The Stakes Are High

The Presidency is on the ballot in November. But that is not the only thing.

There will be 35 Senate seats, 435 House seats, 86 of 99 state legislative chambers, 11 gubernatorial seats, and various judicial and other state and local races.

The winners of those 86 legislative chambers will draft the legislative lines for the states and the House of Representatives.

Right now the GOP controls 59% of state legislatures and has control of both the legislative and executive in 43% of states, compared to 31% of states having complete Democrat control with 38% of legislatures being completely controlled by the Democrats.

In other words, Republicans have the most to lose, Democrats have the most to gain, and the President is spending his days on Twitter trolling about delaying the election.

This is not good.

First, delaying the election is trolling. The President cannot delay the election. The election is fixed by an act of Congress now in the United States Code. It would take a majority of the House and 60% of the Senate overcoming a filibuster to change the election. It is not going to happen.

Second, assuming it is trolling, why is the President of the United States in the middle of a global pandemic and riots and economic turmoil spending his day trolling the press and his opponents online? Does he have anything important to do?

Third, forget the over the top reaction from the press/left. That is to be expected. Consider instead the unified rejection by congressional Republicans who were willing to publicly repudiate the President. This suggests they are less and less worried about provoking him.

Fourth, consider conservatives in Kansas are pushing Kris Kobach and the President won’t intervene. Kobach lost statewide to the Democrats in 2018’s gubernatorial race putting a Democrat back in the Governor’s Mansion in Kansas. Now Kobach is running for the Senate in a state where a lot of Republicans are perfectly willing to vote Democrat to spite conservatives. Kansas may be very Republican, but its populism tends not to lean as right as the press says. If Kansans are willing to hand their Governor’s Mansion to a Democrat instead of Kobach and they already think the Senate is flipping Democrat, they may very well add one more Democrat just to spite conservatives. These Republicans already rejected Kobach statewide once. But the President won’t intervene.

As it is, if the electio were held today, the Senate Democrats would get a majority in the Senate. The would win in North Carolina, Colorado, Montana, Maine, and more. This is preventable, but it is going to take some presidential messaging discipline among other things.

Fifth, the President’s team has taken all his ads down and has frozen spending on ads. They are reassessing the message. It seems at this point the problem is not the message, but the messenger. The President is distracted, having a hard time staying on message, and the messages that would work well for him cannot work because people are more worried about a global pandemic.

If the President would pour himself into fighting the virus and give people confidence that he is focused on it, that would buy him time to focus on the economy after calming people down. Polling consistently shows the public prefers President Trump to handle the economy. That same polling shows consistently the public is way more worried about the virus and wants to see that the President is fighting it. Right now, all they seem to see are mixed messages and trolling.

All of this is enough to make one wonder if the President even really wants to win. If he does, why is he online trolling his opponents with claims of delaying the election instead of bunkering down and acting like the man in the arena in charge and command of a national fight against a deadly virus?

There are less than 100 days and a lot at stake. The winners will shape the state legislative and congressional lines for a decade. This is bigger than the presidency. Does the President care?