by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
James Antle of the Washington Examiner focuses on the major-party presidential candidates’ closing pleas to voters.
President Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are making their closing arguments to voters, … with Trump hammering away at renewed economic growth, while Biden emphasizes the line that the president has blown the response to the coronavirus.
Trump has seized on new numbers showing an economic rebound, with a 33.1% increase in GDP over the third quarter while also trying to drive up his opponent’s negatives.
“Did you see the number today? 33.1 GDP. The biggest in the history of our country by almost triple,” Trump boasted in Florida, a crucial swing state, on the day the data was released.
“Listen, his closing message is going to be the economic message. Coming out of the pandemic, who’s the best person positioned to rebuild this economy?” White House communications director Alyssa Farah told reporters on Friday. …
… The economy was supposed to be the centerpiece of Trump’s case for reelection until the pandemic interrupted months of solid growth and 3.5% unemployment. It still remains the issue on which the president receives the highest marks in most polls. But there are concerns that he is talking too much about Hunter Biden instead. …
… “The president’s closing message has been incredibly strong, if Hunter Biden were the Democratic nominee and the country was not in the middle of a global pandemic,” said Christian Ferry, a Republican strategist who is supporting Biden. “Vice President Biden is doing a better job talking about the issues that matter to what few, if any, persuadable voters remain.” …
… Biden, by contrast, has tried to make the case that Trump’s COVID-19 response has been a deadly failure, that he is not temperamentally suited for the presidency, and that the recent economic gains do not compensate for the GDP the country has lost during the pandemic. But the former vice president’s relatively light campaign schedule has been panned.