The Lincoln Project is an American political action committee. It was formed in late 2019 by several prominent Republicans. The goal of the committee is to prevent the reelection of Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. The committee was announced on December 17, 2019, in a New York Times op-ed by George Conway, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver, and Rick Wilson.
In April 2020, the committee announced their endorsement of Joe Biden, shortly after Bernie Sanders announced the suspension of his campaign. George Conway is the husband of Kellyanne Conway, an advisor to Trump; Schmidt and Weaver are political strategists, and Wilson is a media consultant. All four are the traditional conservative Republicans but are outspoken critics of Trump.
The following opinion piece was published om April 15, in the Washington Post:
HEADLINE: We’ve Never Back A Democrat For President, But Trump Must Be Defeated
George T. Conway III, Reed Galen, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver and Rick Wilson
April 15, 2020
“This November, Americans will cast their most consequential votes since Abraham Lincoln’s reelection in 1864. We confront a constellation of crises: a public health emergency not seen in a century, an economic collapse set to rival the Great Depression, and a world where American leadership is absent and dangers rise in the vacuum.
Today, the United States is beset with a president who was unprepared for the burden of the presidency and who has made plain his deficits in leadership, management, intelligence and morality.
When we founded the Lincoln Project, we did so with a clear mission: to defeat President Trump in November. Publicly supporting a Democratic nominee for president is a first for all of us. We are in extraordinary times, and we have chosen to put country over party — and former vice president Joe Biden is the candidate who we believe will do the same.
Biden is now the presumptive Democratic nominee and he has our support. Biden has the experience, the attributes and the character to defeat Trump this fall. Unlike Trump, for whom the presidency is just one more opportunity to perfect his narcissism and self-aggrandizement, Biden sees public service as an opportunity to do right by the American people and a privilege to do so.
Biden is a reflection of the United States. Born into a middle-class family in coal-country Pennsylvania, he has known the hardship and heartbreak that so many Americans themselves know and that millions more are about to experience.
Biden’s personal tragedies and losses tested his strength, his faith and his determination. They were enough to crush most people’s spirit, but Biden emerged more compassionate toward the suffering of others and the burdens that life imposes on his fellow Americans.
Biden did what Americans have always done: picked himself up, dusted himself off and made the best of a bad situation. In the years since he first entered office, Biden has consistently demonstrated decency, empathy and humanity.
Biden’s life has been marked by triumphs that didn’t change the goodness in him, and he is a man for whom public service never went to his head. His long record of bipartisan friendship and cross-partisan legislative efforts commends him to this moment. He is an imperfect man, but a man who loves his country and its people with a broad smile and an open heart.
In this way, Trump is a photonegative of Joe Biden. While Trump has innumerable flaws and a lifetime of blaming others for them, Biden has long admitted his imperfections and in doing so has further illustrated his inherent goodness and his willingness to do the work necessary to help put the United States back on a path of health and prosperity.
Unlike Trump, Biden is not an international embarrassment, nor does he demonstrate malignant narcissism. A President Biden will steady the ship of state and begin binding up the wounds of a fractured country. We have faith that Biden will surround himself by advisers of competence, expertise and wisdom, not an endless parade of disposable lackeys.
For Trump, the presidency has been the biggest stage, under the hottest klieg lights in a reality show of his making. Every episode leaves the audience more shocked and divided. Trump’s only barometer is his own ego. The country, our values and its people do not factor into Trump’s equation.
Biden understands a tenet of leadership that far too few leaders today grasp: The presidency is a life-and-death business, that the consequences of elections have real-world effects on individual Americans, and that all of this — all of the struggle, toil and work — is not a zero-sum game.
The coronavirus crisis is a terrifying example of why real leadership looks outward. This crisis, the deaths and economic destruction are immeasurably worse because Trump and his administration were unwilling to do what was necessary to mitigate its worst effects and bring the country back as quickly as possible.
We asked ourselves: How would a Biden presidency handle this crisis? Would he spend weeks lying about the risk? Would he look to cable news, the stock market and his ratings before taking the steps to make us safer? The answer is obvious: Biden will be the superior leader during the crisis of our generation.
We’ve seen the damage three years of corruption and cultish amateurism can do. This country cannot afford to be torn apart for sport and profit for another term, as Trump will surely do. If Biden takes office next January, he won’t need on-the-job training.
We are in a transcendent and transformative period of American history. The nation cannot afford another four years of chaos, duplicity and Trump’s reality distortion. This country is crying out for a president with a spine stiffened by tragedy, a worldview shaped by experience and a heart whose compass points to decency.
It is our hope that when the next president takes the oath of office in January, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., will be the president for a truly united America. The stakes are too high to do anything less.”
NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE
On Wednesday April 29, the New York Times reported that Trump is frustrated by a faltering economy that is out of his control, and facing sharp criticism for his suggestion that disinfectants could potentially combat the coronavirus. According to the report, Trump has sunk to one of his lowest points in recent months. He directed his anger toward the one area that is most important to him: his re-election prospects.
It was reported Trump erupted during a phone call with his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, two days after he was presented with polling data from his campaign and the Republican National Committee that showed him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden. Typically, Trump “lashed out at Mr. Parscale and said it was other people’s fault that there had been fluctuations in a race they had all seen as his to lose just two months ago. At one point, Mr. Trump said he would not lose to Mr. Biden, insisted the data was wrong and blamed the campaign manager for the fact that he is down in the polls.”
“The lack of easy options to reset his political trajectory has been deeply unsettling to Mr. Trump, who began the year confident about his re-election prospects because of a thriving economy, but whose performance on the virus has Republicans nervous about losing the White House and the Senate in November.”
Below is the link to the entire New York Times report:
On April 24, it was reported that former Vice President Joe Biden is leading President Donald Trump in multiple presidential polls in battleground states amid the US coronavirus crisis.
“Even though Biden hasn’t gotten as much of the national spotlight as Trump, or even some governors, in the age of Covid-19, these polls suggest it might not matter much. Biden is ahead in most surveys conducted in states where Trump won in 2016, states that will likely be key to a Democratic victory in November. …
Biden leads Trump by almost 6 percentage points in the latest RealClearPolitics polling average, but there’s been a deluge of recent polls from battleground states with some interesting findings as well.
Following are some of the most noteworthy polls taken:
Fox News polled voters in Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania from April 18 to 21, with a margin of error of 3 percentage points. When voters were asked who they’d vote for if the election were held today, Biden led in all three states, albeit more narrowly in Florida. He topped Trump 50 to 42 percent in Pennsylvania, 49 to 41 percent in Michigan, and 46 to 43 percent in Florida [which falls within the poll’s margin of error]. In all three states, Biden owes his lead to women voters, leading Trump by 12 percentage points in Florida and by roughly 20 percentage points in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
A Reuters Poll of voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin from April 15 to 20, with a 5-percentage-point margin of error, also asked who voters would support if the election were held today. Biden led Trump 46 to 38 percent in Michigan, 46 to 40 percent in Pennsylvania, and 43 to 40 percent in Wisconsin [again, within the margin of error].
A Quinnipiac University poll of Florida voters conducted from April 16 to 20 with a 2.6-percentage-point margin of error found Biden with a slight 46 to 42 percent lead over Trump. Among Florida independents, Biden’s lead grew to 7 percentage points, leading Trump 44 to 37 percent.
Two national polls conducted in mid-April, one by the Economist/YouGov and the other by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, both found Biden leading Trump by 6 and 7 percentage points, respectively.
There are some important takeaways from all the polls. Even with record unemployment and a recession, Trump isn’t being judged as harshly on the economy as he is for his handling of the coronavirus. The Fox poll in Michigan found that 59% of voters surveyed said the president’s response to the coronavirus was too slow, compared with 38% who said it was appropriate. And Fox’s Florida poll found 55% of respondents agreed Trump’s coronavirus response was too slow, compared with 41% who said it was appropriate.”
A link to the full article is here:
WASHINGTON POST PUNDIT POWER RANKINGS
In late April, The Washington Post “Power Rankings” also offered the follow analysis of all the polls:
“Trump is behind no matter what set of polls one looks at. He trails Biden by 6.3 points as of Thursday April 30 morning in the RealClearPolitics average. His job approval rating has sunk in recent days to a mere 44.9 percent, down from a recent high of 47.3 percent on March 31. Though his job approval is still higher than his share of the vote in ballot tests against Biden, he would still trail by more than 3 points even if he did as well as those ratings. There’s no plausible path to winning the electoral college if he loses the popular vote by that much on Election Day.
Polls in battleground states show the same thing. Trump trails Biden in the Republican leaning Florida by more than 3 points. He trails in two of the last three polls taken in purplish North Carolina, and he’s behind in the pivotal state of Arizona by more than 4 points. He’s also behind in the trio of states that propelled him to presidency: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Every single piece of data aligns: Trump is behind and dropping.
History is also not on Trump’s side. No president seeking a new term has won with poll standings as low as Trump’s since Harry Truman in 1948. Even presidents who have led in polls in late April or early May have lost if their share of the vote was at or slightly higher than 40 percent, and Trump is receiving only about 42 percent against Biden. The same sorry record applies to vice presidents seeking to succeed their bosses. George H.W. Bush recovered from getting only 38 percent in the May Gallup poll to beat Democrat Michael Dukakis, but Hubert Humphrey, Richard M. Nixon and Al Gore each lost when getting below 45 percent in the April or May Gallup poll.
