a dwindling number. And of course, the polls on released on Wednesday don't even deal with potential trouble spots for Trump in Florida, North Carolina and Georgia -- all of which he won in 2016.

    For what it's worth, Trump's best/most likely path to a second term would be to lose either one or both of Michigan and Pennsylvania and hold every other state he won in 2016. If he lost both Michigan and Pennsylvania, he would eke out a 270 to 268 electoral vote victory over Biden. If he lost only Pennsylvania, he would win with 286 electoral votes. Lose just Michigan, and Trump has 290 electoral votes and a second term.

    As longtime political handicapper Stu Rothenberg wrote in a post-Memorial Day column:
    "The country is as polarized as it was two months ago, and the trajectory of the contest is essentially unchanged, with Biden holding a comfortable lead in national polling and having multiple paths to 270 electoral votes.
    "While daily developments give the cable television networks something to chatter about, today's big story will be replaced by a new one tomorrow, and another one the day after that. But the fundamentals of the race remain unchanged."

    That is exactly right. As of today, Biden has more ways than at any point in the campaign to date to get to 270 electoral votes. And Trump has fewer.

    Could that change? Of course! In the summer of 2016, the electoral map looked like Hillary Clinton would roll to a win over Trump. Heck, it looked that way all the way into the fall.

    The election isn't today. Trump will run a well-funded -- and likely vicious -- campaign that seeks to paint Biden as out-of-touch on every issue -- from immigration to China to race. And as the last few months have reminded all of us, events can and do intervene to change what we think we know about the November election.

    All of that is true. None of it changes the fact that Trump is looking at an increasingly difficult electoral map today, with little suggesting a major change is coming anytime soon.

    JUN. 4, 2020, AT 4:10 PM
    If Republicans Are Ever Going To Turn On Trump, This Might Be The Moment
    By Lee Drutman
    Filed under 2020 Election

    President Trump exits the White House on Monday before talking to the press about restoring “law and order” in the face of mass protests.
    While the past few days have felt unprecedented in almost all respects, they’ve been familiar in at least one way: President Trump has once again done something widely viewed as outrageous. In this case, his administration had law enforcement officials clear a path for Trump to visit a nearby church, leading to protesters being tear gassed outside the White House.
    And, as has often been the case when Trump draws criticism, many GOP senators have evaded questions about the violence and Trump’s role in it. “I don’t have any reaction to it. I haven’t seen footage.” “I didn’t follow, I’m sorry.” And even, “He has moments. But I mean, as you know, it lasts generally as long as the next tweet.”

    Yet maybe this time is a little different. Even before the protesters were driven away from the White House, we’d begun to hear a number of strong condemnations of both Trump and how he was handling the protests across the country — some from familiar corners and others from more surprising sources, like military leaders.
    On the usual suspects list there’s Sens. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Ben Sasse and Lisa Murkowski (although Murkowski avoided saying much about the protests specifically, she did say she is “struggling” with whether to vote for Trump in 2020). But some current and former members of the president’s inner circle have also criticized him. Most notably, former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who resigned in protest in December 2018, issued a scathing rebuke of Trump’s actions on Wednesday night, writing, “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.” (He also said, “The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values — our values as people and our values as a nation.” Current Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has also objected to using active-duty troops to respond to mostly peaceful protests.
    Former President George W. Bush also weighed in on the side of the protesters, writing, “The only way to see ourselves in a true light is to listen to the voices of so many who are hurting and grieving. Those who set out to silence those voices do not understand the meaning of America.” Bush didn’t name Trump directly, but it’s still a telling rebuke from a former president of the same political party.
    This is one of those rare moments of uncertainty when it’s possible that the wall of Republican support sheltering Trump finally crumbles. It is still unlikely to happen, but as I’ve written before, if it does happen, it will happen suddenly.
    Political science helps us understand why this is the case. In my previous article, I cited political scientist Timur Kuran’s classic work, “Private Truth, Public Lies: The Social Consequences of Preference Falsification,” to help explain why:
    [Kuran] argues that political regimes can persist despite being unpopular, which is why a government overthrow, when it does come, can often seem so sudden.
    Consider the Arab Spring, which began with one Tunisian vendor, who protested being mistreated by government officials by setting himself on fire. His death triggered a series of events, and a month later, the long-unpopular authoritarian Tunisian president fled the country after more than 23 years in power. A few weeks later, protesters in Egypt ousted their own long-serving authoritarian leader. What looked like ironclad power collapsed in a matter of weeks. Why?
    Kuran argues in his book that protests need a critical mass of supporters in order to force change. The logic is that there’s safety in numbers, so if multiple citizens rise up in protest of a regime, it signals that it’s OK to protest — which can cause decades-old regimes to collapse all at once.
    Of course, so far the criticism against Trump has mostly come from retired generals or members of Congress who already had a history of publicly chastising the president. But as conflict escalates over the protests, more and more elected Republicans may start to speak up.
    After all, Trump’s continued unpopularity threatens to weigh down Republicans’ chances of holding on to the Senate or taking back the House, and head-to-head polling shows Biden holds a steady lead against Trump in the general election. Is it possible, then, that Republican leaders might privately be wondering if they’d be better off with somebody else on the ticket in November? With unemployment at historic levels, protests spreading and the coronavirus pandemic lingering, Trump faces an increasingly difficult path to reelection.
    Most likely, Senate and House Republicans will eventually find a way to defend Trump’s actions, as they have done before (remember the impeachment trial?). Trump may not be perfect, they may say, but the Democrats are much worse. This is the prevailing rationalization of our zero-sum politics.
    But in moments like this, when nobody knows exactly what to say or do, a few unlikely public critiques of Trump could have a surprising cascade effect. And if the president continues to transgress widely-shared democratic values — putting congressional Republicans in an increasingly difficult electoral position — we may yet see a consequential crack in the Republican Party.
    Lee Drutman is a senior fellow in the Political Reform program at New America. He’s the author of the book, “Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America.”
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