This article appeared online at on Sunday, August 2, 2020: 

The latest poll from Emerson College released on Friday not only shows the Democrat Party’s presumptive presidential candidate, Joe Biden, leading president Trump in the run-up to the general election in November by just four points (with a margin of error of more than three points), it reports that “A majority of voters, 53%, still think Trump will be re-elected in November.”

The poll released by Zogby Analytics last Wednesday also showed the gap between the candidates narrowing to four percentage points. Zogby showed Trump’s strength among weekly Walmart shoppers, where Trump leads Biden 56 percent to 36 percent; among weekly Amazon shoppers, with Trump ahead of Biden 49 percent to 41 percent; among NASCAR fans, Trump 50 percent to Biden’s 33 percent; urban men, where Trump leads Biden 47 percent to 41 percent; urban parents, with Trump ahead of Biden 52 percent to 34 percent; and small-city voters, Trump at 44 percent to 36 percent for Biden.

Zogby noted that “the one group to look at is swing voters.… Of these voters, Trump leads Biden by a three-to-one margin (65% to 21%).… In 2016 these voters comprised nearly 6 million voters.” This matches the results from the Swing Voter Project, which also reported on Wednesday that 67 percent of those swing voters — those who voted for Obama in 2012 and for Trump in 2016 — prefer Trump over Biden.

The pollster also noted that among young voters, aged 18-29, Biden has the support of 49 percent of them. Back in 2016, 55 percent of that same cohort voted for Hillary Clinton, a significant falloff reflecting Biden’s lack of enthusiasm in that voting bloc. In 2016, less than half of that bloc bothered to vote at all, the lowest turnout of all age groups.

In focus groups it was learned that voters do not dislike Biden the way they did Hillary Clinton, and accordingly the Trump campaign is taking a different approach to combat Biden than it did against Hillary. Instead of focusing on “crooked Hillary,” it is concentrating on Biden’s mental acuity, or lack thereof, and his lack of any significant accomplishment after more than 40 years in Washington. As Trump’s new campaign manager, Bill Stepien, explained: “We will expose as a hapless tool of the extreme left and contrast his failures with the undeniable successes of President Trump.”

That strategy appears to be working. As reported a week ago, the shrinkage of support for Biden among young black and Hispanic voters has caught the attention of one of CNN’s political analysts, Harry Enten. Said Enten, “Trump continues to do something perhaps unexpectedly among Black voters: hold his own against Biden relative to many peoples’ expectations.” He pointed out that Trump’s gain at Biden’s expense among this bloc “could cost Biden 0.5 points nationally.”

The Washington Post also noted the shift, especially among young black voters. While more than 90 percent of black voters 65 and older say they plan to vote for Biden, among black voters aged 18-29 that percentage drops by more than 20 points, to just 68 percent. What’s critical in discussion of this election is the that in 2016, drew 85 percent of those young black voters.

And then there’s the enthusiasm gap, as evidenced by the $20 million raised by the Trump campaign in its first virtual fundraiser, compared to just $7.6 million raised in a similar event held by the Biden campaign.

Independent or undecided voters represent between 10 and 15 percent of those being polled, and many of them are moving toward Trump. As the liberal Vanity Fair complained, “Trump still retains an edge with independents on the economy — a critical advantage. To the extent that the economy rebounds in the fall, Trump may be able to convince independents he’s a safer bet to keep things moving.”

Vanity Fair also noted that Biden has another problem among independents: “Despite his reputation as a likeable centrist … [he] doesn’t test particularly well among independents.” In a Morning Consult tracking survey, Biden scored a minus 15 — 35% approval versus 50% disapproval. “And,” said the magazine, “even in polls where he has scored better, his support [among independents] is weak.”

Trump’s campaign has another advantage: registering new voters. According to Politico, a report from TargetSmart “was especially alarming for Democrats because it spotlighted not only falling registrations but which party was damaged the most in battleground states.”

Trump is also enjoying increasing support from his “silent majority” — those who support the president but are absent from the polls. They are becoming increasingly nervous about Democrat support for movements such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa as those rioters extend their into the suburbs. As Mark Smith, the owner of a heavyweight public-affairs firm in Washington, D.C., put it: “I will argue very strongly that the silent majority, on a day-to-day basis, thanks to the folks at Black Lives Matter … are making more and more recruits [for the president].”

Democrat political analyst Doug Schoen agrees: “The political risk to Democrats is becoming associated with the riots … which would result in the party losing the White House and risking their House majority.”

With 90 days to go before the election, Trump is narrowing the gap reported by the mainstream media. When their deliberate efforts to skew those polls in favor of Biden are taken into account, Biden’s lead has vanished altogether.

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