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Assault on America, Day 162: Trump trails Dems in Texas and other key states. Time to panic?

Case closed
Among the many items a president’s political operation regularly considers are the latest polls. Public support isn’t the lone driver of a chief executive’s agenda or actions but it certainly helps to have popular affirmation when embarking on new initiatives and scheduling visits across the country to sell big ideas.

Of course everyone keeps a close eye on reelection prospects in a president’s first term. If things aren’t looking good at the moment there’s always opportunity to change course or employ new tactics.

If that’s the case President Donald Trump might consider a sit-down with his advisors to determine whether something should be adjusted now to improve his position. To put it lightly, there are troubling signs heading into the all-important 2020 campaign. David Sherfinski reported at The Washington Times, “President Trump is underwater in key battleground states that are likely to decide the 2020 election — and polling shows trouble for him even in the traditional Republican bastions of Texas and Arizona.

“While allies of the president cautioned against reading into polls so far away from Election Day, they acknowledged Mr. Trump’s path to 270 Electoral College votes will be tight.

“His 2016 victory was sealed in Rust Belt states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, but the latest numbers show he will be hard-pressed for a repeat. The leading two Democratic candidates, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden and Sen. Bernard Sanders, both hold double-digit leads over Mr. Trump in Michigan, according to a Glengariff Group poll released this week.”

The news only gets worse as Trump even finds himself slightly behind in ruby red Texas, though the deficit (four points) is likely within the margin of error and could just as easily be a statistical anomaly as dead-on accurate. Given this country’s decidedly negative ideological split it’s not entirely surprising to see the president doing poorly a year-and-a-half before the next vote -- even in the Lone Star State.

The numbers are concerning, for sure. Anyone who says they wouldn’t prefer being ten points up in every key state at this point is lying. But it’s also not quite time to reach for the valium and booze either -- at least not yet.

There are a few factors likely contributing to the polling deficit. One, voters still don’t know what to make of the partisan spat over the concluded Mueller investigation. On the one hand there’s Attorney General William Barr exposing the truth about the probe’s findings and he’s just started looking into the reasons why the “Russian collusion” narrative began in the first place.

On the other hand, Democrats cling to the notion there’s still much to learn “out there” somewhere and they’re waging a series of inquiries into Trump’s tax returns, etc., to determine whether Trump truly merits exoneration of wrongdoing or if he’s “covering up” as Speaker Nancy Pelosi insists. Objective observers -- if there are any left in America -- hopefully view the Democrat leaders’ grandstanding as naked political gamesmanship and don’t pay much attention to it.

But the casual onlooker sees the non-stop bickering match and perhaps reasons it would be better to elect a new president who isn’t as controversial as Donald Trump rather than endure another four years of rancor. If there’s such thing as “Trump fatigue,” we might be seeing it now among the non-engaged. If people are tiring of the unending turmoil caused by Democrats griping about Trump’s tweets and occasional off-the-wall statements, it would reveal itself in this “calm” period between campaigns.

Whatever the scenario, it’s only temporary. When people really start paying attention -- which won’t likely come until late next year after the party conventions and the Labor Day holiday -- Trump will gain back support from these non-political voters who care more about results than political posturing.

Two, Trump continues to suffer from ineffective and obstructive GOP leadership in Congress.

Think back to last year when Pelosi was still the House minority leader and the feckless Paul Ryan was in control of the lower chamber’s agenda. Pelosi was constantly visibly fighting Trump, blurting out absurd things, making outlandish promises and doing everything in her power to foment opposition to everything the president did.

Fast forward to today. Does anyone outside of the Washington bubble even know who the current House Minority Leader is? All last year conservatives cautioned elevating Kevin McCarthy to lead the House GOP caucus was a mistake of epic proportions, and everything liberty-loving individuals feared about the hapless California politician has turned out to be true. When was the last time McCarthy did anything to draw attention to the extremist elements of the Democrat agenda? Why isn’t McCarthy taking a page out of the House Freedom Caucus’s book and fighting the majority tooth and nail?

Why isn’t McCarthy defending Trump to the last breath? No one’s talking about charging an entrenched position in a semi-suicidal headfirst attack (like on D-Day), but it’d be nice to know for sure that McCarthy has a pulse and is doing more than changing oxygen into carbon dioxide to feed the earth’s plant life. What a loser.

Meanwhile, the Republican Senate Majority hides in its turtle shell, steadily pushing forward judicial nominations but doing little else under Mitch McConnell’s “leadership.” Instead of supporting Trump on his immigration and trade proposals, for example, Republican senators waffled and wavered on the president’s emergency declaration and recent efforts to force Mexico (through increased tariffs) to cooperate in stemming the destructive illegal alien invasion.

Aliens can’t reach the U.S. border without traveling through sovereign Mexican territory, can they? Why not pressure the Mexicans to help out here? Tariffs are but one method to get their attention; again, not a permanent policy switch.

With “friends” like McConnell and his wishy-washy band of establishment senators, who needs enemies? Criticize “Chucky” Schumer all you want, but his strong-arm tactics keep all his socialist Democrat ducks in a row -- no easy task considering how a big bunch of them are running for president and sooner or later will try to distinguish themselves from each other.

Lastly, the president’s inherent advantages have yet to show up. The Democrat nominee obviously hasn’t been determined -- and whoever it ends up being will face the gauntlet of truth in detailing his or her issue positions and background. Trump’s campaign is still relatively dormant at this point, but it’ll be ramped up to full operation next year. The presidential bully pulpit should never be underestimated. Plus, the economic figures continue to be strong.

Here’s thinking a happy and contented citizenry won’t opt to make changes. Will Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders look better to voters than battle-tested administration veterans who clearly know what they’re doing in running the government and putting America first? Hardly.

Democrats aren’t exactly putting their best foot forward either. Gabriella Muñoz reported at The Washington Times, “Top Democrats demanded … that President Trump rescind plans to hold a Fourth of July rally on the National Mall this year, saying he risks poisoning what has always been a politics-free celebration of the country’s founding.

“Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Rep. Betty McCollum, chair of the appropriations subcommittee overseeing the Interior Department, and Rep. Raul Grijalva, chair of the National Resources Committee, sent a letter to the president complaining about the logistics, cost and message Mr. Trump would send by scheduling his own event.

“In particular, they said, it would create a mess for the tens of thousands of people who just want to come watch the fireworks, but would now have to negotiate additional security if Mr. Trump did hold a rally.”

It's not like it’d be a campaign rally. Trump suggested in a February tweet he’d speak at an event held at the Lincoln Memorial called “A Salute To America”. It’s not like there’d be “Trump 2020” signs all around with campaign volunteers passing out MAGA hats. Security will already be tight on the mall, as it has been post-9/11/01. What’s the harm in Trump appearing at a national celebration?

Democrats make everything political. Would they have felt the same trepidations if Obama had suggested the idea, or would they be out front talking about what a unifying figure the former president was? They’d predict it’d be the greatest address since Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Politics is politics and polls are polls. The 2020 election is shaping up to be one heck of a struggle, and reality suggests many citizens haven’t made up their minds on who they’ll choose a year and a half before Election Day. Opinion surveys are a snapshot it time; take them with a grain of salt.

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