August 3, 2020

COOK REPORT: DEMS COULD SWEEP IT ALL…

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With 102 days until Election Day, the blue wave threatening to swamp President Trump’s re-election chances keeps getting bigger and bigger.Why it matters: We all know that anything can happen. But right now, every measurable trend is going against Trump — and with each day that passes, it gets increasingly harder for him to claw his way back.The Cook Political Report on Friday flipped Florida from “toss-up” to “leans Democratic,” with national editor Amy Walter citing the state’s spiraling coronavirus outbreak.That follows a Quinnipiac poll on Thursday that showed Joe Biden leading by 13 points in the Sunshine State. For context, Trump led Hillary Clinton by 3 points in the same poll in mid-July 2016.Our thought bubble, from Axios White House editor Margaret Talev: Trump’s re-election path has to go through Florida.Without it, he’s done.The tsunami flows down-ballot: Charlie Cook and his team now like Democrats’ chances to reclaim the Senate, with Cook’s Senate editor Jessica Taylor shifting races in Arizona, Georgia and Iowa in their favor this week.Cook also moved 20 House races toward Democrats.Dave Wasserman, its House editor, said he couldn’t recall a similarly sized shift for one party.The big picture: Trump’s net approval rating (-15) has remained remarkably consistent throughout his presidency, highlighting the difficulty he faces in trying to quickly turn around public opinion.CNN’s Harry Enten noted morning that, since 1940, incumbent presidents who were re-elected had an average net approval rating of +23.Those who lost had an average net approval rating of -14.The bottom line: The pandemic isn’t going anywhere. And no matter what the president wants, it’s going to define everything from here on out.102 days ago, the U.S. had 860,000 confirmed coronavirus cases (now 4 million), and Trump claimed “total” authority over ordering states to reopen.Think of everything that’s happened since.Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that journalist Harry Enten now works at CNN, not FiveThirtyEight.
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