By Eyobong Ita
Sunday’s U.S. presidential debate in about 24 hours likely would determine whether Donald Trump remains competitive in this contest. After losing the first debate to Hillary Clinton, the heat clearly is on the GOP candidate to bring his A game to the second debate or risk losing more grounds in the polls.
The pressure is even more on Trump, considering that no presidential candidate in recent memory has lost back-to-back presidential debates and gone on to win the American presidential election. Trump needs a superb performance at the debate to stop the momentum of his Democratic Party rival, which has seen Hillary regaining a lot of lost territories in the last 10 days.
Trump’s Running mate for 2020?
Should Trump lose the November 8 presidential election to Hillary Clinton, expect Trump’s running mate to be one of the GOP candidates for president in 2020. Well, that’s the consensus of American political pundits after watching Mike Pence’s cool performance against Hillary’s running mate at Tuesday’s Vice presidential debate.
A CNN instant post-debate poll had Pence defeating Tim Kaine by six points, 48-42. However, the problem with Pence’s much admired performance wasn’t with his style, which was cool, or with his flat-out denial of many of the things he and Trump had said during this campaign, which was unbelievable. The real problem was that on many occasions, Pence refused to defend Trump, despite Hillary’s running mate daring him to do so. As a last straw, Kaine asked Pence why the people should vote for Trump when he could not even defend him.
The consensus is that should Trump lose this election, Pence would likely use the spotlight and new-found national name recognition to launch his presidential campaign in 2020. By then, Trump would have sunk into political oblivion. Whatever is the case, time will tell.
By the way, remember how Trump rejected all the polls that proclaimed Hillary the winner of the first debate? Well, Trump had no problem accepting the same polls when his running mate was proclaimed the winner of the vice presidential debate. With Trump, sometimes you just have to shake your head.
The October Surprise: Trump’s Tax Revelation
The New York Times, widely regarded as America’s number one newspaper, has done it again. For weeks, WikiLeaks has been threatening to drop an October surprise in this elections. In American presidential politics, an October surprise is regarded as a major revelation or news that could influence the outcome of the presidential election. This time, the New York Times beat WikiLeaks to it, dropping a bombshell of a world exclusive story that revealed that in 1995 alone, Trump claimed losses of nearly 1 billion dollars in his taxes.
Folks, let me break this down without getting into unnecessary accounting and auditing terminologies, the real revelation is not about Trump losing about 1 billion dollars, but that with such losses, Trump is believed to have benefitted from not paying taxes for probably up to 18 years. Meanwhile, those making what can be considered as peanuts compared to the revenue generated annually by Trump’s financial empire either voluntarily pay their taxes or are constantly being harassed by the merciless Internal Revenue Service.
This is most likely going to be a major factor in Trump losing to Hillary, especially when some of his surrogates keep saying that Trump is a genius or just plain smart because he knows how to maneuver the system and avoid paying taxes. Does this mean the common folks who have been paying their taxes are dumb? Should Trump lose to Clinton next month, this tax revelation could be a major factor.
Clinton Surges in polls 1 Month to E-Day
With just a month to the Nov. 8 presidential elections, Hillary Clinton is regaining lost ground and even gaining new ones. The Clinton-Trump post-debate polls clearly gave the Democratic candidate a boost as she seeks to become the first female American president. As of early Friday, the latest poll by Real Clear Politics showed Clinton leading by an average of 4.1 percent, nationally.
However, the best news for Clinton is in the battleground states, where this election would be decided. In Michigan, Detroit Free Press poll has Clinton leading by 11 and she has overtaken Trump in Ohio by 1, according to PPP poll. In New Hampshire, Boston Globe/Suffolk poll has Clinton leading Trump by 2 while Nevada is a tie, according to Emerson poll. Florida is still a toss-up with two separate polls favoring each candidate. Emerson has Trump up by 1 while the University of North Florida has Clinton leading by 3.
Among the battleground states, the most interesting turnaround for Clinton is the latest Emerson poll that has her overtaking Trump in Arizona by 2. This is more significant because since Bill Clinton, no democratic presidential candidate has won Arizona. Should Trump lose a traditionally Republican state of Arizona, this race might be over.