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VICTOR JOECKS: Trump needs to shine the spotlight on Biden, not hog it

President Donald Trump needs to copy Joe Biden’s campaign strategy and disappear into a basement.

Election Day is less than a month away. Bluntly, Trump is in trouble. Polls show even traditionally Republican states such as Arizona, Iowa and Georgia could go blue. On Wednesday, a Rasmussen Reports poll showed Biden with a 12-point national lead, 52 to 40. At this point, there’s a better chance of a Biden blowout than a Trump victory.

It’s a mistake to dismiss the polls outright. Yes, the national mainstream media are biased, but sometimes the news isn’t good. By ignoring a troubling trend, Trump is wasting a chance to adjust his strategy and maximize his chances of re-election.

That’s why the president needs to go into a basement and stay there. No tweeting allowed.

Aside from fraud, which is a possibility in states such as Nevada, there are two basic ways to win an election. You persuade people to vote for you. Or you persuade people to vote against your opponent.

For almost four years, Trump has dominated the American political scene in a way no president ever has. His tweets commanded innumerable news cycles. He craves the spotlight. His presidency has been a whirlwind of highs and lows.

Agree or disagree with the president, it’s impossible not to have an opinion on him. Unfortunately for Trump, only a minority of the population approves of his job performance. The Real Clear Politics average late last week showed him underwater at 44.4 percent approval to 53.5 disapproval.

That alone doesn’t doom a presidential campaign — although it’s obviously not helpful. But it requires making voters oppose the other candidate more.

There is plenty to dislike about Biden’s policies. He refuses to say if he supports packing the courts. He has said he supported redirecting money away from the police. He reversed himself after polls showed that position was deeply unpopular. His health care plan would lead to single-payer, destroying the employer-based plans that many Americans support. His declining mental state may not be debilitating but it’s obvious.

Sen. Bernie Sanders helped write his platform, which would raise taxes and radically remake the American economy. Biden has said he supports a fracking ban. His hand-chosen successor, Kamala Harris, is one of the most liberal members of the Senate. He refused to acknowledge antifa as anything more than “an idea,” let alone condemn it.

But voters won’t focus on Biden’s far-left positions as long as Trump makes this election a referendum on himself. The national mainstream media aren’t doing much digging into Biden’s position on things such as court-packing either.

Trump’s coronavirus infection could have been the perfect excuse to step out of the spotlight. Instead, Trump rushed back to the White House and his Twitter account. He then called off stimulus negotiations, pointing out the unpopular provisions Speaker Nancy Pelosi wanted in a bill. Sigh.

Monday would be an especially good time for Trump to step out of the spotlight. That’s when Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings begin. The media have been hyperventilating over Barrett’s faith. Leftists, including race-baiting author Ibram X. Kendi, blasted her for adopting children. It’s likely Democrats will unleash further off-putting personal slanders this week.

More Americans will oppose these unjust attacks on Barrett than support Trump. It’s the perfect chance to sour the American people on Democrats and Biden. It’s an obvious move, but it requires Trump to restrain himself.

As the president has repeatedly made obvious, Trump would rather be the center of attention than win re-election.

Victor Joecks’ column appears in the Opinion section each Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen to him discuss his columns each Monday at 3 p.m. with Kevin Wall on AM 670 KMZQ Right Talk. Contact him at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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