The state of the race: Why the polls mean more this year than they did in 2016

Many Trump supporters, and even wary Biden supporters, look at today’s polls with skepticism. People argue that polls once showed Hillary Clinton would beat Trump. While Clinton won the popular vote, she lost the electoral college. One important factor, however, that contributed to the surprise win in 2016 was polling error though. The polls lacked weighting for education because non-college-educated voters tend to support Trump more strongly. Those problems were fixed by the 2018 midterm elections.

And there is this vital polling difference to consider as well: Clinton never enjoyed the polling leads that Biden does. It very different in 2020.

Marist College and Quinnipiac University polls, for example, showed Clinton leading Trump in Pennsylvania 39 percent to 38 percent in July 2016. A Real Clear Politics average of Pennsylvania polls in the lead up to the election showed Clinton up a similar 1.5 percent. It was very tight.

But a Monmouth University Pennsylvania poll released last week shows Biden leading 52 percent to Trump’s 42 percent. And a New York Times/Siena College poll last month showed the same exact lead for Biden, 50 percent to 40 percent.

The Real Clear Politics average shows Biden leading by 8.7 percent and he has also consistently polled over 50 percent in recent months, something Clinton never did.

Another important factor is that White college women are breaking away from the Republicans and Trump in a way that is unprecedented in modern politics. Biden’s up a solid double digits over Trump with college white women. It’s very difficult for Republicans to compete in the suburbs if they’re losing white college women by a tremendous margin.

Of course anything could happen in 2020, which is one of the most unpredictable years on record. But things are looking well by historical standards for Biden and very poorly for Trump.

Fox News polls: Biden ahead by 13 points in Minnesota, 11 points in Pennsylvania, 9 points in Michigan

The encouraging thing about these Fox News polls is that these are close battleground states which Trump barely won in 2016 and Biden is much further ahead than Clinton was at the same time in the race.

Fox News found Biden was 13 points ahead of Trump in Minnesota, and 11 points ahead of Trump in Pennsylvania as of Monday.

Fifty percent of voters in Pennsylvania opted for Biden when asked who they would vote for if an election were held today, while 39 percent told Fox News they would back Trump.

In the new Minnesota poll, Biden was supported by 51 percent of registered voters in the state as less than four in ten (38 percent) of Minnesotans favored Trump.

A third Fox News battleground state survey from Michigan put Biden nine points ahead of Trump with the backing of 49 percent of voters in the swing state.

Fox News challenges Trump’s lie about Biden and his police platform

In an interview with Fox New’s Chris Wallace, Trump made a false claim about Biden, saying: “It’s really because they want to defund the police, and Biden wants to defund the police.”

“No, sir, he does not,” Wallace countered.

Trump stood by his claim, incorrectly saying the unity platform endorsed by Bernie Sanders, embraces calls to defund the police.

Biden has repeatedly said he does not support calls to defund the police and has instead called for policing reform.

Wallace tried to explain, but the president responded by ordering an aide to go get the document.

“Let’s go! Get me the charter, please!” Trump said.

Wallace later told Fox News host Bill Hemmer it “led to a very interesting exchange … and he went through it and he found a lot of things that he objected to that Biden has agreed to, but couldn’t find any indication, because there isn’t any, that Joe Biden has sought to defund and abolish the police.”

Trump made a similar claim during a blatantly political speech in the Rose Garden on Tuesday, claiming: “The Biden-Sanders agenda is the most extreme platform of any major party nominee, by far, in American history … They now want to abolish our police departments. They want to abolish our prisons, I guess.”

Politifact gave that claim a rating of “Pants on Fire”.

Such attempts to paint Biden as an extreme liberal do not seem to be working: polls show voters view the challenger as more of a moderate than the president.”

Actual Trump Quotes

It’s difficult to imagine Biden – or any other president, Republican or Democrat – talking like this. But these are straight from Trump’s mouth, or his “long and beautiful” Twitter fingers.

‘An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud’ – Trump was determined to ‘expose’ President Obama’s birthplace back in 2012, and even claimed to have sent investigators to Hawaii in the hopes of proving Obama wasn’t born in the United States.

‘If I were running ‘The View’, I’d fire Rosie O’Donnell. I mean, I’d look at her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say “Rosie, you’re fired.”‘ – Trump has infamously hated on Rosie O’Donnell, making crude, sexist and misogynistic remarks about her on multiple occasions.