It’s not hard to see why Trump is in this predicament. He has never received more than 48 percent job approval in the RCP polling average, the first president in polling history to do so poorly. While virtually every other world leader has seen their ratings rise in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Trump has not. It’s true that Trump has faced a critical press corps during this crisis, but it’s also true that his performances during the White House daily press briefings have been at best uneven. He might blame his staff, but he ultimately has no one to blame but himself.”
TRUMP INCITES INSURRECTION AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE
On April 17, in a dangerous series of tweets, President Trump incited citizen insurrection against the duly elected governors of the states of Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia where the Democratic Governors are doing their best to “flatten the curve” of the pandemic. One day after Trump issued guidance for re-opening America that clearly deferred decision-making to the Governors of the states, Trump undercut his own guidance by calling for criminal acts against the governors for not opening fast enough.
Trump tweeted, “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” followed immediately by “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” and then “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!” The day before there were demonstrations in Michigan where armed protestors surrounded the state capitol building in Lansing chanting “Lock her up!” in reference to Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and “We will not comply,” in reference to her extension of the state’s coronavirus-related stay-at-home order. Smaller armed groups protested on the state capitol grounds in Richmond, Virginia , and outside the governor’s mansion in St. Paul, Minn.
TRUMP ADMITS DEATH TOLL WILL DOUBLE OR TRIPLE
It was on April 20 that Trump first estimated that the number of death from the corona virus would be 50,000 to 60,000. As of May 4, the death toll is approaching 70,000. During a May 4 televised fox News Town-hall, Trump revised his estimate dramatically and said:
“I used to say 65,000. Now I’m saying 80 or 90 [thousand], and it goes up and it goes up rapidly. But it’s still going to be, no matter how you look at it, at the very lower end of the plane if we did the shutdown. ”
Trump was alluding to the 100,000 to 200,000 death estimate cited in late March by public health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Before the pandemic, Trump was relying upon the booming economy to give him a certain reelection victory. The disastrous way Mr. Trump and his administration have been handling the pandemic crisis is no doubt a major reason his popularity is going down and voters are seeing what he is: a pathological liar and a totally inept fool.
Trump’s staunches supporters will no doubt say all the polls were wrong last time, they are wrong now, and that Trump will win again by a landslide. What Trump supporters always downplay or just ignore is that Trump lost the national popular vote to Hillary Clinton by 3 million votes and won the election in the electoral college. Biden is not Clinton and he does not have the extent of political baggage Clinton had. What Trump supporters also ignore is Trump must now run on his record of broken promises and irrational, unhinged behavior. Bullying opponents and critics and outright lying to the public will not cut it this time around.
Trump can no longer have his political rallies to gin up his base because of the pandemic. He now is saying he wants to start the rallies up again before the November election. There will be no “social distancing” at such rallies and the disease will spike once again. Trump has taken to daily news briefings and updates as a substitute for his rallies, and its backfiring in that he cannot control the questions asked nor correct the lies he reports as news. Trump refuses to accept the fact that he does not know what he is talking about. Trump consistently contradicts his medical advisors and lies to the public with what is going on. He also lashes out against his critics and the news media during his daily briefings.
Trump has an uncanny ability to make things worse with his daily tweeting and self-absorbed, self-center arrogance. His false proclamation that the decision to reopen the country’s ailing economy ultimately rests with him, not the governors, is the best example of how delusional President Trump is. After over 3 years of constant daily news coverage and twitters from Trump creating crisis, after crisis, after crisis of his own making, even bringing the country close to nuclear war with North Korea, the United States is now faced with a major pandemic revealing a man who is totally unfit, incompetent and totally unprepared to be President.
Trump supporters look upon him as the messiah that is cult like. As the crisis continues, the odds are high that he will only complicate the crisis, making things MUCH worse and create another crisis within a crisis. More people will likely die because of his mishandling of the pandemic. Trump now has acknowledged that the number of deaths caused by the pandemic will not be 50,000 but more like 200,000. Trump will make things worse because he just cannot help it.
Trump has now taken to promoting civil disobedience in states where Democratic Governors are doing their best to deal with the pandemic. Tweeting “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” , “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” and “LIBERATE VIRGINIA” and stoking civil disorder among his supporters is essentially throwing gas on a fire. Burning down the country is no way to govern, but Trump sure sees it as a hellfire way to get elected to another 4 year term.
For a related Dinelli blog article see: