It’s Time to Bail
No, those sobering assessments are not from liberal pundits or misguided pollsters. Those lovely quotes are from Senators Graham, Sasse, and Cruz — all Republicans.
Supporters of the president refer to riding the “Trump train,” but that train appears to be careening off the tracks with just two weeks until election day. I know it, you know it, everybody knows it.
The Trump campaign seems to know it as well. According to a new report from Axios, Trump’s advisers are “bracing for loss” and are pointing fingers. Bill Stepien, the campaign manager, is telling those in his orbit that he believes they will lose. Stepien seems “deeply, perhaps irretrievably pessimistic about the state of the race,” according to three sources in the campaign.
Jonathan Swan, who broke the news, also added this,
Stepien’s critics say he is in CYA mode, refusing to make tough decisions that might incur Trump’s wrath while setting up excuses for what polls suggest could be a shellacking by Joe Biden.
Two weeks to go and down in the polls — an untimely moment to be packing it in.
Swan’s reporting is in line with reporting I’ve seen elsewhere. The New York Times reported that Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is “drawing furious blame” for his handling of Trump’s coronavirus hospitalization and that he is likely on the way out soon.
Maggie Haberman and Alex Burns also added the following,
Away from their candidate and the television cameras, some of Mr. Trump’s aides are quietly conceding just how dire his political predicament appears to be, and his inner circle has returned to a state of recriminations and backbiting…
…Some midlevel aides on the campaign have even begun inquiring about employment on Capitol Hill after the election, apparently under the assumption that there will not be a second Trump administration for them to serve in. (It is not clear how appealing the Trump campaign might be as a résumé line for private-sector employers).
The campaign has made some questionable ad buys recently, which have only further dampened the spirit at Trump headquarters. (I have written previously about some of the more curious decisions the campaign has made here and here, assuming the campaign actually wants to win.)
Two of the more interesting moves have been in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Trump campaign recently purchased a measly $130,000 ad buy in Wisconsin, which a campaign staffer admitted was “half-assed,” as it is too little to make a difference. Meanwhile, the campaign has continued to funnel money into Minnesota, a state Trump lost in 2016 and is polling Biden up double digits.
Biden, on the other hand, is spending like a drunken sailor. In the three crucial swing states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, the Biden campaign has outspent the Trump campaign $53 million to $17 million. In one week alone, Pennsylvania television watchers were subject to 38 different Biden ads.
According to Nick Corsaniti, Weiyi Cai, and Denise Lu,
The president’s ad strategy, in turn, reflects the challenges facing both his campaign finances and Electoral College map. He has recently scaled back advertising in battleground states like Ohio and Iowa and, until this past week, slashed ads in Michigan and Wisconsin, despite being behind in polls. And Mr. Trump is having to divert resources to hold onto Republican-leaning states like Arizona and Georgia.
Trump is failing, and he cannot be saved. His own campaign is bailing on him. His rallies are merely coronavirus giveaways during his herd immunity tour. Trump used to rely on these grievance speeches to get his message out, but cable news has ceased airing them, depriving Trump of his former advantage. Even Fox News stopped airing the rallies.
The few times Trump can speak to a larger base, such as the debate or the town hall, he fails.
With over twenty million ballots cast already, the Trump ship is taking on water. And his chances are sinking.