‘My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.’ – Ew.

‘You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything….Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.’ – Somehow the gross audio from the Access Hollywood tapes only tanked one career – and it wasn’t Donald Trump’s.

‘I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.’ – A Trump supporter who was a former serviceman gave Trump his purple heart at a rally. Given that Trump avoided military service on shaky medical grounds, it’s a little ironic.

“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

“[John McCain is]… not a war hero. He’s a war hero – he’s a war hero ’cause he was captured. I Like people that weren’t captured, OK, I hate to tell you.”

On Judaism
“I’m a negotiator, like you folks.”

On Breastfeeding Mothers
“You’re disgusting.”

On Health Care
“Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.”

And, of course, his suggested cures for Covid-19 including potentially dangerous drugs which have been shown to have no effect on the virus and injecting disinfectants:
“And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning, because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it’d be interesting to check that.”

And on July 19, 2020
“We’re signing a healthcare plan within two weeks, a full and complete healthcare plan. We’re going to sign an immigration plan, a healthcare plan, and various other plans. Nobody will have done what I’m doing in the next four weeks.”

Of course, nothing happened.

Trump said he’s done with Fox News after they released polls showing him trailing Biden

“Trump said he’s done with Fox News after the network on Sunday showed him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in the polls.

Trump claimed he was leading in “real polls” but did not cite any.”

In addition to attacking Fox, Trump also urged his supporters to change the channel.

Trump has repeatedly attacked news agencies for reporting on polls unfavorable to him and even sent a “cease and desist” threat to CNN last month for broadcasting a poll that showed him trailing Biden by 14 points.

The Trump campaign also reportedly cut ties with some pollsters last month after internal polls were leaked. Those polls showed Trump trailing Biden in several swing states.

Trump has expressed displeasure with Fox News numerous times in recent months. In May, he complained that the network was “doing nothing to help Republicans, and me, get re-elected.” He also said he was “looking for a new outlet.”

Unclear if RNC can be safely held in Florida after move from Charlotte

A top Trump administration health official says it is not clear whether it will be safe to hold the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Jacksonville next month as Florida sees record numbers of coronavirus cases.

The comments on Sunday came a month after Republican officials moved the event from North Carolina over a dispute over health precautions.

Also, Stephen Hahn, the Food and Drug Administration commissioner, refused to confirm Trump’s claim that 99 percent of coronavirus cases were harmless and called the situation a “serious problem”.

The Republican Party in June announced it was moving most of the convention activities to Jacksonville from Charlotte after a battle over coronavirus safety concerns with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat.

The Charlotte Observer reported the governor would not guarantee the event could be held at full capacity in August.

Cooper also said in a letter to Republican National Convention officials that face masks and social distancing would be a necessity at such a gathering.

Trump, in a tweet, said the governor had made it “absolutely impossible for the Republican Party to have its Convention there”.

Meanwhile, the city of Jacksonville, led by Republican Mayor Lenny Curry, began requiring masks in public last week after the number of cases continued to rise.

The Democratic Convention in Milwaukee, which will nominate Joe Biden, has already decided to go largely virtual and the Biden campaign has asked delegates not to attend in person, to protect everybody’s health.

Trump refused to listen to or read about negative Russia intelligence

It’s very possible Trump didn’t know about Russia’s alleged payoffs to the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers because he cut-off intelligence briefers and didn’t read their reports.

Multiple former administration officials describe Trump as often unwilling to hear bad news about Russia.

According to one former senior intelligence official, the President’s briefers had one simple rule with Trump: never lead with Russia.

Early in his term, Trump’s briefers discovered that when his oral briefing included intelligence related to Russia’s malign activities against the United States, including evidence of its interference in US politics, Trump would often blow up at them, demanding to know why they kept focusing on Russia and often questioning the intelligence itself, multiple former administration officials said.

In response, his briefers — who must make difficult judgment calls every day on which intelligence to highlight to the President — reduced the amount of Russian-related intelligence they included in his oral briefings, instead often placing it only in his written briefing book, a document that is provided daily and sometimes extended to several dozen pages containing the intelligence community’s most important information .

But his briefers discovered over time that he often did not read the briefing book, leaving him unaware of crucial intelligence, including threats related to Russia and other parts of the world.

