Trump running scared
In her morning email, Heather Cox Richardson reports some interesting insider information about Trump’s fears.
On Monday, Trump downplayed the need for widespread testing and cheered on states that were reopening despite growing infection rates. His eagerness to put the pandemic behind him, even as it rages on, reflects internal polling that shows him losing to former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race.
We know about his anxiety over this poll thanks to leaks from people who work in the White House.
And that is the second story that jumped out at me today. People with good access to circles of power at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue are leaking major stories to the media. On Monday, they offered up the story that Trump’s Presidential Daily Briefings had warned of the deadly danger of the coronavirus since January and that Trump had ignored the warnings. Today they leaked that Trump is so upset about his internal polling numbers that he ranted last week to Kushner and head of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel, as well as other officials, before attacking Brad Parscale, his campaign manager, and threatening to sue him.
Trump’s polling is bad, to be sure, but it’s too far out from the election to conclude much about those polls. More significant in these stories right now is that people in the White House are leaking sensitive stories to reporters. That says either that they want to undermine Trump or that they think he is already such a bad bet for future employment that they are auditioning for their next job.
But all that could change if there were a 3rd party candidate offering a choice to anti-Trump conservatives. And there is - Justin Amash.
Is Justin Amash just another spoiler?
The Washington Post reports that Justin Amash could have a big impact on the 2020 presidential race. But how?
Rep. Justin Amash’s decision to form an exploratory committee for a run for president as the Libertarian Party candidate could wind up being a very significant moment in the 2020 race.
Amash has been toying with a third-party run since a well-documented rift between him and the Republican Party, which he left symbolically on July 4 to become an independent. Amash, who says he will now change his party affiliation to Libertarian, was a founding member of the tea-party-oriented House Freedom Caucus, but his politics have always skewed more libertarian, and he said he became frustrated with the GOP over time. He went on to support the impeachment of President Trump, even as all of his former party mates in the House voted against it.
… there are also plenty of reasons to believe that Amash, assuming he’s not actually competing for a win, could wind up helping Trump.
A poll conducted in May by the Detroit News, for instance, showed that Biden led Trump in Michigan by 12 points in a head-to-head race, 53 to 41. But adding Amash to the equation reduced Biden’s margin by half, with Biden leading 45 to 39 and Amash pulling a significant 10 percent.
Amash also drew 16 percent of independent voters in that poll, reducing Biden’s 13-point lead among them to a tie with Trump.
… what [polls] suggest is that voters who are disillusioned with both of their top options in 2020 are primed to help Biden significantly and have very little interest in voting for Trump. Giving them a formidable third option — especially in a state such as Michigan — could logically mean that that costs Biden more than Trump.
I really liked Amash for his principled stand against Trump. Now, to me, he looks like just a spoiler in the mold of other 3rd party candidates.