fair.png
Wednesday June 23rd, 2021 5:42PM

2020 Watch: Can Trump ignore reality as Election Day nears?

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — Presidential politics move fast. What we’re watching heading into a new week on the 2020 campaign:

Days to general election: 64

Days to first debate: 29

___

THE NARRATIVE

The conventions finally over, the 2020 election season now enters its final phase.

Both sides are pleased with their convention performances which offered dramatically different versions of reality to the American electorate. President Donald Trump is essentially asking voters to judge him based on pre-pandemic America. Joe Biden is asking voters to judge the incumbent on conditions as they actually exist, with the pandemic's death toll mounting, the economy struggling and racial tensions again exploding.

Still, both sides expect the election, which Biden has led for virtually the entire cycle, to tighten entering the nine-week sprint to Nov. 3. Reflecting concerns about potential Trump momentum, Biden plans to resume in-person campaigning in the coming days, albeit with smaller, socially distanced crowds.

Both candidates are focused on Wisconsin this week as a series of violent protests follow yet another police-involved shooting of a Black man caught on camera. Each side believes the incident offers a political advantage, and there may be no more important swing state.

___

THE BIG QUESTIONS

Can Trump ignore reality?

If you judged the state of America based on last week's Republican National Convention, you wouldn't know that more than 180,000 Americans have died because of the pandemic over the last six months and tens of millions more are out of work.

With some glaring exceptions, the president painted a decidedly optimistic picture of American life under his leadership. The only real threat to U.S. prosperity and even safety, he and his allies said, was a Biden victory this fall.

This message fundamentally ignores six months of death and economic destruction under Trump's watch. For any other politician, this would be an extremely tough sell. And it may be for Trump as well. But Trump has demonstrated nothing if not his command of the public spotlight and his loyalists' unquestioned faith in his word.

Is the Democratic freakout about to begin?

Multiple people on Biden's team tell us that they expect polls to tighten in the coming days.

They insist that they always expected Biden's lead to shrink, given the polarized nature of the electorate. But that's unlikely to calm anxious Democrats who desperately want a blowout victory to quash Trump's efforts to undermine the integrity of the election. Democrats' level of urgency has always been high, but expect it to increase exponentially if Biden's lead begins to evaporate.

A tightening race will also test the unity of the Democrats' coalition, a collection of disparate factions that have been remarkably nice to each other, bound in common cause to defeat Trump. Should things start to go south, the finger pointing will almost certainly follow.

Who is winning Kenosha?

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway last week told Fox News that “the more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is” for Trump.

While Biden seized on her apparent celebration of violence, Trump's campaign believes he is winning the racially charged debate over police brutality heading into the fall. Democrats believed that the sweeping civil unrest that has consumed the nation for much of the summer would help energize people of color against Trump this fall.

The political calculus is far more cloudy. This week may provide some clarity as both candidates are expected to pay particular attention to the situation in Kenosha, Wisconsin, which has emerged as the new epicenter of the debate.

Trump plans to visit the area on Tuesday, and we wouldn't be surprised if Biden made it a priority as well as he resumes in-person campaigning.

Is Joe Biden really getting back on the trail?

After spending nearly six months mostly keeping his head down in Delaware, Biden is planning to return to the campaign trail in the coming days.

While Democrats seemed quite content to have their nominee out of the public spotlight, Republicans are somewhat giddy. They're particularly excited that Biden has named Minnesota as one state he'll be visiting, which is evidence that the former vice president is on defense in at least one state Democrats carried four years ago.

It's unclear exactly what in-person campaigning will look like for Biden, who struggled to draw large crowds even under normal circumstances during the primaries. Several states continue to ban large indoor gatherings. And Biden senior adviser Anita Dunn tells us not to expect the same kind of large, unmasked crowds that showed up for Trump's convention speech last week.

Wherever he goes and whatever his events look like, the exposure offers significant risk and reward for the 77-year-old politician.

___

THE FINAL THOUGHT

Thousands of people crowded onto the National Mall late last week to celebrate the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s “I have a dream” speech.

We spoke to Martin Luther King III on the eve of the event, and he told us he was “saddened” that Republicans during their convention last week evoked his father's name to help Trump's reelection bid.

King likened Trump's rhetoric on racial divisions to that of Richard Nixon a half-century ago: “It’s just straight racism,” King said. “The hands of the clock are going backwards.”

