by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Presidential campaigns are like galleons sailing into port, their metaphorical Election Day destinations. Some arrive there first, others not at all.
The news cycle is the propellant wind, their own campaigns the ship and its sails, and the candidates the captains on the bridge. Sometimes, no matter how tall the masts and huge the canvas, the wind blows against them or is all but nonexistent. Then the campaign ship stays in the doldrums or goes backward in the polls because of the headwinds — even despite brilliant rigging, clever tacking, and an adroit captain’s seamanship.
Right now, Trump’s ship has been hit in succession by sudden headwinds and violent storms of impeachment, the contagion, the lockdown, the tragic killing of George Floyd, and both the ensuring peaceful protests and violent looting, rioting, and arson. The result is that his voyage to port has nearly stopped. Even warped polls suggest that in the past few days he has caught little wind in his sails, while Joe Biden, asleep at the wheel, lets his crew ever so slowly capture a tiny breeze or two and drift ahead.
But to Trump’s rear, the powerful tailwinds of summer and autumn are rising. And they are considerable: the enfeebled candidacy of a cognitively impaired Joe Biden who at some point must emerge from his basement and remind the world he is inert; … the steady recovery of the economy; the likely eventual waning of the virus; the loosening of the lockdowns, especially given the asymmetrical blue-state exemptions given to millions of protestors and rioters who never practiced social distancing as they looted stores … ; and, most important, the growing public pushback against the looting, burning, shooting, and rioting. All that is a powerful collection of favorable windy currents.