Health concerns raised by President Donald Trump’s appearance at a West Point graduation ceremony highlighted another rough week for the incumbent, as Joe Biden’s odds for election inched higher, according to the Election Odds Tracker at Bonus.com.
Biden’s lead over Trump stands at 12.3% on our tracker’s aggregated odds set by overseas bookmakers. The former VP’s odds at becoming the 46th President are holding above 54% compared to the President’s 41.9% probability.
After seeing recent polls punish Trump in the wake of police brutality protests, the president hoped to rebound by giving the traditional address to graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. But his inability to drink water with one hand and a stilted gait down a ramp, hijacked the news cycle and raised health concerns for the 74-year old president.
Trump also continued to deal with the fallout from civil unrest around the country as protestors called for police reform in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. The nationwide discussion added another sad chapter over the weekend when Rayshard Brooks died after being shot by a white policeman at a Wendy’s in Atlanta.
Criticism of the President’s tone-deafness on race relations intensified when his campaign announced a June 19 rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In the south, June 19 represents a holiday known as Juneteenth. The holiday commemorates the release of slaves in southern states after the end of the Civil War in 1865.
Not only did the date of the rally put the President in hot water, but the city he chose drew significant criticism from local leaders. Tulsa recently noted the 99th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the worst racially motivated attacks on black Americans in the history of the U.S.
The uproar over the scheduling of the rally forced President Trump’s campaign to move the rally one day later to Saturday, June 20, but the campaign kept Tulsa as the location of the event.
Racial insensitivity concerns were not the only problem swirling around Trump’s trip to Tulsa. Also criticized was the decision to hold the rally at the BOK Center, an indoor arena that holds 19,000 people, just as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in multiple states where re-openings were accelerated. This sobering statistic includes states such as Oklahoma and neighboring Texas.
Trump’s tunnel of light to reelection, and possibly his only hope, continues to be the economy. In May, retailers’ sales went up 17.7 percent as Americans gorged on items like clothes, furniture, and sporting goods. The report sent President Trump to Twitter where he boasted:
“Wow! May retail sales show biggest one-month increase of ALL TIME, up 17.7%. Far bigger than projected. Looks like a BIG DAY FOR THE STOCK MARKET, AND JOBS!”
The President’s enthusiasm did not sway Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell, who advised caution for the economy’s future. Powell voiced his skepticism as unemployment lingers at 13.3 percent and 20 million jobs remain lost since February.
“Significant uncertainty remains about the timing and strength of the recovery,” Powell said on Monday. “Until the public is confident that the disease is contained, a full recovery is unlikely.”
After speaking via video message at George Floyd’s funeral, former Vice President Biden turned his attention to fundraising. Joining potential VP candidate Elizabeth Warren at a virtual event that raised $6 million, Biden called the senator a “change-maker.”
Biden’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee announced on Monday they raised $80.8 million. The average donation was $30, potentially underlining Biden’s appeal to middle-class blue-collar workers. Next week, former President Barack Obama will join the Democratic nominee in a virtual town hall fundraiser.
Biden has garnered kudos for his empathy with U.S. citizens marching in the ongoing systemic racism protests. In contrast to Trump’s law and order bluster, Biden’s steady show of leadership could continue to draw support away from the President.
The exodus from Trump by independents and disillusioned republicans remains one of the big reasons why Biden continues his surge in the polls and has become the odds-on favorite to win the 2020 election with less than five months until Election Day.