Here’s the Weather Channel forecast: “Partly cloudy skies during the evening will give way to cloudy skies overnight. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low around 70F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph.”
So the weather excuse is false. What is the real story? Maggie Haberman of the New York Times: “People familiar with the sign-ups said the interest in the rally was significantly lower than for rallies that took place before the coronavirus paused campaigning.”
A new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds President Trump is facing broad disapproval for his management of the two major crises gripping the nation, with 67% of Americans giving him low marks for both his response to the coronavirus pandemic and his handling of race relations.
Andrew Sullivan: “The virus will be the real swing voter in this election. The sheer scale of the health crisis, and its current trajectory, obviously sweeps every other issue before it, as it should. It sure hasn’t ended the culture war, which at the elite level is arguably more intense than ever, but it is in the driving seat of the economy, and that is almost always dispositive. If we enter November closing in on 200,000 deaths, with the toll rising, and in a virally caused economic slump, I just can’t see how any incumbent can get elected, and I’m usually pretty good at seeing the worst.”
“The only way Trump can win is to ignore the pandemic or lie about it. He is trying both right now, and neither tactic is working. And as it becomes clearer and clearer that the U.S. is now a disgraced and humiliated outlier in the developed world in its tackling of the virus, Trump’s ultimate responsibility for this dismal response and thereby our struggling economy will be harder and harder to deny. We may even be approaching the moment when the cult finally cracks. Which suggests to me a Biden and Democratic landslide is no longer out of the question.”
“Facebook is considering imposing a ban on political ads on its social network in the days leading up to the U.S. election in November,” Bloomberg reports.
“The potential ban is still only being discussed and hasn’t yet been finalized… A halt on ads could serve as a defense against misleading election-related content spreading widely right as people prepare to vote. Still, there are also concerns that an ad blackout could hurt ‘get out the vote’ campaigns, or limit a candidate’s ability to respond widely to breaking news or new information.”
President Trump’s campaign headquarters was shut down for its first deep cleaning in weeks after a senior campaign official tested positive for the coronavirus, Politico reports.
“The decision to conduct the cleaning came after two months of flouting the Trump administration’s own public health guidance: There are no face coverings or temporary barriers between desks at headquarters, and leaders have limited efforts to implement social distancing.”
Said one source: “You get made fun of, if you wear a mask. There’s social pressure not to do it.”
President Trump gave some polling data to Marc Thiessen in an Oval Office interview: “President Trump was going over new polls — some internal, some not — showing him tied or leading Joe Biden in key swing states. ‘Pennsylvania tied. Florida, up one. Wisconsin, up one. Texas, up five. Arizona, Trump 49, Biden 45; North Carolina, Trump up three. And then Montana: Trump up a lot — 52-38,’ he said.”
Philip Bump: “Over and over, we’ve heard Trump wave away the idea that he’s in trouble in November, citing unspecified polls showing him doing well. And here some are — a couple without attribution and presumably internal, but a number with links helpfully included by Thiessen. The Wisconsin poll is from the Trafalgar Group; the Arizona and North Carolina ones from Gravis Marketing. The Montana poll is from the University of Montana.”
“Actual polls, allowing us at last to evaluate whether Trump is right to feel confident about November. He is not.”
Los Angeles Times: “While rumors still swirl about a looming staff shake-up, those involved in the reelection effort are increasingly resigned to getting behind their often self-destructive candidate.”
“They are pinning their hopes on the possibility that Trump or the broader political and economic environment will somehow change in the next four months and that the magic of 2016, when Trump eked out a narrow win at the wire, will repeat itself in his face-off against Joe Biden.”
“President Trump’s return to the campaign trail in Oklahoma last month was viewed as such a debacle that his re-election effort is working to avoid future underwhelming crowds while also considering new safety measures for all large events this summer, including the GOP convention,” NBC News reports.
Said one campaign official: “We can’t have a repeat of Tulsa.”
“Joe Biden’s presidential campaign has lined up a senior team in Iowa, a sign Democrats see the state where Republican Donald Trump beat them handily in 2016 as within reach,” the AP reports.
“Although Iowa’s six Electoral College votes hardly make the state a political jackpot, a competitive race for them this fall could signal problems for Trump in other northern states he won by smaller margins and would likely need to carry again to win reelection, chiefly Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.”
A new Auburn University poll in Alabama finds Tommy Tuberville (R) leading Sen. Doug Jones (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 44% to 36%.
In the other possible match up, Jeff Sessions (R) leads Jones, 49% to 43%.
In the presidential race, Donald Trump leads Joe Biden, 55% to 41%.
Despite claiming many times he voted for Donald Trump for president, Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville’s voter registration was cancelled in August 2016 due to inactivity, according to Ryan James Girdusky.
He had registered in the state of Indiana but never voted there, so they kicked him off the voter rolls.
Nate Cohn: “Sometimes, American politics is complicated. Right now, it’s extremely simple: the public has reached a harshly negative judgment of the president’s handling of the most important issue facing the country, and the issue is so paramount that there’s little room to wiggle out of it.”
“When I’m thinking about how the race could change — say, return to Biden +6 — I’m thinking about whether those conditions change. Does coronavirus subside or become less salient?”
New York Times: “President Trump won the White House in no small part by seizing on Hillary Clinton’s missteps and using them to turn many voters against her. But after three unsteady months, and with the Republican convention six weeks away, Mr. Trump is struggling to define Joe Biden to similarly devastating effect, a critical task at this stage of a presidential race.”
“By a combination of design and circumstance, Mr. Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has managed so far to deny Mr. Trump the sort of damaging offhand remarks, campaign clashes and clumsy encounters with voters that he used as weapons against Mrs. Clinton in the last general election, as well as his Republican opponents in the 2016 primary.”