At The American Spectator, David Catron explains how President Trump can win in 2020 the same way George H.W. Bush beat Michael Dukakis in 1988. He writes (abridged):
At this point in the 1988 presidential cycle, it was taken for granted among pundits and professional prognosticators that Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis would defeat Vice President George H. W. Bush by a comfortable margin. Moreover, public opinion seemed to confirm the conventional wisdom. At the end of July, two major polls, Gallup and Harris, had published voter surveys showing Dukakis ahead of Bush by 17 and 18 points, respectively. Meanwhile, the media consistently portrayed the vice president as a dull-witted wimp and represented the Massachusetts governor as a hyper-competent technocrat. Just over 90 days later Bush won the popular vote by seven points and the Electoral College 426-111.
Superficially, Biden and Dukakis would seem to have little in common. Yet a closer look reveals some surprising similarities. Most readers have probably forgotten that the governor’s free-fall in the polls began when questions arose concerning the dilatory release of his medical records and whether he had been treated for mental illness. As AP reported at the time, President Reagan was asked about this during an August 3 press conference and responded with an offhand quip that inevitably led to queries from the media: “Dukakis, when asked today if he had ever suffered from depression, said, ‘No.’ Asked if he had ever consulted a psychiatrist, he said, ‘No.’ ” Just a week later, his 17-point lead had shrunk to a mere seven points in the Gallup poll.
A few weeks ago, Biden led Trump by double digits in the RealClearPolitics average of general election polls. As of Thursday evening, his lead is at 6.4 and falling. Likewise, his lead in the top battleground states is shrinking. Is it possible for President Trump to overtake and soundly defeat him? Ask President Michael Dukakis.
David Catron is a recovering health care consultant and frequent contributor to The American Spectator
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