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Trump is far from winning in November

Trump is far from winning in November

All things considered, President Trump is doing amazingly well in the polls and in the first two primary season races.  There are a number of reasons for Trump and the Republican Party to feel optimistic about the November election. 

Virtually all the polling gives the best numbers to Trump.  He beats President Biden on age and mental acuity.  He beats him on virtually all the major issues that are on the voters’ minds – the economy, inflation, immigration, crime, foreign policy.  In virtually every poll, voters say they were better off under Trump than Biden.

Biden’s campaign strategy is to convince voters that the deciding issues should be Trump himself, abortion and the specious claim that America ceases to exist if Trump wins reelection.  Biden & Co is also trying desperately to breathe life into his rosy narrative of the economy. 

But Biden has problems with all of them.  The attacks on Trump appear to have broadened his support.  Biden clearly has a lock on the abortion issue, but it is not likely to be the deciding issue for most voters.  Abortion works well for Democrats when on the ballot by itself, but not when competing with other major issues or candidacies. 

Not only is “the end of democracy” narrative falling flat, in a recent poll, voters gave Trump the edge as the protector of democracy.  Go figure.  And … it seems no matter how many times a day that Team Biden tries to sell their version of the economy, the folks living in the economy are not buying it.

According to most polls, Biden is losing support from minorities and the younger voters – two of his bedrock constituencies in the 2020 election.  A percentage of those are making the shift to Trump.  Others are passing on voting for President.  Biden’s initial support for Israel has fractured his core coalition.

In the head-to-head polling, Trump beats Biden far more often than Biden beats Trump – and this is particularly true in the so-called battleground states.

Now, that is a LOT of good news for Trump, but he should not be planning the move into the Oval Office quite yet.  There are a lot of signs in the numbers and in the unfolding events to cause concern for Team Trump.

  1. The most obvious is time.  Voter preferences tend to undulate during a campaign.  There is no guarantee that any of the numbers we see today will hold up for the next nine-plus months. 
  2. In most polls, the difference between Trump and Biden is within the margin of error AND under 50 percent.  That is not a clear indication of future victory.  A small shift can change everything.
  3. In recent years, Republicans tend to overperform in early polling – and underperform on Election Day.
  4. There are events – anticipated and unanticipated – that can change public opinion.  The one anticipated event – or series of events — with the greatest potential impact are Trump’s trials that will or will not take place before election day.  We do not know when they will take place and what the results will be – or even how the voters will react.  If Trump is convicted of a felony, there are indications that he will lose critical support.
  5. The economy could roar, and Biden’s claims could gain gravitas with voters.  That would take away one of Trump’s key advantages.
  6. There could be a decisive win in the Ukraine or Israeli wars or some progress in securing the border.
  7. While age is a problem for Biden, either of them could have a health crisis.  They are both in the age of “anything can happen at any time.”  Democrats are trying to convince voters that Trump is as impaired as Biden.
  8. It is impossible to judge at this time how many Republican voters who favored one of the Trump challengers will stay in the Republican Party on Election Day and vote for Trump.  In New Hampshire, more than 30 percent of GOP primary voters said they would not vote for Trump in November.
  9. Trump tends to alienate himself from voters.  He shrinks support rather than expanding it.  He is not an easy guy to like – and likeability is important in winning elections.

And the ominous indicators for Trump go on and on.  The point is that it is not possible to judge the outcome for Trump this early based on what we know now – and what the polls tell us now.   But a close examination of what we DO now know – or can deduce – Trump is looking strong, but not strong enough to be assured of a return to the Oval Office.

Democrats have every reason to panic and be optimistic at the same time.  But Republicans have no reason to feel euphoric.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

20 Comments

  1. Tom

    The sad thing is that while Trumps numbers are better than Biden, fact is that Haley’s numbers are better than Trump. Sad indictment on the GOP that Haley is not winning over Trump right now. As far as preserving democracy, neither does this!! Biden heads us towards socialism, more than we already have (our democracy is actually a “social democracy already – if you do not think so, just look at all of the government funded items). Trump wants to move us towards autocracy. BOTH will destroy democracy. Sad that the best we can get is a demented socialist and a demented narcissist autocrat. Very sad! Again, gridlock seems to be the best option. Either/or for POTUS as it pleasures the voter, and congressional seats be the other party – then only things they agree upon will pass, and if nothing passes then at least we do not slip more in either direction.