___

2020 Watch runs every Monday and provides a look at the week ahead in the 2020 election.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Elections - Political Conventions, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2020 Watch: Can Trump ignore reality as Election Day nears?
The 2020 election now enters its final phase
6:36AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Mitsubishi Motors executive behind Nissan alliance dies
Mitsubishi Motors says its former chief executive, Osamu Masuko, who engineered the automaker's alliance with Nissan, has died
6:08AM ( 54 minutes ago )
The Latest: Turkish economy sees pain of virus lockdown
Turkey reports that its economy contracted by 9.9% in the second quarter of the year from the previous three-month period in the wake of lockdown measures put in place to deal with the pandemic
5:42AM ( 1 hour ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Diplomat poised to become PM-designate in crisis-hit Lebanon
Lebanon’s ambassador to Germany is poised to be named as prime minister-designate after winning the backing of major parties, including the crucial support of senior politicians from his own Sunni Muslim community
3:21AM ( 3 hours ago )
Gaga’s masks, Weeknd’s advocacy and more top VMAs moments
Lady Gaga took the mask mandate seriously at this year's MTV VMAs by making face masks her over-the-top fashion accessory
3:01AM ( 4 hours ago )
Patriot Prayer no stranger to protests in Northwest
The man killed in Portland, Oregon, Saturday was a supporter and “good friend” of the founder of right-wing group Patriot Prayer
1:27AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP National News
'Fanning the flames': Dems accuse Trump of stoking violence
Democrats are accusing President Donald Trump of trying to inflame racial tensions as he unleashed a flurry of tweets Sunday about a deadly clash between his supporters and protesters in Portland, Oregon
8:37PM ( 10 hours ago )
Protester killed in Portland as mayor, Trump trade blame
President Donald Trump and the mayor of Portland, Oregon, engaged in a real-time argument Sunday as the president posted a flurry of critical tweets about Ted Wheeler as the mayor was holding a press conference about the fatal shooting of a right-wing supporter in his city the night before
7:57PM ( 11 hours ago )
'Fanning the flames': Dem accuse Trump of stoking violence
Democrats are accusing President Donald Trump of trying to inflame racial tensions as he unleashed a flurry of tweets Sunday about a deadly clash between his supporters and protesters in Portland, Oregon
6:47PM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Elections
'How dare we not vote?' Black voters organize after DC march
Race in America is front and center during a pandemic that's disproportionately affected Black Americans
6:39PM ( 1 day ago )
Trump's intel chief ends election security briefings to Hill
The Trump administration has ended all in-person election security briefings to Congress just weeks before Americans cast their ballots for president
6:37PM ( 1 day ago )
Trump administration ends election security briefings
The Trump administration has ended all election security briefings to Congress just weeks before Americans cast their ballots for president
5:11PM ( 1 day ago )
General Election News
Trump supporters, protesters clash in Portland; 1 killed
One person was fatally shot late Saturday in Portland, Oregon, as Black Lives Matter protesters and people from a large caravan of President Donald Trump supporters clashed in the streets
5:50AM ( 1 day ago )
1 killed as Trump supporters, protesters clash in Portland
One person was fatally shot late Saturday in Portland, Oregon, as Black Lives Matter protesters and people from a large caravan of President Donald Trump supporters clashed in the streets
5:30AM ( 1 day ago )
Biden, aiming at Trump, says he won't use military as 'prop'
Joe Biden says that as president, he'd never use the military “as a prop or private militia.”
3:28PM ( 1 day ago )
General Presidential Election News
The Latest: California unveils new plan to reopen businesses
California Gov. Gavin Newsom is announcing a new process for reopening businesses that is slower and more gradual than what the state tried earlier this summer
4:37PM ( 2 days ago )
Trump pardons Alice Johnson, who praised him in RNC speech
President Donald Trump has pardoned a woman who had praised him the night before in a speech at the Republican National Convention
2:44PM ( 2 days ago )
As political conventions go virtual, so does the chatter
With the coronavirus outbreak still shuttering huge swaths of the country, the usual rituals surrounding political conventions have been upended by social distancing
2:41PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Elections - Political Conventions
Trump, at NH rally, sows fears about 'thugs,' 'anarchists'
Fresh off accepting the Republican Party’s nomination, President Donald Trump says he is the only thing standing between “democracy and the mob,” as he lashes out at protesters who accosted his supporters as they left the White House the night before
8:32PM ( 2 days ago )
Trump amplifies convention warnings about Biden in NH rally
Fresh off accepting the Republican Party’s nomination, President Donald Trump is looking to spread fear about the implications of a Joe Biden victory to voters in battleground states
7:25PM ( 2 days ago )
Harris: Nationwide mask mandate wouldn't carry punishment
Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris says a nationwide mask mandate that she and her running mate, Joe Biden, have endorsed for weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic wouldn’t use punishment to ensure compliance
9:57AM ( 2 days ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Mitsubishi Motors executive behind Nissan alliance dies
Mitsubishi Motors says its former chief executive, Osamu Masuko, who engineered the automaker's alliance with Nissan, has died
6:08AM ( 54 minutes ago )
The Latest: Turkish economy sees pain of virus lockdown
Turkey reports that its economy contracted by 9.9% in the second quarter of the year from the previous three-month period in the wake of lockdown measures put in place to deal with the pandemic
5:42AM ( 1 hour ago )
Japan's Mitsubishi executive behind Nissan alliance has died
Mitsubishi Motors says its former Chief Executive Osamu Masuko, who engineered the automaker's alliance with Nissan, has died
5:11AM ( 1 hour ago )
Israeli, US delegations depart to UAE in 1st direct flight
A Star of David-adorned El Al plane has departed from Israel’s international airport, carrying a high-ranking American and Israeli delegation to Abu Dhabi in the first-ever direct commercial passenger flight to the United Arab Emirates
4:59AM ( 2 hours ago )
First direct Israel-UAE flight enters Saudi airspace
An El Al plane carrying U.S. and Israeli officials on the first commercial passenger flight to the United Arab Emirates has entered Saudi airspace
4:50AM ( 2 hours ago )