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Report: Biden Poll Surge Scaring Trump's Top Donors And Allies

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Politically, a lot could happen between now and November, when voters in the United States will either reelect President Donald Trump or vote him out of office and replace him with former Vice President Joe Biden (the presumptive Democratic nominee). But if recent polls that show Trump trailing Biden in key battleground states like Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona and Michigan are any indication, Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic is damaging his shot at winning a second term. And according to Politico's Nancy Cook, Republican donors and advisers are growing increasingly worried about Biden's momentum.

"With only five months until the November general election, several Trump advisers, campaign veterans and prominent Republicans see the Trump campaign's efforts to define and damage former Vice President Joe Biden falling short," Cook reports. "These Trump supporters worry the campaign's myriad lines of attack on Biden this spring — from his age to his work with China as vice president to the Obama economic record — are failing to dent the presumptive Democratic nominee."Right-wing groups and pro-Trump donors and advisers, according to Cook, "want the Trump campaign to dramatically ramp up its efforts to tear down and pigeonhole Biden — much the way former President Barack Obama cast Mitt Romney as a plutocrat during the 2012 campaign, a framing from which Romney was never able to escape."

A GOP source described by Cook as someone "close to the White House" told Politico, "Take the gloves off and put him away. If you have the cash advantage and you have all of June, why are you not burying him?"

It isn't as though Trump and other Republicans haven't been attacking Biden, from describing him as "Sleepy Joe" to linking him to the ridiculous "Obamagate" conspiracy theory to describing him as favorable to the authoritarian government in China (which Trump was praising back in January and February). But according to Cook's sources, the lines of attack aren't working so far.A former official from Trump's 2016 campaign, seemingly interviewed on condition of anonymity, told Politico, "Listen, the American voters remember Biden as the happy grandfather during the Obama presidency. The more you can do to imprint a damaging impression of Biden heading into the fall, the better off the Trump campaign will be."

Another source, described by Cook as someone "close to the White House," told Politico that Trump's campaign has "not coalesced around the best message to attack Biden, and the message that Biden is diminished doesn't scare people enough. A lot of Americans just don't want the government to screw things up."

One should never underestimate the GOP's ability to successfully sell snake oil to American voters. The GOP has bounced back from everything from Herbert Hoover's presidency and the 1929 crash to Watergate to Iran/Contra to the disastrous U.S. invasion of Iraq under President George W. Bush. Moreover, Republicans have an especially nasty weapon in their arsenal: voter suppression — and they're great at using it in African-American and Latino areas that are more likely to vote Democrat.

Nonetheless, recent polls have been encouraging for Biden's campaign. For example, recent polls from Firehouse Strategies/0ptimus and Quinnipiac University have found Biden leading Trump by 11 percent And a recent Fox News poll found Biden ahead by eight percent. None of that is to say that U.S. voters will feel that same way in November, but T.J. Ducklo, national press secretary for Biden's campaign, is optimistic.

Ducklo told Politico, "Donald Trump has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at Joe Biden since the day he entered the race, using recycled nicknames, outright lies and even disinformation to try and brand him as something he's not. It failed miserably: VP Biden saw record turnout during sweeping victories this spring and united the Democratic Party around a nominee faster than in 2016 or 2008. Why? Because voters know Joe Biden, they know his character — and it's going to take more than cheap marketing tricks perfected at Trump University to bring down a true public servant who has fought for middle class families for over 45 years."

New NBC Poll Shows Trump Effort To Win Black Voters Is Failing

In an effort to win reelection in 2020, Donald Trump and his campaign have made a strong push to win over black voters, a traditionally Democratic constituency.

In fact, Trump claimed in November 2019 that he would win reelection in 2020, thanks to "a groundswell of support from hardworking African American patriots."

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Trump Campaign Is Funneling Money To Don Junior’s Girlfriend

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign includes not only Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, but also, the women two of Trump’s sons have been romantically involved with. And according to the New York Times, the president’s campaign manager has been funneling money to Kimberly Guilfoyle (Trump Jr.’s girlfriend) and Eric Trump’s wife, Lara Trump.

The payments, the Times reported, were made through Parscale Strategy, a private, San Antonio, Texas-based company owned by the president’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale.

Huffington Post’s Mary Papenfuss notes that the “family benefits” are “linked to a network of politically connected private companies — operating with the support and help of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner — that have charged roughly $75 million since 2017 to the Trump reelection campaign.”

Guilfoyle is a former Fox News pundit who left that right-wing cable news channel in 2018 and has been dating Trump Jr. for two years. In January, Trump’s campaign announced that Guilfoyle would be leading joint fundraising between Trump’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC).

Long before she dated Trump Jr., Guilfoyle was married to Democrat Gavin Newsom — who was mayor of San Francisco at the time and went on to become governor of California.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Trump Campaign Fears ‘Bleeding Hasn’t Stopped’ In Pennsylvania

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

One of the biggest political shockers of the 2016 presidential race was Donald Trump’s victory in Pennsylvania. Although Democrats had won the Keystone State’s electoral votes in six presidential elections in a row—from 1992 to 2012—Trump managed to pull off a narrow victory over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania in 2016, making him the first Republican president to carry the state since George H.W. Bush in 1988. And anyone who doubts for a minute how important Pennsylvania is to Trump’s reelection strategy for 2020 need only take a look at the GOP meeting held yesterday in Harrisburg.

Politico reported that a group of GOP organizers and strategists — some with the Trump campaign, some active in Pennsylvania politics — planned to get together in Harrisburg, the state capital, on Wednesday to discuss and evaluate Trump’s chances of winning the state’s electoral votes again in 2020. Those expected to attend, according to Politico contributors Alex Isenstadt and Holly Otterbein, range from Trump campaign organizers Chris Carr, Justin Clark, and Bill Stepien to Val DiGiorgio (chair of the  Pennsylvania GOP) and Republican National Committee member Bob Asher. Also expected to attend, Isenstadt and Otterbein note, is David Urban, a Trump campaign coordinator for Pennsylvania in 2016.

Politically, Pennsylvania is complex and nuanced. While Philadelphia is overwhelmingly Democratic and hasn’t had a Republican mayor since the early 1950s, and Pittsburgh is also very Democrat-friendly, Central Pennsylvania can be much more conservative — and Trump enjoyed a heavy turnout there in 2016.

But 2018 was a good year for Democrats in the Keystone State.

Gov. Tom Wolf and centrist Sen. Bob Casey, Jr., both Democrats, were reelected last year. Sen. Bernie Sanders aggressively campaigned for John Fetterman, Wolf’s lieutenant governor, in Philadelphia.

On top of that, Pennsylvania Republicans lost three seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, and Democrats flipped 16 seats in the state legislature.

“The bleeding hasn’t stopped since then,” Isenstadt and Otterbein report. “In a special election this month, Democrats won a state Senate seat in a district that Trump carried in 2016. Nationally, it was the first such legislative seat that Democrats flipped this year, prompting grumbling among some Republicans that the state party did not invest enough in turning out voters.”

Further, Trump isn’t faring well in Pennsylvania polls: Isenstadt and Otterbein note that a Franklin & Marshall College poll, released in March, found that Trump’s approval among registered Pennsylvania voters was only 34 percent.

IMAGE: Democrat Tom Wolf speaks after being sworn in as 47th Governor of Pennsylvania during inauguration at the state capitol in Harrisburg.