If the US election were held today, Trump would win

If the US election were held today, Trump would win

But does he have that momentum? The top issues are inflation and immigration – big winners for Trump. These polls reflect Trump’s pushing those buttons and reaping the payoff of steady support in the face of all the turbulence Trump generates.

Trump’s New York trial is every bit as salacious and tawdry as advertised. Trump is bringing in the cavalry. Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson, several senators and prospective vice-presidential picks are now part of the Trump entourage before the bar of justice. They come out of the courtroom and make statements that Trump dares not to say himself lest he be thrown in the slammer for contempt. The trial is “corrupt”, Johnson said. “It is election interference, and the American people are not going to let this stand.”


Trump is completely unplugged. Time magazine has him on the record: states should be able to monitor women’s pregnancies and their terminations to determine whether state abortion laws have been broken. He will command the biggest deportation of immigrants in American history and bring in the military to execute it. Trump will use the National Guard to control protesters. Civil servants will sign loyalty oaths. He will have complete control over the Justice Department and who it prosecutes. Trump will stand up for white people. “I think there is a definite anti-white feeling in this country, and that can’t be allowed.”

Trump goes even further in closed-door meetings. In Florida last week, he spoke about Biden to contributors. “These people are running a Gestapo administration,” he said, adding that Biden is “the worst president in the history of our country. He’s grossly incompetent. He’s crooked as hell. He’s the Manchurian candidate.”

Former president Jimmy Carter has called political campaign contributions “legalised bribery”. Trump last month took transactional politics to a new level. He asked oil and gas executives for $1 billion in campaign contributions in exchange for a rollback of Biden’s energy and environmental policies. Trump said this would be a “deal”.

While this race is static, there are two coming inflection points. When the Trump trial jury reaches a verdict, there will be a reset on his standing. If convicted, will Trump lose support? For Biden, beyond the structural weaknesses in his campaign today, he faces two foreign policy crises that can do him real harm. If the war in Gaza is not ended soon, and if Russia is within reach of military victory in Ukraine, then Biden, the president with enormous foreign policy expertise, will own those failures.

Trump increasingly says that he kept the United States out of war during his presidency. With the world going to hell, this may be his killer advantage come November.

Bruce Wolpe is a senior fellow at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. He has served on the Democratic staff in the US Congress and as chief of staff to former prime minister Julia Gillard.

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