Thursday night President Trump held a campaign rally at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The center was packed and it is reported that thousands of people were still outside hoping to get inside when the rally began. Also outside was a group of about 100 protesters angry about the troop pull-out in Syria.
It was all fun and games until the armed man wearing body armor and a backpack headed toward the protesters. Dallas police moved in and arrested him, reportedly confiscating a pistol, gas mask, knee pads, mace, and a video camera. The youngish-looking man wearing an Incel Wars t-shirt was taken to a hospital for observation:
Dallas police confirmed that the man has a license to carry the weapon.
Is the man a Trump supporter who was angry with the protesters? Is he someone who wishes harm to President Trump? It isn’t clear as I write this Friday morning. His name hasn’t been released. The Oath Keepers, a militia group, pledged to provide security for the rally against potential Antifa rioters. A D-List Hollywood celebrity posted a tweet that was taken down as a violation of Twitter policy.
This comes on the heels of angry Democrats expressing death wishes on President Trump this week including CNN employee caught on camera and Tom Arnold hinting at assassination on Twitter.
Don’t get too cocky traitor. They showed up for JFK too.
— Tom Arnold (@TomArnold) October 18, 2019
A massive crowd of approximately 30,000 gathered outside the American Airlines Center to watch the speech on a large screen, as the president launched into an extended critique of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. He derided former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke as “very dumb” for pushing to confiscate guns and tax religious institutions, and remarked that Joe Biden’s family overtly profited from his political career.
“Last week, a very dumb Democrat candidate for president — that’s the end of him in this state — pledged to revoke the tax-exempt status of many churches and religious charities,” Trump said, as boos rocked the arena. “And by the way, that was after, a few weeks ago, he said, ‘Excuse me, we’re gonna take your guns away.’ … The flailer. You remember he was flailing all over the place?”
As Trump railed against corrupt Democrats and Speaker Pelosi, he told the crowd that he will win re-election in a landslide. “It’s going to be a landslide,” he said. “We have to make it a landslide.”
Nay-sayers may scoff at that line, but he may be right. This week an article by Moody’s Analytics predicts that Trump will easily win re-election and could surpass his electoral college victory from 2016. There is one catch – the economy has to stay as strong as it is right now. Moody’s Analytics used three different economic models to gauge the 2020 election.
Barring anything unusual happening, the president’s Electoral College victory could easily surpass his 2016 win over Democrat Hillary Clinton, which came by a 304-227 count.
Moody’s based its projections on how consumers feel about their own financial situation, the gains the stock market has achieved during Trump’s tenure and the prospects for unemployment, which has fallen to a 50-year low. Should those variables hold up, the president looks set to get another four-year term.
Moody’s has only been wrong once in its predictions since 1980 – the 2016 election. This fact gives me pause about the mention that Trump could “cruise” to victory. After Trump’s success in the 2016 election, nothing has been traditional in election results. At this point I think Trump’s chance at success in the 2020 race looks good but I don’t know about trouncing his competition, whomever it turns out to be. The Democrat field, so far, sure doesn’t look up to the task of winning a national election. Americans vote with their pocketbooks, and thus Moody’s prediction that Trump is in a really good spot rings true, within today’s economic conditions. The only hope for Democrats is a really strong voter turn-out.
Three models show Trump getting at least 289 electoral votes, assuming average turnout. His chances decrease with maximum turnout on the Democratic side and increase with minimum turnout expected.
Of the three models, he does best under the “pocketbook” measure of how people feel about their finances. In that scenario, assuming average nonincumbent turnout, he gets 351 electoral votes to the generic Democrat’s 187. “Record turnout is vital to a Democratic victory,” the report said.
In the stock market model, Trump gets a 289-249 edge, while the unemployment model shows a 332-206 advantage. Across all three models, Trump wins 324-214.
“Our ‘pocket!book’ model is the most economically driven of the three. If voters were to vote primarily on the basis of their pocketbooks, the president would steamroll the competition,” the report said. “This shows the importance that prevailing economic sentiment at the household level could hold in the next election.”
Trump’s opponents like to point to his low-ish favorability rating as proof that he’ll lose re-election. Mark Zandi at Moody’s, though, thinks that Trump’s consistency is the key. His favorability doesn’t dip much or rise erratically, it just remains steady around 40%. With voter turn-out the key, the election may revolve around a few key counties in Pennsylvania. Trump flipped them in 2016 after a record of voting Democrat in the previous five elections.
Specifically, he said Luzerne County, in the northeast part of the state, “is the single-most important county, no kidding, in the entire election.” The longtime Democratic stronghold favored Trump, 51.8% to 46.8% in the election.
Trump doesn’t even have to win the county, but merely needs a strong turnout, Zandi said
So far, Trump supporters should feel pretty good about his chance of re-election. Maintaining his economic successes is the key, as is keeping his supporters fired up and ready to go vote.