    Honestly, the economy is not that bad where I am, and jobs are plentiful, and more coming in. If Biden gets interest rates down, heals the economy a little more, gets gas and food prices down – Trump will become unelectable, yet Haley would still give Biden a run for his money. We have to remember that this is only Trump doing better than Haley in a GOP contest. But Haley beats Trump by double digits in a national contest which is the big dance! I am not a Haley guy, I wanted Asa Hutchinson to do much better. But Haley is a damn sight better than Trump, any day!

    I do not think abortion nor Israel will be big issues this Nov 2024. Both will lose Biden votes, but both will also get Biden votes – cancelling issues. Like you said in #2, “In most polls, the difference between Trump and Biden is within the margin of error AND under 50 percent. That is not a clear indication of future victory. A small shift can change everything.”. Key words, “NOT A KEY INDICATOR”. Both sides should be panicking. Neither should feel euphoric. Independents have not spoken yet but will show up in mass in November. Many will be voting gridlock.

    Reply
  2. FRANK STETSON

    I dunno, last week Quinnipac put Biden over Trump by 7 points. The Economist and Yahoo News, have Biden at a point or two. And Daily KOS at even which means, given bias, Trump wins :>). To Horist’s poilnt, leaning Trump but not a slam dunk yet.

    And tween you, me, and the mattress, still plenty of time for foot faults, disasters, serendipity, and the economy. But the economy not being the top priority pretty much says Biden doing better there.

    Reply
    • Tom

      The question for Biden is will he have enough time to pull up his numbers. Larry made a good point that some early voting begins around the end of August. That is not much time if you are flying into a cliff and need to pull up on the stick!

      Reply
  3. FRANK STETSON

    It is getting emotional though. Yesterday, I skimmed MSNBC and they were crying in their near-beer about a good week for Trump in the announced delay of the DC case (everyone knew it), and the NY civil case (hey, there’s a lot of math here, potential new evidence from his CFO, and we’re talkin two weeks), and then Fannie Willis shacking up with her teammate as blocking hell’s fires glow of the $83M penalty for Trump’s second defamation, the fact his CFO pleading out on perjury probably by rolling on Don in the NY case (although probably useless as a truth-telling witness), and the hope the NY civil would complete, the DC would be scheduled, and who cares on Georgia — plenty of time and prosecutors to get-er-on on this one. But the being on tentorhooks to the point of the crying was priceless. It’s getting emotional out there folks, and it’s gonna get a lot more.

    Reply
    • Tom

      I agree, the political environment is very emotionally charged right now and most likely will stay that way for a while. I hope Nikki continues to be a thorn in Trumps side and getting him bent out of shape. Every time Trump gets bent out of shape Haley seems to raise more funds. She is learning the Don’s tricks! But she still has a steep hill to climb.

      Reply
      • FRANK STETSON

        Tom, too bad though, she’s probably the best chance for change. Even if I don’t agree with a number of policies, I think I agree on the money, and that’s a priority for me right now. Trump is awful in that regard, and Biden is OK but too slow, not enough, go faster. He lowered the debt/GDP ratio in the beginning and then flat-lined it. Need someone who won’t take their foot off the gas.

        Reply
  4. Mike f

    Larry, while I am sure that you can cite polls that provide data “proving” that various demographics are shifting from Biden to trump-the detail I am going to zero in on is the age/mental acuity. Again, I suspect that you can find polls to back up your comments, but let’s instead focus on the facts of the matter. Trump is losing it (if he ever had it-to listen to many that have worked for him in the past-he never had it). Biden on the other hand has never been a great orator, but listening to him speak publicly I have never heard anything remotely resembling confusion (certainly not to the extent of apparently confusing Nicki with Nancy-both names begin with N, but that is pretty clear confusion). Bottom line-unless republicans move away from trump to Haley, there is no way they will see the inside of the WH in 2025…

    Reply
    • larry Horist

      Mike f… You have your opinion on the relative mental acuity of Trump and Biden, but you are way out of the mainstream according to the polls. I just reported the facts in terms of voter opinion. End of subject.

      Reply
      • Mike f

        Larry, As per usual, you cherry picked the polls you chose to use in your tome. You did not choose to refute any of the facts that I brought up (mainly because there is no way to argue that trump is not slipping-a point made by his only remaining opponent on the R side-recall the one he calls ‘birdbrain’? The fact that you stick up for a guy that uses this sort of name to refer to his former ambassador to the UN tells me all I need to know about you-end of story)

        Reply
      • FRANK STETSON

        Actually, I see Mike having a point. Somewhere here, I printed a list of quotes about Trump being dumb as a brick by a plethora of “I hire only the best people” types. That may not poll, but it is the truth that they said it.

