Atlantis didn’t sink overnight. If you believe the legend at all, it supposedly took a few thousand years of steadily worsening earthquakes before the big one hit. The Trump reelection campaign knows what seismic setbacks are, as well. Each week they tremble as the new polls come out and they’re progressively worse. And as we get closer to Election Day, the polls will be taking the temperature of the electorate more often still.
In their latest effort to regain lost ground, Team Trump ordered campaign ads to run in Iowa, a state which Trump took with nine points in 2016. Chuck Grassley was elected by a margin of 24 points and even he is calling it a battleground state, and Joni Ernst is getting a few more gray hairs. Des Moines Register:
The poll of 674 likely voters in November, conducted June 7-10, showed Republican President Trump leading former Vice President Joe Biden by just 1 percentage point, 44% to 43%.
It showed Democrat Theresa Greenfield leading Republican U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst 46% to 43%.
And it showed Iowans prefer a Democrat over a Republican in three of four congressional districts.
The results for the presidential and U.S. Senate races were close enough to fall within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.
“I don’t think anybody could look at these data and say Iowa is not in play,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co., the firm that conducted the poll.
Chuck Grassley is very worried. He was the one begging somebody to read the recent vitriolic Wall Street Journal editorial board piece to Trump, in hopes that Trump would “follow the instructions.”
Although Trump marked a solid win in 2016, Grassley noted that George W. Bush in 2004 is the only other Republican to have carried the state [of Iowa] in a presidential contest since Ronald Reagan in 1984. Writing off Democrats after 2016 would have been a mistake, he said.
Ergo, Trump’s reelection campaign, headed by Jared Kushner, is airing advertising in Iowa and they’ve dispensed Mike Pence to go down and save the bacon. Good luck with that. And meanwhile, back in Washington, all is not well between Trump and Jared. Trump went on record saying that he regretted taking Kushner’s advice on prison reform. That was the single feather in Kushner’s cap and now it’s gone. That reduces Kushner’s wins to absolutely zero. By Kushnerian logic, the First Step Act was supposed to win Trump the black vote — or at least more black votes than Trump was bleeding elsewhere. That formula doesn’t seem to be working so well, when a poll last week said 88% of black voters thought Trump only escalated racial tensions after George Floyd’s murder.
This statistic only shows how ludicrously Kushner had framed the issue, let alone the solution and we must say, it is surprising that it’s taken Trump this long to get woke to Jared. After all, Jared started out phuquing up early in the game, when he advised his father-in-law to fire James Comey, (with Steve Bannon screaming “no” in the background.) That was followed by his advice to hire Anthony Scaramucci, to back Luther Strange in the Alabama primary, (Bannon screaming in background again, as he supported Roy Moore;) to replace Pence with Nikki Haley, (that piece of wisdom seems on hold) and most recently, to knife Jeff Sessions publicly, as Sessions tries to come back in the current Alabama primary.
And don’t forget Jared’s stellar success with the opioid crisis, government restructuring, peace in the Middle East, on which he read 25 books, imagine, and his COVID-19 response, where he asked his sister-in-law’s daddy, to talk to some rando doctors on Facebook, to figure out how to handle the crisis. No other country reports going on social media to ask for expert pandemic advice, just us. Jared is consistent in nothing, except phuquing up. It’s just a question of which of his phuque ups are more pyrotechnic than others, that’s all. So on these facts, it’s not surprising that there’s a power struggle over at the White House these days, regarding the 2020 election and who should be in charge. Gabriel Sherman, Vanity Fair:
Kushner’s vast sway over West Wing decisions has become a flashpoint between him and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, sources say. The two have been engaged in a cold war over control of the campaign. Meadows pushed Trump to replace campaign manager Brad Parscale, a Kushner ally, the Republican close to the White House said. Kushner wasn’t happy that Meadows is close with Kushner’s adversaries Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie. “Meadows is in real shit. He went to war with Jared and tried to get Brad out,” the Republican, briefed on the internal debate, told me. A couple weeks ago, Meadows unloaded about Kushner over dinner with his predecessor, Mick Mulvaney, at Sette Osteria near the White House. “All Mark did was complain how much operational control Jared has and how it leaves very little space for the chief of staff,” said a Republican briefed on the conversation. “Mark whined to Mick, ‘why didn’t you warn me before I accepted the job? There’s nothing for me to do.’”
Nervous Republicans worried about losing the Senate are now debating when to break from Trump. Trump campaign internal polls show Trump’s level of “strong support” dropping from 21 to 17 points since last week, a person briefed on the numbers said. A source close to Iowa Republican Joni Ernst’s campaign said Ernst advisers are upset that a solid seat is now in play. “Joni’s campaign is pissed. They should not be in a competitive race,” the source said. (Ernst did not respond to a request for comment.) A Republican strategist close to Mitch McConnell told me that Republicans have Labor Day penciled in as the deadline for Trump to have turned things around. After that, he’s on his own.
McConnell has already already made noises about senators distancing themselves from Trump, and it’s no new information that when Trump’s burden outweighs his benefit, McConnell will cut him loose, no love lost. Maybe Labor Day is when Trump gets turned out to pasture. Stay tuned.