The art of political campaigning is the ability to define your opponents and yourself before they define you.
Last week, in the midst of the Coronavirus crisis, the Democrats became irrevocably defined as the party that puts health considerations above economic concerns, while the Republicans became irrevocably defined as the party that gives health a lesser priority than economics.
In other words, the Democrats are the party of health, while the Republicans are the party of wealth. The American public, as shown by the polls, wisely puts health over wealth.
But it wasn’t the Democrats who gave the GOP this negative definition. It was the Republicans who gave themselves this adverse characterization by virtue of their house propaganda organ, the Fox News Network, which last week carried the lunatic rhetoric of knuckleheads, to use a Phil Murphy word, like Mehmet Oz, Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana, Bill Bennett, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Tucker Carlson, all of whom conveyed the message that recklessly reopening the economy is worth the risk of losing an increased number of lives, even if the lives are those of children.
The polls show overwhelmingly four results:
1) Most Americans makes health a greater priority than economic needs and are concerned that COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted too soon. They reject Trump’s reckless demagogic pleas to “liberate” Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia.
2) Trump is blamed for delaying too long in responding to the crisis.
The Trump total inaction in the month of February was THE major factor in the present lack of such testing equipment as swabs and reagents, which Trump could have largely resolved had he invoked the Defense Production Act for the production of these items in late January.
3) The electorate is positive on the quality of the mainstream media coverage, which negates Trump’s ability to defame the coverage as “fake news”.
4) Trump’s overall job approval numbers and his specific approval numbers regarding his handling of the Coronavirus crisis are heading downward at a rapidly descending rate.
The overall conclusion: This will be a Democratic wave election in November with the following results:
1) Joe Biden wins the White House in a landslide over Donald Trump, winning over 400 electoral votes, carrying all the states Hillary Clinton carried in 2016, plus the following: Texas 38, Florida 29, Pennsylvania 20, Ohio 18, Michigan 16, Wisconsin 10, North Carolina 15, Georgia 16, Arizona 11.
2) The Democrats will win control of the United States Senate, picking up seats in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and North Carolina, while losing Alabama.
3) The Democrats will widen their advantage in the United States House of Representatives.
In New Jersey, if frontrunner Amy Kennedy wins the Democratic nomination in Congressional District One, she will at least have an even money chance of unseating incumbent Republican Congressman Jeff Van Drew.
The only hope for a Republican to unseat a Democratic Congressional incumbent is Tom Kean, Jr. in Congressional District 7, seeking to oust Democratic incumbent Tom Malinowski. Unless Kean, Jr. expressly repudiates Trump’s handling of the Coronavirus crisis, however, as he repudiated in his 2006 US Senate race the handling of the Iraq War by former President George W. Bush, he will lose.
Like most supporters of authoritarian leaders, Trump partisans live in a world of self-deluding unreality. As such, they will debunk my prediction competency. In response to that, consider my predictions in recent federal elections:
In 2018, in my final 2018 Congressional election InsiderNJ prediction, I predicted that 1) the Democrats would register a net gain of 40-45 seats in the US House of Representatives, and 2) the Republicans would make a net gain of seats in the US Senate, giving them 54 seats to the Democrats‘ 46.
The final outcome was a net Democratic gain of 40 House seats and a Senate outcome of 53 Republican, 47 Democrat. I was right on the money. As Casey Stengel said, you could look it up:
On New Years’ Day this year, I authored a column predicting that Joe Biden would win the Democratic nomination, primarily due to the overwhelming support he would receive from the African-American community. How much more accurate could I have been? Again, as Casey Stengel said, you could look it up:
Two more observations:
Trump does sense his own political desperation. He is planning to launch a totally mendacious campaign thrust claiming that Biden is soft on China. The Biden campaign is ready: Check their commercial in the following link:
Finally, there are those daily Trump press briefings. When Trump speaks at these televised conferences, he is a model of grievance, mendacity, and polarization, at a time when the American people seek unity. These daily press briefings reinforce my belief in my Democratic wave election prediction. Get ready.
Alan J. Steinberg served as Regional Administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush and as Executive Director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.