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Douglas Andrews / Oct. 22, 2020

Five Things Trump Needs to Do Tonight

The president has come back in the polls, and tonight's debate is about maintaining his momentum.

Notice how we haven’t heard a peep from the mainstream media lately about Joe Biden pulling away in the polls. Not a whisper. That’s because the opposite is true.

Two weeks ago, Democrats were gloating and fist-bumping. Today, the cat has their collective tongues. Poll after poll after poll, including three of the most accurate ones from 2016, show President Donald Trump having closed the gap dramatically in the homestretch. IBD/TIPP, which was the nation’s most accurate poll in 2004, 2008, and 2012 (and nearly so in 2016), has Biden leading by a paltry 1.8 points.

And with a colossal scandal blowing up around Biden despite the media’s best efforts to censor it — a scandal involving influence peddling, money laundering, and child pornography — momentum is clearly and unequivocally on Trump’s side.

Trump-deranged media outlets saw this happen in 2016, and now — Mother Earth help us! — they see it happening again.

So what does President Trump need to do during tonight’s final debate from Belmont University in Nashville? Yesterday, we covered some specific things regarding the debate topics of fighting COVID-19, American families, race in America, climate change, national security, and leadership. But here are five more general strategies:

First, the president needs to continuously pound his powerful economic message of deregulation, job growth, and prosperity across all demographics, contrasting that with Biden’s ruinous plans. The American people vote with their pocketbooks. Remember: With this election, as with every other presidential election, It’s the economy, stupid.

Second, the Left wants this to be a COVID referendum, so he needs to clearly and concisely refute the Left’s coronavirus narrative, which accuses him of abject failure when in fact our nation’s performance is on par with most major European countries. As Victor Davis Hanson writes in National Review, “The U.S. leads the world in finding effective drug protocols and vaccinations that will eventually conquer the virus. No one believes data from China, India or Russia. His argument that seven months of lockdowns now are doing more cumulative damage to the health and lives of Americans than the virus is increasingly undeniable.” Acknowledge the awfulness of 220,000 dead, but stress that we’re getting smarter and stronger every day.

Third, he needs to remember that the details of the Hunter Biden scandal will take care of themselves if he simply pounds some high-level points rather than getting stuck in the weeds. The still-persuadables don’t care about complex transactions in Ukraine and China, but they do care about words like corruption, influence-peddling, money laundering, and child pornography. Drop a few stink bombs at Biden’s feet, challenge him to respond, and demand his media bodyguards do their jobs. And then move on to his position on court packing, which the American people oppose by a whopping 58-31 margin.

Fourth, he has to avoid, at all costs, being seen as unduly hostile toward debate moderator Kristen Welker. True enough, the Debate Commission is rotten and Welker is another partisan Democrat, but the president needs to close the gap with suburban women, and he won’t do it if he’s seen as boorish and bullying toward her. Working the refs is fine, even recommended. Punching them isn’t.

Fifth, he needs to be forceful and aggressive throughout, but without being obnoxious. As Hanson continues, “The nonstop advice that Trump is receiving, often from the very swing voters he needs to win over, is sound — be aggressive in pressing Biden for answers without being interruptive or rude; smile and relax; don’t grimace, eye roll or scowl. Trump knows what he must do because he did it well enough in the town hall, and saw Vice President Pence do it effectively against Kamala Harris.”

In closing, he’ll help his cause if he simply reminds us that he’s done more for our country in 47 months than Joe Biden has done in 47 years, and if he tells us how eager he is to get back to work on Making America Great Again.

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