Democrats are nervously waiting out the final 11 days of the campaign — afraid that a last-minute bombshell or shift could somehow hand President Trump an upset victory.
The debates may be over but the fallout from the last televised clash of the campaign could give Trump some ammunition to use against Joe Biden over the next week and a half. Biden’s glance at his watch could be a symbol of how many Democrats are feeling as the election nears.
Trump’s improved performance may sway some late deciders, such as those who chose Trump in 2016, but the recent explosion in coronavirus cases will give Biden plenty of his own ammo for a closing argument.
“We’re more than eight months into this crisis and the president still doesn’t have a plan. He’s given up,” Biden said in a speech in Delaware. “He’s quit on you. He’s quit on your family. He’s quit on America.”
But Biden opened himself up to attacks on Thursday night by declaring he wanted to eventually eliminate oil as an energy source — a claim that could reverberate in oil- and coal-producing states that are now too close to call. The Trump campaign on Friday immediately was up with a TV ad highlighting Biden’s comments.
“I would transition from the oil industry, yes,” Biden said.
“Oh, that’s a big statement,” Trump replied.
The Biden campaign is already in full damage control, insisting Biden only meant he wants to end subsidies to the oil industry. Yeah, right.
Biden also repeatedly denied during Thursday night’s debate that he ever supported eliminating so-called “fracking” and coal but the video evidence is clear cut.
“We would make sure it’s eliminated and no more subsidies for either one of those, either — any fossil fuel,” Biden said in a 2019 Democratic debate.
While that might win you some votes in Massachusetts, those quotes could land hard in states like Pennsylvania and Texas.
Then there’s Hunter Biden — which Democrat-supported media refuse to call a scandal or even acknowledge as an issue but which came up during the debate Thursday night — forcing the former vice president on the defensive.
If the FBI turns up evidence connecting Joe Biden with his son’s lucrative business dealings in China and the Ukraine that could be the October surprise that the Trump campaign is looking for.
Most voters right now may not know details of the Hunter Biden story but they know corruption when they see it. The mainstream media has made it clear they want nothing to do with the Hunter Biden story, which will impede Trump’s efforts to highlight it, but other more conservative media outlets will try to keep it alive.
The dueling narratives will play out over the next few days, but with up to 40% of the expected electorate already having cast ballots, it’s unclear whether a new development in the Hunter Biden saga will even have an effect. The Trump campaign, grasping for any late advantage, is counting on it.
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