Trump’s phone calls alarm US officials, appears delusional

CNN reports that In hundreds of highly classified phone calls with foreign heads of state, Trump was so consistently unprepared for discussion of serious issues, so often outplayed in his conversations with powerful leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan, and so abusive to leaders of America’s principal allies, that the calls helped convince some senior US officials — including his former secretaries of state and defense, two national security advisers and his longest-serving chief of staff — that the President himself posed a danger to the national security of the United States, according to White House and intelligence officials intimately familiar with the contents of the conversations.

The calls caused former top Trump deputies — including national security advisers H.R. McMaster and John Bolton, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and White House chief of staff John Kelly, as well as intelligence officials — to conclude that the President was often “delusional,” as two sources put it, in his dealings with foreign leaders.

These officials’ concerns about the calls, and particularly Trump’s deference to Putin, take on new resonance with reports the President appears to have learned in March that Russia had offered the Taliban bounties to kill US troops in Afghanistan — and yet took no action.

Trump also regularly bullied and demeaned the leaders of America’s principal allies, especially two women: telling Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom she was weak and lacked courage; and telling German Chancellor Angela Merkel that she was “stupid.”

Trump incessantly boasted to his fellow heads of state, including Saudi Arabia’s autocratic royal heir Mohammed bin Salman and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, about his own wealth, genius, “great” accomplishments as President, and the “idiocy” of his Oval Office predecessors, according to the sources.

Like Bolton, CNN’s sources said that Trump seemed to continually conflate his own personal interests — especially for purposes of re-election and revenge against perceived critics and political enemies — with the national interest.

One person familiar with almost all the conversations with the leaders of Russia, Turkey, Canada, Australia and western Europe described the calls cumulatively as ‘abominations’ so grievous to US national security interests that if members of Congress heard from witnesses to the actual conversations or read the texts and contemporaneous notes, even many senior Republican members would no longer be able to retain confidence in the President.

Trump tries again to abolish Obamacare – in the middle of a pandemic

With the presidential election just months away, Trump had the Justice Department ask the Supreme Court on Thursday to invalidate the Affordable Care Act, the health care law that enables millions of Americans to get insurance coverage and that remains in effect despite the pending legal challenge.

Neither Trump nor the GOP have offered up an alternative. And this is all taking place in the middle of a worldwide pandemic and with millions losing income during economic shutdowns.

Many GOP politicians are dismayed by the move, which seems to play into Biden’s hand going into the election.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sharply criticized the administration after the late-night filing.
“President Trump and the Republicans’ campaign to rip away the protections and benefits of the Affordable Care Act in the middle of the coronavirus crisis is an act of unfathomable cruelty,” she said in a statement Thursday.

Earlier Thursday, Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, lashed out at President Donald Trump for continuing to support upending the law.

“Today, his Administration is filing a brief with the Supreme Court to rip health care coverage away from 23 million Americans — including 224,000 Wisconsinites,” Biden said, remarking on Trump’s visit to the Badger State Thursday. “Every American deserves the peace of mind that comes (with) access to affordable, high-quality health care.”

Biden, who is planning to make a new health care push on protecting the Affordable Care Act this week, was vice president when former President Barack Obama signed the bill into law in 2010. He is calling for strengthening it by making federal premium subsides more generous and allowing more people to qualify for subsidies. He would also add a government-run public option and would lower the Medicare eligibility age to 60.

About 11.4 million people signed up for 2020 Obamacare polices on the exchanges, while nearly 12.7 million low-income adults have gained coverage through Medicaid expansion. It allows young adults up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ policies and bans insurers from denying coverage to those who buy their own policies or charging them more because of pre-existing conditions. And it lets many people obtain free birth control, annual physicals, mammograms and cholesterol tests.

The filings come a day after House Democrats unveiled a bill to enhance the landmark law. Similar to Biden’s plan, it would make Obamacare policies more affordable by bolstering federal premium subsidies — limiting monthly premiums to 8.5% of enrollees’ income and allowing more middle class Americans to receive the subsidies by eliminating the income cap of four times the poverty level. It also tries to entice more states to expand Medicaid to low-income adults by covering 100% of the cost for the first three years.

Lindsey Graham praises Joe Biden and calls Donald Trump a ‘race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot’ in new ad

The ad, which was released over the weekend, has already received over 1.6 million views on YouTube.

Republican Voters Against Trump confirmed the ad was set to air in several states across the country on Fox News, MarketWatch reported on Monday.