        And, with my own eyes, I have never seen Trump sweat so much, make so many verbal errors, forget where he is, who he is talking about, etc. Heck, on the record, under oath, he called an old picture of EJ Carroll his wife and that’s for a lady he claimed he never met before…. If you listen to a speech, a rally, etc. including and post 1.6.2021 ——-> seems to me there is a change and not for the better.

        That does not change the polling, but I suggest you actually listen to the man and you tell me if that his word salad’s are not as tasty anymore. There’s a lot more whack than usual, a lot more mistakes and fumbles.

        That’s why I say, WTF, air the guy, lies and all, and just have real time fact checkers plaster the LIE logo over his mouth when he does. At this point, better to see than ignore.

        Reply
  5. AC

    Sidebar Comment:
    Having reread The PB’s mission statement, I hear Horist’s writer’s voice resounding through in the writer’s style, interesting. Horist has commented that he does not own PBP, nor does he claim rights as managing editor. But, he is the most senior writer on staff. This may be contested, as most of the staff, other than Horist, have omitted placing their bio or picture with their commentary.

    As for the race to November for the POTUS prize, those among us daring enough to venture a bet should don tin hats. As Larry mentioned, the supposed candidates have issues and votes could go either way. The caveat being length of time between now and November.
    However, we agree on the fact that this race is unprecedented. The Republicans put their weight behind Trump with his accumulated legal baggage. But, he has his loyal MAGA tribe/mob who are committed to him even when he may be incarcerated.
    The Democrats are keeping on keeping Biden as the incumbent and the wiser better choice over Trump.
    At no other time in America’s history would someone with Trump’s legal woes have a whisper of a hint of being considered by the GOP for its nominee.
    Americans of the political right’s MAGA bent seem willing enough to sacrifice moral conviction on the alter of Trump.
    Rationale for them staying the course behind Trump seems vapid as smoke and irrelevant as a cracked mirror.
    Trump’s policies and track record while President are brought out as evidence in defense of their stand. But really, was Trump at all as smart as advertised? Did he deliver on his promised changes in health coverage, tax relief for working class, or closing trade deals with China and nuclear disarmament treaty with N.Korea? Arguably, he did not prove his art of the deal competence. Putin manipulated Trump and suckered Donald into believing Putin’s propaganda.
    Given the Republicans’ defense evidence, then compare that to his long list of liabilities, personal and legal woes to date and his pending court dates. If he does as he has always done in cases of his convictions, he will appeal the court’s finding. Trump believes he has won when he looses and enters an appeal. Time is all he has won. Ultimately, consequences will come and time will runout. Trump, if found guilty in appellate court or the Supreme Court, will be held accountable.
    When that happens and he is the president, what is his game then.
    Republicans and Trump may assume the courts will pass Trump’s cases onto the Supreme Court for final adjudication. Where Trump will be favored with exhortation.
    It’s a great and unprecedented gamble.
    The nation will see if conservatives are gamblers willing to risk the country’s economy for collateral.

    Reply
    • Tom

      IF Trump is POTUS and he is convicted, his game will be something he has already floated – presidential pardon for himself. He has made a big deal about this about a year ago or so. I think he is serious about it.

      Reply
      • Jim wampler

        We really need Trump re-elected. You Biden cult members must really hate this country. The morning Joe weekend program had Biden nuts crying about the police being attacked in New York. And they will cheerlead for the election of politicians who caused this by no cash bail and not enforcing the law. People there should vote the bastards out. It’s gotten to the point that people in some states can’t even display the American flag. And the politicians will never stand up for them. So what do we do? Stand and fight.

        Reply
      • FRANK STETSON

        Tom, he can’t pardon State cases like Georgia’s or New York’s. The governor’s can, Georgia is possible but proceedurally tough, and NY —- fuhgit about it.

        Reply
  6. FRANK STETSON

    JW: What states can you not display the American flag?

    Reply
    • Jim wampler

      Not statute. But kids have been harassed and sent home from school in blue state for displaying the American flag. Especially in commiefornia. And home owners association rules have made people take American flags off their houses. And this shit happens frequently in blue states and cities. I would stand my ground and tell the school district to go fuck rthemselves. Same with HOA or neighborhood watch or whatever. But people have started to get woke shamed into kissing ass and giving up their rights. Not on my watch. By the way, I’m a southern guy but I don’t own a confederate flag. But if I did I would fly it if I wanted to.

