President Trump just formally accepted the nomination of his party for president. While the polls indicate that he is far behind his opponent, Trump, the businessperson turned politician, has a strategy that he believes will carry him to victory in November. He implemented this four-month strategy on July 4th. Step one was just completed.
His original plan had to be modified because of the longer-term effect of the Coronavirus. The six-week shut down of the US economy from Mid-March to the end of April has caused more harm to the economy than was anticipated.
In July, the polls showed that Biden had a 10% to 12% lead. Trump realized he was weak in some key battlegrounds. But as a businessperson, he is focused on the final outcome. Winning the war was the goal, even if some battles are lost.
Many Americans are hurting because of the virus. Trump reasoned that he had to change the mood, to emphasize the half-full part of the glass rather than the half-empty part. He began his strategy at Mount Rushmore on July 4th.
He started the speech by saying:
“We gather tonight to herald the most important day in the history of nations: July 4th, 1776. At those words, every American heart should swell with pride. Every American family should cheer with delight. And every American patriot should be filled with joy, because each of your lives in the most magnificent country in the history of the world will soon be greater than ever before.”
The rest of July and most of August were very difficult for the president. In reality, the stimulus bills he signed were working beautifully. Once the economy at least partially re-opened, May, June and July saw tremendous, unprecedented growth. More than 9 million Americans returned to work. A V-shaped recovery had started.
But the number of virus cases was increasing. The Democrats and most of the media concentrated on the negatives, highlighting the troubles of the American people and blaming all of them on Trump. The strong recovery was seldom mentioned.
Trump was dealt another difficult hand when it was determined that a normal convention could not be held. Also, Trump couldn’t even hold rallies where he energized his supporters. His strategy was modified, as he tried to directly reach as many as possible.
The Democrats staged a very dreary convention. Instead of telling voters why they would be better off with Biden, they just said why Trump was a terrible person and did not deserve to be president. Trump countered with mini rallies, again stressing the positives. He ended up reducing Biden’s lead to the 8% range.
The last part of step one was the Republican convention. The GOP staged a much more upbeat production, with more participation by real people. Each day they presented reasons why President Trump should be re-elected. All of the positives were on display.
Prior to the virus, the country was safer, more prosperous and full of optimism. ISIS was eliminated, the North Koreans stopped firing rockets, Iran was neutralized, Russia was confronted, and NATO was starting to pay for their own defense instead of the US picking up the tab.
The economy was strong. Unemployment for every demographic was at historical lows. Real wages were rising for the first time in decades. The poverty rate fell. Fewer people needed food stamps or welfare. Workers were happy, business owners were happy, investors were happy and minorities were happier than they had been in the past.
The next poll will likely show a Trump bump from the convention. Much of the bump will come from minorities who are finally getting exactly what they really want: opportunities not handouts. Step one of the strategy anticipated Biden’s lead in the polls to be down to about 6%.
After Labor Day, the next step of Trump’s strategy begins. He expects much good news between Labor Day and the election. Therapeutics and vaccines will be approved and ready for distribution to finally tame this virus.
There will even be more news about peace in the Middle East where past presidents only had little or no success.
The unemployment rate will fall to under 10% and maybe much lower. That rate is still high, but a remarkably fast decline from the 14.7% rate in April. The last piece of good news will be delivered during the very end of October, just days before the election. The GDP growth rate for the third quarter will be in excess of 20%; by far the fastest growth ever recorded.
Then Trump will simply say, “Let’s stay the course.” American voters will agree. And Trump will be re-elected to a second term.