Donald Trump is worried. Specifically, he’s worried that he’s way behind in the polls to Joe Biden and is on the verge of being blown out on Election Day.
Trump is so terrified of losing that Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair notes the president is considering firing his entire campaign team:
“Seeking to change the trajectory of the race, Trump is now discussing a shake-up to his campaign leadership, three sources close to the White House told me. Two sources said Trump has told people he wants to install 2016 campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in a senior role. “Trump’s feeling is, ‘why are we losing everywhere?’ The president is sick of it,” another former West Wing official said.”
However, the real problem, according to noted election forecaster Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight, is that Trump seems determined to make this a race between him and someone who isn’t even on the Democratic ticket: Former President Barack Obama:
“Turning the election into a referendum on Obama vs. Trump would seem to be one of the dumbest possible moves for Trump given Obama’s popularity, which was pretty good when he left office and has improved since.”
Take a look at the numbers:
- Americans, by an enormous margin (56 percent to 37 percent), think Barack Obama was a better president than Donald Trump has been
- Americans also say that with the benefit of hindsight, they think Hillary Clinton would have been a better head of state than Trump, but the margin is much more narrow, 47 to 44 percent
More telling is the fact that Obama isn’t exactly an unknown quantity. He ran twice and served for eight years. So he shouldn’t be favored by 19 points over an incumbent. But he is. And yet Trump is trying to run a campaign against a man who is lapping him in the polls.
In recent days, Trump has repeatedly fired off tweets and retweets about something he’s dubbed “Obamagate” because the FBI under Obama dared to investigate contacts between members of Trump’s campaign (Carter Page, Michael Flynn, etc.) and Russian officials. Obama was president and the FBI had a sworn duty to undertake those investigations. Had they not, they would have been derelict in their duties.
Trump probably thinks he can somehow muddy up Joe Biden by tying him to Obama, but that cuts both ways and means that Biden also gets some of the credit for the Obama administration’s successes.
Donald Trump is under the illusion that he can fight a two front campaign battle and win. He can’t. The more he rails against Obama while thousands of Americans die and the economy continues to limp along, the deeper he digs the hole he’s in. That’s not just dumb. It’s practically suicidal.