We are in the most uncertain times of my life. The coronavirus has shut down the econony, not just here but in much of the world. We don’t when there will be a cure or a treatment and we don’t know how quickly the economy will recover. With that scenario, we head into the most consequential election of the 21st century. It will likely not go well for Republicans.
Regardless of the headlines and liberal handwringers that warn of the Trump re-election, the fundamentals are lined up against the GOP and the party is consistently on the wrong side of the voters. By the time we have an election, more than 150,000 Americans will be dead from a virus that the president failed to stop. The jobs lost because of his mismanagement will not come back before election day. Unemployment will likely be close to 10% and Republicans in Congress will have blocked the aid families need to weather the storm. People will be hurting badly on election day 2020 and they will be blaming the party in the White House.
By the fall, we will likely have seen a second wave of coronavirus spikes. Death tolls will be up and businesses will likely be closed. People will be reminded yet again that the federal government failed to implement a national testing program that could reduce the spread of the virus. They will also be reminded that Republicans required, or tried to require, them or their elderly parents to go to crowded polling places in the middle of a pandemic.
The ads against Republicans will be brutal but not over the top. We’re already getting a preview. Republicans, especially President Trump, are bashing themselves in their own words. The latest ad that exposes the hypocrisy of the GOP launched in South Carolina today. In it, U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) repeatedly contradicts himself, calling Trump a “xenophobic, race-baiting, religious bigot” one moment and then calling for the president to get Nobel Prize the next. There’s no narration, just Grahams own words. Trump has already been given similar treatment by the Lincoln Project, using his own words to contradict himself in outrageous lies.
In North Carolina, expect to see similar ads. Thom Tillis portrayed himself as a moderate Republican who would work across the aisle when he got elected in 2014. After Trump’s election, he tried to position himself as someone who would push back against the president when necessary. Then, he wrote his infamous op-ed arguing against Trump’s emergence declaration to secure funds for building his wall. Days later, he contradicted himself by voting for the measure and quickly became a Trump sycophant. The ads will be brutal and they will use Tillis’ own words against him.
Republicans wrapped themselves around a president who has spent his entire tenure with approval ratings underwater because they believe their base will abandon them for even minor splits with Trump. Tillis shows they are probably right. Pundits and right-leaning social media stars keep pointing to 2016 as evidence that Trump can win despite voters’ disdain for him. But Joe Biden is not Hillary Clinton. The left thinks voters rejected her for her moderate positions when they really abandoned her because she’s a Clinton.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >