|September 4, 2020: Joe Biden is airing three new ads on security, the pandemic, and unity in battleground states. Judges in Arizona and Virginia blocked Kanye West from appearing on the ballot as an independent presidential candidate.
“Besides polls, there are two other places we look for evidence of what is likely to happen in November: hard fundamental factors such as incumbency and economic news, and unquantifiable soft factors such as narratives, enthusiasm, and momentum.
On the fundamental side, the economic factors are a known unknown: The situation is too unique to be reliably measured against prior-year metrics, but an elephant you can’t see is still an elephant. No previous election has featured an incumbent running amid an abrupt election-year economic collapse, stemming from noneconomic factors, along with a strong stock market. That’s before we factor in a possible sharp recovery (or reversal) in GDP or unemployment. An October announcement of a coronavirus vaccine (all but promised by Trump in his convention speech) would be a wild card, while polls showing weakening Trump support among senior citizens amid the pandemic are a grave warning light. Voter turnout in a general election with unprecedented levels of mail-in voting is also impossible to project with more than guesswork.
Biden is also a historically unique challenger. At 77, he’s four years older than Ronald Reagan in 1984, to date the oldest candidate ever elected (Trump is 74). Every incumbent president to lose has been defeated either by a fresh face on the national stage or in a rematch with a prior opponent; a challenger like Biden has never won. He’s also the first major-party nominee from a state so small that it has only three electoral votes.”
– Dan McLaughlin, National Review
What We’re Reading
Flashback: September 4, 2016
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook discussed the campaign’s strategy in Florida.
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