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One thing about these battleground state polls showing Trump pulling even or ahead with the Dem candidates: Impeachment Theater is the main reason he isn't more clearly ahead, and it's going to burn out or implode on the Dems long before the general election.
However the polls might bounce around, it's pretty clear the 2020 election will be decided by turnout and enthusiasm. What do Dem voters have to be enthusiastic about? They keep trudging wearily back to Biden because they think he's the only one who stands any chance at all.
Impeachment Theater is goosing Dem voters a little in the short term, and more importantly depressing soft support for Trump, but it's going to end in a very unsatisfying way for Democrat voters long before the election. The letdown will be highly demoralizing after all the hype.
Dem politicians will try to perk their voters up by making it seem Trump somehow "escaped justice" but it won't work. Results matter more than spin when it comes to turnout in a massive presidential election.
There's not much else the Dems can offer to motivate their voters. They've completely squandered this congressional session on impeachment follies. They're badly bungling their usual lollipop tactics, as with Warren's disastrous health care rollout.
The Dems are dealing with an electorate that has grown very weary of politically correct moralizing, which is all most of their candidates have to offer. They underestimate how tired their own voters are of this crap because they only pay attention to online extremists.
Growing public distrust in the mainstream media will make it hard for them to manufacture any real enthusiasm about the Dem candidate. They'll try, but the implosion of Beto is sobering evidence that the media just can't get voters jazzed for a Dem empty suit any more.
Democrat devotion to open-borders extremism is not exciting to many legal American voters - they'll go along with Dem propaganda and dogma on immigration because they've been browbeaten into it or they want to virtue-signal, but it's not exciting to them.
And needless to say, the Democrats have absolutely nothing exciting or motivating to offer on the economy, which all of them want to kill in various dreary ways. All the enthusiasm there is going to be on Trump's side.
Trump voters, for their part, look like they have a good deal of motivation to hit the polls, beginning with anger at the Dems for wasting America's time with Impeachment Theater. They're not going to write it off as no-harm, no-foul because it doesn't remove Trump from office.
Trump and congressional Republicans have a fantastic campaign narrative about getting things done while Democrats wasted America's time and money on political theatrics. Voters will be motivated to protect an economy doing far better than Dems said it possibly could.
The big X factor in turnout is whether a critical mass of persuadable voters in key states have been permanently turned off of voting Trump. This is the factor polls tend to get wrong, as they did in 2016, because people may say one thing to pollsters but vote differently.
Dems are assuming Trump has become radioactive to many and his support has a hard ceiling. Maybe they've made it *unfashionable* to declare support for Trump out loud in some quarters, but those folks will still vote for him because "It's the Economy, Stupid."
And in any event, negative campaigning is important and useful for creating an opening against any incumbent, but when it's all you have, it doesn't create the enthusiasm necessary to turn out the base plus soft supporters, and it tends to get the other side riled up.
A lot of the negative stuff Dems are counting on to drive soft-R, soft-D, and indy voters into their arms is more likely to just make them sit out the election, and if the Dems nominate a hardcore extremist, a lot of them will vote Trump in self-defense.
That's the really scary thing about this primary if you're a Dem: there are no candidates on that stage it would be exciting to vote for, and a LOT that it would be exciting to vote against. None of them gets the Dem base fired up the way Trump voters will be in 2020. /end
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