GOP tense as Trump, Lindsey Graham face tough re-election challenge with Biden widening lead in key states
While the POTUS has found himself in a spot over coronavirus diagnosis, Graham's U-turn over Supreme Court judge appointment in a poll year has earned him criticism
President Donald Trump, who has already been battling some tough challenges over the past many months in forms of a pandemic and race riots, seems to have suffered a couple of more blows last week. While his conduct in the first presidential debate in Cleveland on September 29 where he constantly interrupted his opponent and Democratic candidate Joe Biden did not impress many, the positive test result for coronavirus and his reckless actions thereafter might have hurt his causes more than not.
A new Quinnipiac University survey has found Biden leading Trump 51-40 points in the key state of Florida while in Pennsylvania and Iowa — the states which also went to Trump in 2016 — by 54-41 and 50-45, respectively. The GOP is feeling the pinch as veteran South Carolina senator and Trump's critic-turned-loyalist Lindsey Graham’s re-election next month is facing a tough competition from newcomer Jaime Harrison. The poll was taken after the debate and the president’s diagnosis with the virus that has killed more than 210,000 people in the US and affected over 7.5 million.
Biden takes wide lead in crucial Florida
The findings of the situation in Florida, which has 29 electoral votes, will particularly put the Republicans in a spot of bother. In early September, Biden’s lead in the Sunshine State was 48-45 and the latest lead that he has secured over the incumbent there shows that the GOP has not executed its strategy perfectly in the southeastern state where Trump has made multiple visits in recent times and even has a residence. Florida recently has made the headlines after billionaire Mike Bloomberg pledged to spend a whopping $100 million in that state only to help Biden clinch it — a move that left the GOP insiders rattled.
“In varying degrees, three critical states in three very different parts of the country come to the same ominous conclusion. The president's hopes for re-election are growing dimmer by the day,” Tim Malloy, who conducted the Quinnipiac poll, said in a press conference. Days ago, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed Biden gaining a 27-point lead over Trump among voters aged 65 and above. The poll gave Biden an overall lead of 14 points. Biden has also been leading Trump among the moderate voters, another poll has found. According to a new Newsy/YouGov survey, the former vice-president is leading the incumbent by 68 to 26 points.
Graham facing tough challenge from Harrison
Meanwhile, Graham, who is serving as a senator since 2003 from South Carolina, a Republican stronghold, is facing a tough battle against the energetic Harrison. Graham, who is the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, recently faced flak for taking a U-turn on the issue of appointing a Supreme Court justice in an election year as he has backed Trump over picking Amy Coney Barrett as RBG’s successor. Summing up the challenges that two top GOP leaders in Trump and Graham have faced, Jessica Taylor wrote in the Cook Political Report: “Ultimately, this (SC) race has earned a more competitive rating — underscoring just how fast the GOP majority is slipping away if they have to turf like this, and also how much Trump’s numbers have fallen across the board.”