Against the odds, Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016.
Many likened Trump’s improbable win to that of drawing an inside straight in poker. Yes, Lady Luck was on Trump’s side in 2016 … just like that fickle mistress of chance appears to be against him in 2020.
In 2016, a number of unlikely, and unusual, events led to Trump’s odds-defying victory over Hillary Clinton.
First you had Trump running against a flawed, and damaged, opponent. The Republican effort to run the former secretary of state into the ground, through bogus investigations, paid off. It was House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, who gave away the game when he famously blurted out, “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping.”
Then there was the James Comey factor. Just days prior to the 2016 election, the FBI Director wrote a letter to Congress in which he stated the FBI had newly “learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” into the private email server that Clinton used as secretary of state. This was after Comey cleared Clinton of any wrongdoing just a few months before. The Comey revelation upended the news cycle at a critical juncture in the presidential race and soon halved Clinton’s lead in the polls.
There was, of course, the concerted effort by the Russians to affect the outcome of the election in favor of Trump.
Throw in your usual Republican voter suppression and you had the perfect storm that swept Trump into power.
In 2020, you still have Republican efforts to suppress the votes of those unlikely to vote their way … but with a twist. This time around, the strategy seems to be backfiring as determined Democrats are doing everything within their power to make their voices heard … including waiting in voting lines for up to 11 hours.
Then there is the once in a lifetime pandemic and it’s total mishandling by the Trump administration, with over 225,000 Americans dead, and counting.
There is the resultant tanking of the economy, with millions of Americans unemployed and numerous businesses lost. Trump’s strong suit … severely damaged.
Add into the mix Trump’s failed response to multiple instances of police brutality and the systematic racism it laid bare.
Today we are seeing young people so concerned about their future, and the environment, that they are doing the unthinkable … heading to the polls in record numbers.
Trump, no doubt, is in a heap of trouble. Can he still win reelection? Yes, but he will need to draw a royal flush this time around.
By all appearances, Luck will not be a lady to Trump in 2020. It seems she is blowing on some other guy’s dice.
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