National Post (Latest Edition)

Trump is the better bet

- Jeff Roe

We have not had an election like this in our lifetime. We’ve had pandemics before. They’re not routine, but they’re not rare. We’ve had economic collapses before. We’ve had social, civil and racial unrest before. But we’ve never had all three in one year and an election.

You would think the fundamenta­ls would be so poor for the incumbent president, regardless of who that president is. Two hundred thousand Americans are dead. One 9/11 every three days. We see economic layoffs, the shutdowns.

But the Democrats are blowing it. And they’re used to doing that. They ran a convention where their entire message was an attack on the president’s character, as if people haven’t made their decision on President Donald Trump’s character yet. They should have stuck to policy. They should have spent the whole time saying that he wants to take away insurance for people with pre- existing conditions, or to cut social security or Medicare.

But now they made a big bet on COVID-19 and the economy. That’s a big risk to take with all the factors that are in their favour. Every single day that goes by, the economy gets a little bit better and the COVID numbers get better. There’s a Pew survey that started tracking whether Americans believe the worst of coronaviru­s is ahead of us or behind us. And that number has become a leading indicator for the presidenti­al ballot. As those numbers improve, the president’s numbers have improved.

People talk about a natural tightening of the race after Labour Day. That’s wrong. It tightens because the fundamenta­ls of the race are getting better for the president from a very dark, brutal space. That’s why Florida is going to be so critical. It’s because it’s representa­tive of America. There ain’t no path to victory without Florida.

And the fact of the matter is that Donald Trump is a better candidate than Joe Biden. He draws a contrast better. Voters are more motivated for him than Democrats are for Biden. Joe Biden just doesn’t measure up to Donald Trump as a candidate.

And this is actually the time when the punditry and the heightened introspect­ion on who’s running whose campaign and who’s doing what television ad and all that kind of goes away and it just becomes a straight up horse race. And it’s a horse race between two men. Two men in their 70s. Who’s got better stamina? Who’s got better control? Who can debate better? Rally better?

If you’ve got to get one of those two men to get the ball over the top at the goal-line, I think I’m rolling my dice at the Trump casino.

Jeff Roe is a nationally recognized Republican political operative. As the founder of Axiom Strategies, he has built the largest Republican consulting firm in the United States. Specializi­ng in congressio­nal, senatorial and statewide campaigns, he has helped elect 74 congressme­n, eight senators and six governors.

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