      Reply
      • FRANK STETSON

        For CA, I can find no kids being sent home or harrassed for displaying the American flag. There was a big dust up over banning the rainbow flag and much harrasment, sending kids home, over that.

        For HOA, they can restrict time and placement, but it’s Federal Law to allow US flag flying. Unfortunatley, if you don’t like it don’t move there. Remember, also, in many HOA’s, it’s the neighborhood that voted all the rules, and often, it must be unanimous. That’s what happened when I was growing up, lived in a non–HOA wanting to go HOA, and my Dad went to meeting, told them he was voting no based on general principles no matter what they came up with, and he left. That’s a big reason I live in the country, pretty much off the road, so I don’t have HOA and ssssssh, often build without permit. That’s what tree’s and leaves are for: coverage :>) For the most part, my neighbors transgress on my land, but not so much that I care.

        But I cannot find examples of what you are talking about except with those caveats. And it is Federal Law to be allowed to display the flag. Would love to read about it. I just got into flags so now am seasonal but US flag comes out at Memorial Day through the 4th and sometimes at some good time in the fall.

        Reply
        • larry Horist

          Frank Stetson … You are piddling over petty crap. The point is that over the past generation, there has been a decided attack on the symbols of American unity. The common overt disrespect for the National Anthem and refusal to take the Pledge of Allegiance. Drastic reduction in the displaying of the flag — or the disrespectful use of the flag. Expression of unity and loyalty are disappearing from places of common use — such as sports games, television networks, schools, civil events. It is an assault on the American culture and unity — and led to — and been part of — the shattering of America into tribal cultures. Recently a PA state legislator refused to lead the Pledge …Omar claims her first loyalty is to “Somalia …Football teams keep players off the field during the National Anthem. The flag is described as a symbol or racism and colonialism. It is one thing to have policy differences. It is quite another to shatter the overarching symbols of unity and culture. To disrespect the flag , the National Anthem and the Pledge of allegiance is a repudiation of belief in the common bond. Those who do that are literally rejecting their membership the American nationality culture. They are rejecting our Constitution … our laws … our customs. To take the Pledge is a positive affirmation to all of those things. To reject or disrespect it is rejection. So, you can quibble over one incident, but you are either blind to the big picture or lack understanding of the importance of the importance of the overarching unity. Without that, American as a thing ceases to exist. American exceptionalism depends on there being an American unified culture. And if you do not understand the danger in all that, YOU are part of the problem. So, where do you stand on the flag, the Pledge and the National Anthem — or are you among those who do not stand?

          Reply
          • FRANK STETSON

            Since when is someone asking for an example, evidence, some proof dismissed as “piddling?” So far, you guys have a lot of smoke, but little flames. Then you answer the question mostly with generalities as if HORIST HAS SPOKEN and I should beleive the man behind the screen in Oz.

            How many “piddlings” needed to be significant, cuz you listed a lot of them :>)\

            In PA, I can find a legistlator/pledge issue from recently, as in 2012. Did you not think I would look. You got a recent one somewhere? She did so on separation of church v. state and the “under God” part offends her. She retired a few days later, on plan. Piddling enough for you? Or end of America, apparently it did not bring down PA, much less the Union. Who’s piddling now?

            “To disrespect the flag , the National Anthem and the Pledge of allegiance is a repudiation of belief in the common bond.” Based on simple logic, this is not true. I used to fly the flag in a large window, at night backlit from inside so all could see. I was harrassed as disrespectul because of “the rules” for hanging, which I had right, they were upset about the backlighting. There was NO disrespect intended. I did not reject the Constitution, laws, perhaps customs, but frankly — BITE ME. I was proudly displaying the flag like a freakin beacon in the night. Better than rocket’s red glare to see it from. We used to get harassed for wearing the flag, now it’s Redneck apparel 101. Hope they burn those clothes, we did when done.

            Same with Omar, you judge without context based on inaccurate info: *https://www.kare11.com/article/news/politics/ilhan-omar-fires-back-at-critics-amid-calls-for-ethics-investigation-somalia-speech/89-e1749a9c-affe-4b32-8ade-33b01cda8569* Even though this misconstruance is piddling, I think MN should vote Omar out just because she can’t communicate to begin with. She’s a “piddling” problem in my book and ineffective in the party, her State or the US. She is not a trend, she is one person from Somalia.

