Trump has the power to choose his opponent; that’s why he should be ripping Warren instead of Biden – Washington Examiner

Trump has the power to choose his opponent; that’s why he should be ripping Warren instead of Biden – Washington Examiner

The media rooted for Donald Trump when he earned them ratings during the 2016 presidential primaries, and they now revile him as he earns them ratings during his presidency. Everything he loves, the media hates, and vice versa.

That’s why Trump would do well to lay off of Joe Biden.

Given the extraordinarily sophomoric game theory guiding the media these days, Trump can provide a potent boost in the polls for whichever Democratic presidential candidate he chooses to insult. He’s been wise to lay off Pete Buttigieg, and even more to laud and normalize that the South Bend mayor is married to a man. But his Biden panic is an effective call to arms for the media to defend and promote the former vice president.

If Trump loses Wisconsin and Pennsylvania in 2020, he loses the White House. No candidate is better positioned than Biden to reclaim the fewer than 100,000 Americans who handed those two states to Trump. Biden won both of those states along with President Obama, and he still maintains ample appeal in the Rust Belt. Nearly every head-to-head poll between Trump and Biden shows the latter besting Trump by five points at minimum, with plenty verging well into the double digits. Even the betting markets show Biden beating Trump by a hefty margin. Economist Gregory Mankiw plugged betting market odds into the Bayes Theorem and found that Biden has a 77% chance of beating the president.

Naturally, Trump can’t stop beckoning the media to run interference for Biden.

These are not bad lines of attack. But coming from Trump, they’re all but neutered for the use of far-left Democrats. Remember, five and a half seconds ago the media tried to kneecap Biden’s bid with an absurd “#MeToo” ambush. Well, Trump happened, and now the media have quickly reversed course in granting Biden less adversarial, if not amiable, coverage. And tweets from Trump like these help even less.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., plummeted in the polls once Biden jumped in the race. But interestingly enough, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has managed to finagle her way into third place. This is excellent news for Trump because Warren is the worst semi-viable candidate in the race. (No, Kirsten Gillibrand is not even semi-viable.)

Unlike Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Buttigieg — the two candidates who round out the top five in primary polling but still aren’t nationally ubiquitous — Warren enjoys name recognition, nearly matching Sanders and Biden. That’s no small feat. Neither is the fact that her unfavorability is second only to Sanders and New York Mayor Bill De Blasio. An aggregation of polls collected by FiveThirtyEight found that Warren’s net unfavorability is one of the worst in the race, trailed only by Gillibrand, de Blasio, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii.

Even more important is the distribution of #NeverWarren voters. Whereas Sanders may have some level of populist appeal across the Rust Belt, Warren is backing a progressive agenda essentially rejected by all but the most white and privileged of the Democratic base. She also hasn’t gained any major ground in the pivotal states of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. And Mankiw’s Bayes output, which correctly predicted Obama’s nomination in 2006, shows Warren as the only serious candidate more likely than not to lose to Trump. (Note that Andrew Yang, a dark horse if ever there was one, would win three out of five election simulations in a head-to-head matchup.)

Trump’s attacks on Biden are depriving his campaign of meaningful attacks he could use later in a general election. They also make that matchup all the more likely. Trump ought to pivot and aim his fire toward Warren, giving her the media boost to unseat Sanders in the polls and position her to fight Biden. If Trump wants to win, he needs to start by throwing all the attention on the bad candidate he wants to run against.

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