President Trump’s chances of victory on Election Day are again being underestimated, says Mark Blyth, a professor of international economics at Brown University.
He pointed to Mr. Trump’s appeal to the white working class, a demographic which has turned out to vote in increasing numbers since 2012.
“When it comes to rallies, when it comes to identification, that’s who Trump signals to,” Blyth said, arguing that the president has tried to establish himself as the champion of the white working class. “It’s very hard to build a winning electoral coalition without them.”
Blyth said that he believed the election is “going to be closer” than polls indicate. Former vice president Joe Biden is leading in several national polls, as well as in some critical battleground states.
“I actually expect the whole thing to end up in the Supreme Court,” Blyth predicted. And if Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed as a Supreme Court justice ahead of the election, as expected, then conservatives would have a 6-3 majority on the court. This could benefit Mr. Trump in any election-related case.
But Blyth also argues that Mr. Trump has failed to fulfill some of his promises to the white working class, like building a border wall and bringing back manufacturing jobs.
“I just see net negative after net negative and yet he manages to convince large numbers of people that he’s making America great again. It’s an incredible Jedi mind trick,” he said. Blyth, who focuses on the political power of anger in his book, says anger is a powerful tool being used by the president to maintain support.
“He’s allowing that anger to come out as a sense of moral righteousness that binds that coalition together,” said Blyth, comparing Trump supporters to the “generation of exhaustion” supporting Biden.
Blyth also slammed Mr. Trump’s position on climate change, as the president has rolled back several environmental regulations and denied the impact of global warming.
“When you have a climate change denier-in-chief running the United States, that is a big problem at the global level,” he said.
For more of Major’s conversation with Blyth, download “The Takeout” podcast on Art19, iTunes, GooglePlay, Spotify and Stitcher. New episodes are available every Friday morning. Also, you can watch “The Takeout” on CBSN Friday at 5pm, 9pm, and 12am ET and Saturday at 1pm, 9pm, and 12am ET. For a full archive of “The Takeout” episodes, visit www.takeoutpodcast.com. And you can listen to “The Takeout” on select CBS News Radio affiliates (check your local listings).
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