July 27, 2020

On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough and Jonathan Lemire dug into the details of the Trump reelection campaign.

"We ask the question every week, the president this week losing in every battleground state -- other than Ohio, Ohio's tied, making matters worse, Texas over the past several months has become a battleground state. Georgia has become a battleground state. The White House never expected Arizona six months ago to become a battleground state," Scarborough said.

"Instead they were talking about winning New Mexico and Minnesota, which in a poll last week they were getting routed by double digits. Early voting beginning, we're five weeks away maybe from early voting. What's the White House thinking? What's the Trump campaign thinking? How do they turn this around?"

"We've been beating the drum on the early voting for a while now. And those close to the president know that's an issue, too. There are people voting in five or six weeks," Lemire said.

"And they're running out of time before that moment to change the momentum and the narrative of this race. As you say, they're playing defense in a lot of places they didn't expect. Texas, the president is going there later this week on Wednesday for a political event and fund-raising and economic development. He is traveling to North Carolina today. Didn't anticipate having to play so hard in North Carolina and Georgia."

He said Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien held a briefing for reporters Friday on the polls. He said they acknowledge that Trump is down, but claim his voters aren't being picked up in the polls.

"And I will say, in 2016, there was some element of truth to that. We heard the president say there was a silent majority, hidden voters, but at these rallies there were lots of people in the building to see the president who would tell me and other reporters, 'I haven't voted in four, eight, 16, 20 years, I've never talked to a pollster in my life, I'm going to vote for this guy.'

"But that's a risky bet that there are so many people coming out this time. That's why there's alarm for a time and need for what could be called an October Surprise and they're putting a lot of eggs in the basket of a vaccine. That's why the president is going to North Carolina today. We're expecting a lot of hype in each development of the step of a vaccine, which would be great for everyone, but the president believes it's critical for his future.

"If they can say that a vaccine is close, even if they can't distribute it, if they can give the idea of hope, they think it can change and give them some momentum."

Just another piece of information: I was at the hospital for tests last week and was sitting in a waiting room full of (socially distanced) women. I'd just read about Trump hoping to announce a vaccine before the elections and asked, "If Trump announced a vaccine before the election, would you take it?"

Every single woman was skeptical. "You can't develop a usable vaccine that fast," one said. Another said, "The vaccine would probably be a bleach injection."

Translation: Everyone is so used to Trump lying, they're unlikely to believe anything he says near the election.

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