Political Note: Republicans See Opportunity, Democrats Danger
While news reports have generously covered the recent national polling showing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump in the November general election, Republicans point to two developments suggesting that the President and Republican candidates may enjoy more underlying support than the polls show. First, Republicans won two special elections in the past weeks. The first took place in California, replacing Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) where Republicans reclaimed a seat that was lost in the 2018 general election. The second special election took place in Wisconsin, replacing Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) who retired earlier this year. Democrats mounted aggressive campaigns in both races.
Second, the town of Staunton, VA, a liberal stronghold, elected a slate of Republicans in local elections. Analysis suggests that the strong Republican performance in Virginia could be credited to backlash against anti-gun measures adopted by the legislature earlier this year as well as to protest the Democratic governor’s lockdown of the state. It is far too early to tell whether either of these developments are indicative of a larger trend for 2020, but pro-Republican sentiment could be boosted in Democratic areas by an aggressive ground game.
At the same time, Jason Furman, a former economic advisor for President Obama, indicated that a rebounding economy this fall could yield the best economic data in the history of the country. As the country reopens without exacerbating the pandemic, growing confidence will fuel an economic revival, which can only bode well for the reelection prospects of Republican candidates and President Trump.