Something very strange happened Friday when President Donald Trump was asked if would approve billions of dollars in funding for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) if Congressional Democrats agree to concessions on items that are of importance to the White House.
Oddly, Trump responded:
“Sure, if they gave us what we want. And it’s not what I want, it’s what the American people want.”
Just 24 hours earlier, Trump had insisted he would never approve $25 billion earmarked for the Postal Service because he didn’t want any of it to be spent on preparing post offices across the country for an increase of absentee ballots that are expected as result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
So what exactly caused the president to go from recalcitrance to compromise so quickly?
According to CNN election expert Harry Enten, it was likely the fact that in six key battleground states — Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — Trump desperately needs to win come November, the issue of the USPS was on the front page of the major newspapers serving those states:
Check out the front page of major newspapers in the six closest states Trump won in 2016. All had stories about the mail and voting. https://t.co/Xnddyt8IQMhttps://t.co/rq8TtlYnjahttps://t.co/oD38aDEwZahttps://t.co/yLuOn4YL0vhttps://t.co/NrU54fXF00https://t.co/Rgh25X93vx
— (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) August 15, 2020
But more importantly for Trump and his reelection campaign is where the president stands in polls taken recently in those six states. Turns out he’s behind Joe Biden in every single one:
- In Arizona, Biden is up by 3.5 points over Trump
- In Florida, Biden holds a 5.4 point lead
- In Michigan, Biden is leading Trump by 7.7 percent
- In North Carolina, Biden is also leading by 1.7 points
- In Pennsylvania, Biden’s lead is a solid 6.5 points
- In Wisconsin, Biden holds a commanding 7 point lead over Trump
If Trump loses any three of those states, he’s toast and has no path to 270 electoral votes. And yet he’s attacking a beloved American institution, the Postal Service, which was established by Congress in Article I of the Constitution 235 years ago.
Now imagine Trump’s war on the post office continues for another month or two. That alone could give Biden another two to three percentage points in the six battlegrounds and possibly even toss close states such as Georgia and Texas into Biden’s column on Election Day.
Will the president reach a deal on funding for the Postal Service? Possibly, but by the time he does, it could well be far too late to save his already fading chances of a second term.
It’s one thing when a politician attacks an opponent. But when you go after something as sacred as the mail, the public simply won’t abide it.
Trump picked a fight he cannot possibly win, and now he’s on the verge of self-destructing due to his arrogance, selfishness, and stupidity.