            Hey, the Olympians made a statement and then that got old. Kyle said: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour,” Kaepernick said in a press conference after first sitting out during the anthem. “To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” Sounds vaild enough for me to listen. Not gonna condemn him for exercising his freedoms. And certainly not gonna say it’s the end of the Republic cuz he won’t take a knee at a footballl game. That’s piddling to me. Just listen, learn, tell him you respect his feelings, but not his actions, and move on.

            You say: “lack understanding of the importance of the importance of the overarching unity.” Wow, not a lot of pioneer spirit in that but a whole lot of desire for everyone marching the same way, in unison, wearing the same brown shirts. Now I know that’s not you, but why draw the line on symbols? I will burn every US symbol I can find before I walk, talk, and squack like you do or you want me to. Or pass a law.

            I love individual people. I have a healthy distrust of groups or anything that forces me to behave as somone else desires. Pretty funny for a guy who worked the Fotune 100. People are great, groups tend to get bad —- everytime. Sooner or later. Organizations are organisms with the prime directive to expand and precreate. And forcing people to unison is one of the tricks. Growing up, Bruce set me straight as I followed him since Asbury Park in 73. I will let him explain “Growing Up” in my world:

            “Well I stood stone-like at midnight suspended in my masquerade
            And I combed my hair till it was just right and commanded the night brigade
            I was open to pain and crossed by the rain and I walked on a crooked crutch
            I strode all alone into a fallout zone, came out with my soul untouched
            I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, when they said “sit down” I stood up
            Ooh, ooh, growin’ up

            The flag of piracy flew from my mast, my sails were set wing to wing
            I had a jukebox graduate for first mate, she couldn’t sail but she sure could sing
            And I pushed B-52 and bombed ’em with the blues with my gear set stubborn on standing
            I broke all the rules, strafed my old high school, never once gave thought to landing
            I hid in the clouded warmth of the crowd, when they said “come down” I threw up
            Ooh, ooh, growin’ up
            Looking back, now!

            I took month-long vacations in the stratosphere and you know it’s really hard to hold your breath
            Swear I lost everything I ever loved or feared, I was the cosmic kid in full costume dress
            But my feet they finally took root in the earth but I got me a nice little place in the stars
            And I swear I found the key to the universe in the engine of an old parked car
            I hid in the mother breast of the crowd, when they said “pull down” I pulled up
            Ooh, ooh, growin’ up
            Ooh, ooh, growin’ up
            Hoohoo”

            Frankly, I am old but I have never grown up and I still believe freedom offers the ability to do what you want to. Yes, there are rules, regulations, laws, but a great process to be free of them too. And we love traditions, customs, mores, etc. but I love the freedom not to as well and I find kvetching over someone acting out to make a point — piddling.

            I do agree that these traditions are great, many other types are too, like family, and agree with you that we should push back on any trends doing away with them. My own kids beleive our colonization, genecides, etc. are wrong and they think it’s unrecoverable. I preach moderation in all things, I keep preaching and hope this will change. But on dark days, I do see a liberal party that mirrors you conservatives but the other day and I pray that day does not happen but feel your side is doing little to stop it and everthing to promote it.

            Let me answer your questions, first with another: when are you going to demand a loyalty test? And with that be to the Constitution or to Trump? For me, yes, I stand, I say the pledge, I put my hand where some idiot thinks my heart is, I sing. But if I didn’t, my patriotism or feelings for America would be unchanged. And I own over six inches of savings bonds…. And I give to Wounded Warrior. And I helped teach amputee nam vets to ski in my youth. And much of my family, not me, served in almost every war since the French and Indian. My father suggested I not serve because “I gave four citizen’s worth of blood” in his war and he knew that he passed those reflections forward. Please don’t lecture me on how to be an American or tell my how to be patiotic with some stupid symbol. It’s piddling of you.

        • Jim wampler

          Really Frank. It’s happened. The American flag is considered oppressive, divisive or whatever. And kids have been given an ultimatum. It’s not been widespread and wasn’t sanctioned by any proposed state law. And I personally don’t care if someone flies a queer pride flag. I’ve seen several of them. But again kids are punished for not taking part in a pride celebration. It’s been reported. And don’t get me started on many of the college campuses. People are physically attacked by the liberals for the offense of not supporting retard joe and his sick policies Not everyday but it’s happening. And I blame the people in charge for not putting a stop to it. The same for anyone who harassed left leaning people. That’s not how we settle our differences. You’re right. Don’t move somewhere where there’s a HOA if you don’t want to comply. But our flag should get a pass. But if a person is one of jehoviah”s witnesses they don’t have to worry about it. But them people don’t care because they don’t vote or serve in the military.

          Reply

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