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Donald Trump’s lackluster response to the novel coronavirus pandemic “has accelerated history” by enabling presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to become competitive in a number of states which otherwise should be reliably in Trump’s column, said MSNBC host Joe Scarborough during a discussion on his Morning Joe program.
Among a number of big state-by-state leads for Biden, he leads Trump by 9 points in Florida, 49 to 40 percent, according to co-host Mika Brzezinski. Biden is up two points in Georgia, 47 to 45. It’s the same for North Carolina. Only one point separates Biden and Trump in Texas, 45 to 44. And Biden leads by 7 points in Arizona, 48 to 41, Brzezinski said.
In many cases, it’s been decades since a Democrat has been even competitive at the presidential level in some of these states.
“It’s almost as if every warning we’ve given to the Republican Party since 2016, it’s coming true, Gene,” Scarborough said, addressing guest Eugene Robinson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist. “Every warning. I love quoting Richard Haass when he said the pandemic didn’t change history. It has accelerated history. And states like Georgia, Texas, and Arizona really shouldn’t have been competitive until 2024, even at this stage of the campaign.”
“Exactly. That’s exactly right,” Robinson said.
In the United States there have been more than 2.4 million reported cases of COVID-19 including more than 124,000 deaths from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Donald Trump and this pandemic have made Georgia, Texas and Arizona — well, I would say toss-up states. Arizona is not a toss up state right now. Right now, that leans blue, but Georgia and Texas, we’ve had polls out of those two Republican states for the last month, month and a half, that show it deadlocked,” Scarborough added.
“Yeah. I thought it would be two more presidential year elections before Texas became a purple state, a genuinely purple state,” Robinson replied. “Donald Trump has — you’re right, he has so accelerated history that these polls show Texas up for grabs, which is absolutely astounding. Who can — you know, who can — I guess that’s a political accomplishment, but it’s of a self-immolation variety, it’s just incredible. And he will not stop. He either cannot or will not help himself.
“You know, Jonathan mentioned the enthusiasm theory of the Trump campaign, to drive up the enthusiasm of his base and try to get them out. But the more predictive figure is fear, really. And the polls indicate that more people fear — are fearing another Donald Trump presidency than fear a Joe Biden presidency,” Robinson said. “And that is a real motivating factor. It was the opposite four years ago, the fear numbers, fear of Hillary Clinton presidency that was higher than the Donald Trump fear factor. He was an unknown, people were willing to take a gamble on this ‘businessman’ who was so ‘successful,’ but — but now that’s completely reversed. And that’s a very, very bad sign in these polls for Trump.”
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