Firing the Manager

If this were an ordinary summer we’d be in the middle of a Major League Baseball season about now, and some of the losing teams would be firing their managers. In most cases the team is losing more because of bad players than a bad manager, and whatever genius is hired as a replacement won’t turn that out around, but it’s easier to replace a manager than a team and the fan base must be reassured that the franchise is still trying to win.
In this extraordinary summer the only spectator sport to watch is politics, so we’re watching all the state and national polls with the same obsessive fascination with which we’d ordinarily poring over the box scores and batting statistics, so we noticed that President Donald Trump has fired the manager of his reelection campaign. In his stunning upset campaign of 2016 Trump promised we’d be sick and tired of winning by now if he were elected, but the firing of the campaign manager is further evidence that he’s losing at the moment. We see people posting on Facebook and calling to talk radio who are sure Trump is cruising to a landslide reelection, but they might as well face the facts as Trump has done.
All of the statistics indicate otherwise. The lotest poll, which is from the generally reliable Quinnipiac University, shows presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden with a 15 point lead over Trump, even the friendly Rasmussen poll show Trump trailing, and the average of the polls has Trump well behind albeit it a mere 9 points. Trump’s average disapproval rating in the polls is some 15 points lower than his average approval rating, and although Trump claims his own polling shows otherwise he has fired his campaign manager.

None of the other statistics bode well for Trump. Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations and death due to COVID-19 continue to mount, even the most Republicans states are re-instituting public health restrictions, which doesn’t bode well the 40 million or unemployed Americans, and it’s not likely to “magically disappear” by Election Day. Nor will racism, another big issue of the summer, which Trump has said can be “quickly and easily solved./div>

Last night we got bored and counted up all the states where polls showed Biden was ahead by at least eights points, and added up their electoral votes, and according to our calculator the total was 258. The magic number is 270, so at this point in the season Trump is already in a hole. We also calculated the electoral votes of all the states where Biden is leading by less than eight points, and it adds up to a President Herbert Hoover-style landslide defeat. Which is ample reason to fire the manager./div>

The defenestrated campaign manager Bradscale was no Joe McCarthy, if you’ll forgive us a perhaps obscure baseball allusion, but we can’t hold him entirely accountable for the team’s poor performance He got the job by being Trump’s successful “digital director” in ’15 and being friends with presidential daughter and son-in-law Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, and doing whatever the boss told him to do. He gained a brash reputation of his own, and was reportedly making a fortune from the campaign, but Trump hates that and it didn’t prevent Trump’s plummmeting polls. Still, we figure he was managing a losing team, and that the genius who replaces him probably won’t turn things around.
Biden isn’t leading in all those polls because he’s the 1927 New York Yankees of presidential candidates, if you don’t mind another baseball reference. It’s more because Trump seems to recall the legendarily losing ’62 New York Mets, whose Hall of Fame manager Casey asked during that season “Can’t anybody here play this game?” In politics as in baseball the fundamentals matter, and team Trump will have to quickly improve its numbers on a lot of vital indices. There’s plenty of season left if baseball were happening, but we’re in the late innings of a presidential race, and we don’t see a new manager turning things around.

— Bud Norman

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