Does Trump have a secret well of unreported support?

In Alabama, the Republican party nomination for senator provided a surprisingly large victory (over 25% points with 50% of the vote counted) for Jeff Sessions's opponent, Tommy Tuberville, the former Auburn football coach.  This likely ends the long political career of Sessions after Donald Trump supported Tuberville.  It appears that the Trump faithful have determined that the former attorney general's recusal over the Russian investigation cannot be forgiven.  Alabamans have decided that a political novice such as Tuberville is preferable for the general election against sitting Senator Doug Jones (D).  This is a likely pick-up in the U.S. Senate for Republicans.

Meanwhile, it was revealed that the data for COVID-19 infective rates in Florida is shockingly wrong.  It appears that many labs have forgotten to report the negative results and have provided only positive infections.  In some areas, the reported positive tests were up to 100%, a virtual impossibility, which alerted skeptical reporters.  Some wonder whether the state laboratory data are intentionally being inflated for political purposes.  The media has consistently argued that the Florida situation is proof of Trump's failure regarding the infectivity rates.  They conveniently forget to mention the generally lowering national death rates per 1,000 persons.  As this information becomes available, the support for Trump in Florida will increase.  Further, the reopening of the Disney World parks will help the economy and provide reassurance that schools can reopen, too.

The media routinely avoid any good news that would help Trump's re-election.  Perhaps the most convincing evidence has been the performance of the stock market.  Again, the return to work is brisker than experts predict as people are allowed to do so by governors.  Perhaps the return to normal school functioning is the greatest threat for the Democrats; the economy cannot fully recover from the COVID shutdown until schools allow parents to resume their jobs.  The reporting is all focused on negativity regarding the risk to children.  In fact, the teacher unions want to keep schools closed, which gives teachers their full income without any risk as an essential worker.  Their political clout is noticeable but will likely backfire.  Most parents may have concerns about their children's well-being and the risk for infection at school, but they do want their children to return to some normalcy.  With time, this desire will increase to Biden's detriment.

As treatment modalities improve and a vaccine (Moderna shows promise) becomes available, the anxiety that the nation has assumed will stabilize and decline.  Biden has a sizable lead (average of 5–10 points) in the polls, but the move to the left by his policy-makers will threaten that lead.  His support for radical views on the economy, the environment, policing, and immigration will certainly damage his standing.  Continued recovery of economic indicators and coronavirus patients will change the narrative over time.  Health and financial security offer the best environment for a Trump victory.

Trump's Rose Garden press conference provided a punch against Joe Biden while giving him a win on trade relations and confronting China and its abuse of Hong Kong.  The public will certainly hear more about the Biden weakness regarding China.  Trump is a great closer, and Biden has not demonstrated this skill.

One hundred days in politics is an eternity.  With all the bad news during 2020, Trump has managed to stay competitive with "blue collar Joe."  As the Democrats argue over their policies, Biden will be pulled further left.  He will be Bernie Sanders light.  Perhaps the Republicans might win back the House if they position themselves correctly. It will be a bumpy ride.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.

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