Trump Got the Debate He Wanted, But Will it Help Him?

The day after the debate
Does it feel like something changed at that first presidential debate of 2020? Putting aside that it was exactly the kind of debate that the year 2020 deserved, it felt like during all that bellowing, bullying, heckling, and lying, Trump pushed a few more voters away.

I’m not a pollster. My observations are just that: the most elemental of research, what I see and hear around me.

The day of the debate, I heard Trump supporters talking about recording the show like it was a ball game their team was likely to win. I heard laughter about Biden. On a neighborhood walk, I saw mostly Trump/Pence signs. They appeared early and continued to outnumber Biden signs.

The day after the debate, I heard no chortling about how well Trump did. In fact no one mentioned the debate at all, the subject just too painful. When I came home, it seemed that my neighbors’ yards filled with Biden signs overnight. No matter where my eyes fell, there was a Biden/Harris sign in view.

The official polls reflecting post-debate sentiment won’t be out for awhile. But I’m cautiously optimistic they’ll back up what I’m seeing and show that Trump is sliding just a bit, losing support every time he opens that tight, pursed mouth to let all that anger out.

Watching Trump live-tweet Biden in person was hard. But it might be what it takes to turn enough Americans away from his nightmare presidency.

Biden Questions Trump’s Mental Ability to Handle the Pandemic

“After months of failure, he just gave up. You know, I used to think it was because of his personality, but I just don’t think he can intellectually handle it. I don’t think he’s competent enough to know what to do. He just waved the white flag.”

— Joe Biden raised questions about President Trump’s mental capacity, saying he did not have the intellectual know-how to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the Washington Post reports.

Biden Leads Trump by Nearly 10 Points Nationally

50.5% to 41.3%

FiveThirtyEight launched its polling averages for the 2020 presidential race: “Biden currently leads Trump 50.5% to 41.3% in national polls, according to our average — a 9.2-point lead. … Biden also leads Trump in swing states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona — although his lead in many swing states are not as wide as his margin in national polls, suggesting that the Electoral College could once again favor Trump in the event of a close election.”

Biden’s Lead Up to Double Digits Over Last Two Months

10.2%

Nate Cohn explains that every high-quality national poll with proper education weighting had Joe Biden leading Donald Trump two months ago by an average of 6.2%. And nearly every one of them have him leading by more today, by an average of 10.2%. Vox notes that Biden’s lead is not only larger than Hillary Clinton’s in 2016, “it’s more secure.”