As of this writing, Donald Trump’s chances of being re-elected are pretty good. Nobody, including Michael Cohen, has disclosed anything new about him. Everyone knows that he’s ethically bankrupt, a liar, a serial philanderer and runs his business right on the edge of legality. None of that bothers his supporters.
A big part of the election result will depend on the economy and Trump is doing everything he can to goose it. There may be hell to pay down the road, but he will be out of office by then. Caring about the long term isn’t his style (except when it comes to his family).
Given a decent economy and Trump’s supporters’ ambivalence about his character flaws, it is hard to see how a Democrat can defeat him. Even if Robert Mueller finds that Trump colluded with the Russians, his supporters won’t care. They like Trump because he fights to win – of course he would take help from the Russians. Besides, the Russians weren’t the enemy, Hillary was.
It will take something much more egregious to shake Trump’s supporters confidence and make them stay home on election day. Something like Trump knowingly laundering drug or human trafficking money for the Russian mafia. Or him cavorting with underage girls with his friend Jeffery Epstein. Or pardoning Epstein.
Those are all longshots, as are the chances of a Democrat being elected president.
In retrospect, we should have anticipated this. Our assumption was that a last minute election surprise would involve Donald Trump. It didn’t. It involved one of his most loyal wannabees.
Yesterday Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp declared that his office was investigating the Democrats for trying to hack Georgia’s voting system. It was a textbook Trumpian move: if your opponents accuse you of something, don’t defend yourself. Instead, accuse them of the same thing, only worse.
For months Kemp’s department has been accused of unfairly kicking people off the voter rolls to keep Democrats from voting. On Friday, a judge agreed and ordered the voters reinstated. There wasn’t much Kemp could do to defend himself, so instead, two days later, he accused the Democrats of malfeasance.
It is a technique that Trump is a master of. Trump has some kind of Teflon coating, and the media until very recently have been easily distracted by his schoolyard “no you did’ accusations. Kemp is not Trump though, so it remains to be seen whether he’ll get away with it. We’ll know soon enough.
It is a week before election day and one wonders whether there will be some sort of last minute surprise. Like in 2016 when the FBI Director announced 11 days before the election that Hillary Clinton’s emails were again under investigation, only to say ‘nevermind’ a week later.
- Will there be a leak from Robert Mueller’s office or any of the attorney generals investigating Trump, Inc?
- Will Hillary Clinton say something stupid? (And why is she still in the public eye?)
- Does Michael Avenatti have another client in the wings ready to spill?
- Will the Russians get caught red handed?
- Will extreme Trump supporters try to kill more people?
The odds are at least 50/50 on something happening. If it does, which side will it help? The last minute Kavenaugh kerfuffle turned out to be a great motivator for Trump’s Republican base. Is there anything that will get more millennials or Hispanics to the polls for the Democrats without firing up the other side as well?
We will know soon enough.