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Republicans Could Lose Presidency, Senate: Polls

Polls point to a Democratic landslide in November. The reason is obvious: Trump.

Nick Ottens

Written by

Nick Ottens
United States Capitol
View of the United States Capitol in Washington DC in the early morning, January 15, 2017 (DoD/William Lockwood)

Republicans in the United States could suffer a crushing defeat in November.

FiveThirtyEight reports that Joe Biden’s lead over President Donald Trump has been unusually large and stable: 9-10 percent since mid-June.

Polls in the swing states Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — all of which Trump won in 2016 — also put Biden ahead.

Henry Olsen writes in The Washington Post that Republicans are at risk of losing their majority in the Senate. Polls put Democratic challengers ahead in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Montana and North Carolina. In Georgia, Democrat Jon Ossoff is neck and neck with Republican incumbent David Perdue. Republicans currently have 53 seats in the upper chamber against 47 for Democrats.

Republicans are unlikely to do better in the House of Representatives. Democrats have held an 11-point lead in generic polls this year so far, 3 points above their lead in 2018, when they took control of the lower chamber from Republicans.

National Republican defeats could reverberate at the state level. Republicans gained 680 state legislative seats in 2010. Democrats picked up 309 seats in 2018. Another Democratic landslide could hand them control of a number of key legislative chambers, writes Olsen — including Texas!

Poor response

The reason isn’t hard to fathom. If Trump’s apologies for white supremacists, coddling of dictators, locking up of migrant children and tax cut for the rich — all done with the acquiescence of the Republican Party — didn’t convince voters he and his party are unfit to govern, the coronavirus pandemic and protests against police brutality and racism did.

Two in three Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of the pandemic.

Two in three also disapprove of how he responded to demonstrations that took place after George Floyd, a black man, was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis despite not resisting arrest. (Trump called on the police to crack down.)

Trump disbanded the pandemic response team his predecessor, Barack Obama, had brought into the National Security Council, cut $200 million in pandemic early-warning programs and ignored intelligence briefings that suggested COVID-19 might spiral into a global crisis.

In February, when the first Americans started to die of the disease, Trump maintained it was the invention of Democrats and the press. As late as March, he predicted it would dissipate in warmer weather.

Trump has consistently undermined medical professionals — by suggesting Americans try an untested drug to cure COVID-19, inject disinfectants into their body, and by refusing to wear a mask.

Little has come of public-private partnerships announced by the White House to improve diagnostics and testing. Guidance from the Treasury Department on how to lend stimulus money to small businesses wasn’t provided to banks until the night before the program went into effect. Far from leading a global response to the pandemic, the United States couldn’t even agree a joint statement with its closest allies in the G7, because Trump insisted on referring to disease, which originated in China, as the “Wuhan virus”.

Now at least three million Americans have been infected. More than 130,000 have died, the highest death toll in the world.

But Trump insists the problem is that America tests too much, which pushes up the number of known cases.

Economy

32 million Americans, one out of five workers, are receiving some form of jobless aid. But Trump says the stock market is doing great.

The stimulus programs enacted so far — which have benefited political insiders such as DC lobbying firms, the right-wing Newsmax, Grover Norquist’s anti-tax group and the holding company of Jared Kushner’s family — are out of money, but Republicans are not in a hurry to vote for another one.

Chuck Grassley, who chairs the Senate’s Finance Committee, said:

Congress should … not rush to pass expensive legislation paid for with more debt before gaining a better understanding of the economic condition of the country.

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