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Kerry Eleveld

Suburban women are on a mission to save America — and it may not stop at ousting Trump

rom politically apathetic to pants on fire urgency, Lori Goldman of Troy, Michigan, is among the ranks of suburban women who have felt called to duty by the existential threat to America that is Donald Trump.

Dressed in yoga pants and sneakers and whizzing through suburban streets on the state's east side to leave no door unknocked, Goldman has taken on the very mantra that many Democratic strategists have employed to help fight the complacency that some believe led to Hillary Clinton's defeat in 2016.

"We take nothing for granted," she told her canvassing partner, according to the Associated Press. "They say Joe Biden is ahead. Nope. We work like Biden is behind 20 points in every state."

These suburban women stories are everywhere now and they tell a similar tale of mostly white suburban women—some of whom voted Trump in 2016 and others of whom did not—feeling called to effect a different outcome for themselves, for their family, for other families, and for the nation in 2020.

Goldman founded the group Fems for Dems in early 2016 with an email to a few hundred of her friends. Now the group boasts nearly 9,000 members. She may drink Aperol spritzers and have her sights trained on the tony Detroit suburbs of Michigan's Oakland County, but make no mistake—she's taking no prisoners.

"I hate the saying, 'When they go low, we go high.' That's loser talk," she says. "You can be right all day, but if you're not winning, what's the point?"

Clinton actually did win Oakland County by about eight points in 2016, but she did so by fewer points than Barack Obama in 2012. The difference in their win margins alone could have cut Trump's 10,700-vote triumph in the state by half, according to the AP.

Two years later, Democratic gubernatorial candidate and now-governor Gretchen Whitmer doubled Clinton's margin in the county, while Democrat Elissa Slotkin unseated a GOP incumbent to represent the district. And while Goldman has successfully grown her group of "dumpy, middle-aged housewives" as she once called them, she is simultaneously dismayed by how fatigued many of her members grown by the daily the churn of Trump crazy.

"Our house is on fire," Goldman says.

Portraits of transformation like that of Goldman abound in these stories. And some of those transitions include a more comprehensive outlook on what their vote means for the nation rather than just their own self interests.

Kate Rabinovitch of Westerville, Ohio, reluctantly voted for Trump in 2016 and now spends all her in-between moments texting with friends and family and generating social media posts to turn the tide against him.

Rabinovitch, who has a 4-year-old son, has many objections to Trump, but she also pinpointed the killing of George Floyd as a seminal moment for her. Before February, she said, racism wasn't a key issue for her. But watching that video really impressed upon her the structural racism that continues to plague the country.

"I have to think of everybody," Rabinovitch told The New York Times. "So if I'm voting against Donald Trump, that's not a vote for me or a vote for my son. That's a vote for everyone. Everyone's sons."

Ohio-based Katie Paris founded Red, Wine, and Blue, an all-female team of suburbanites working to organize suburban women for Ohio Democrats. The Times describes Paris' political ethos as one part Obama strategist David Plouffe, one part psychological researcher Brené Brown—a combination of clear-eyed data analysis and vulnerable peer conversations. She also specifically feels the pull of white women needing to do their part to turn the country around.

"We can't leave this all on Black voters to carry all the weight in Ohio," said Paris, who is white. "It's going to take all of us."

And while all these women are making an immediate push to oust Trump, many of them also seem committed to a longer haul vision of transforming the country—or at least a sustained change in their own political alignments that could create long-term trouble for Republicans.

"I cannot imagine a Republican candidate that I would rally behind," says Ohioan Hannah Dasgupta, a young mother of two who grew up in a conservative home. "Wow, that's mind-blowing to think about. That's a huge departure."

Trump's final ad buy betrays just how broke his campaign really is

On a call Monday, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien revealed the campaign's total ad buy for the last two weeks of the presidential race would be a whopping a paltry $55 million ... split between no fewer than 11 states.

Um, just wow. And that's not only the Trump campaign, it represents coordinated spending with the Republican National Committee (RNC) too. Far from being a muscular way to close out the race, it feels more like a cry for help. By comparison, Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon said last week that she still anticipates raising another $234 million through the election.

The 11 states included on the target list for both entities are: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine-2, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

According to an Axios article last week, Stepien views Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, and Maine's 2nd district as the foundation of their path to 270—in other words, must gets. In fact, the article quoted Stepien calling that line up the "easy part," but apparently not so easy that they're forgoing dropping money in all four supposed gimmes.

As New York Times journalist Shane Goldmacher, who was on the call, noted, "On the one hand, Stepien says he is 'certain' that they are winning Ohio and Iowa. On the other hand, he announces the campaign will be up with ads in those two states in final two weeks." Go figure.

One state the Trump campaign appears to have finally given up on altogether is Minnesota. Earlier on Monday, the Trump camp had announced cancelling ad buys in several Midwestern states even as they were preparing to reinvest in some of them through this coordinated ad buy with the RNC. But Minnesota, which has pretty much always been a pipe dream for Team Trump, was dropped altogether.

Even before this final Trump ad buy in the closing weeks, Biden's ad spending had outpaced Trump's by a 2-to-1 ratio for months, according to The New York Times. In a review of the two campaigns' spending in 10 battleground states, the only state where Trump outspent Biden was Georgia—which doesn't exactly jibe with that state's inclusion in Stepien's so-called "easy" list.

Biden's spending strategy has clearly centered on the Midwest. "His dominance is most pronounced in three critical swing states — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — where he spent about $53 million to Mr. Trump's $17 million over the past month largely on ads assailing the president's handling of the virus as well as the economy and taxes," writes the Times.

And while Trump initially enjoyed a digital ad advantage in the early part of the campaign, Biden has steadily closed that gap in recent months, achieving near parity in the last 30 days at $50 million for each ad campaign on Google and Facebook, according to the Times.

What is perhaps most interesting in these final weeks is just how small Trump is playing even as Team Biden has played very big—and not just in terms of overall spending. As this Politico piece explains, the Biden campaign has seen so many paths to 270 open up that in some cases they realized it would be more cost effective to make national buys rather than spending astronomical amounts in smaller battleground markets. It's a worth a read.

Under normal circumstances, most campaigns at this point would be making buys to leverage their position in 10 or even fewer states. But the Biden campaign realized that making some national buys through the networks would actually cost only slightly more, for instance, than purchasing air time in states with major Senate races like Arizona, North Carolina, and Georgia, where pricing had gone through the roof. The big upside of the national buys was that they had the advantage of not only reaching the desired markets in key battlegrounds but also establishing a Biden presence in states that were newly on the radar, like Texas.

"We are looking at a very wide map right now," Becca Siegel, the Biden campaign's chief analytics officer, said. "Normally at this stage of the campaign, we would be narrowing in. But at this stage of the campaign, we have a lot of pathways that have opened up."

So as Trump closes out with a whimper, Biden is heading out with a roar, and his sizable cash advantage has made all that possible.

Trump could sink vulnerable Senate Republicans even in states he manages to win

Donald Trump's parting gift to vulnerable Senate Republicans is that he appears to be a drag on them with both his most loyal supporters and the swing voters they need to win their reelection bids.

In several of the most crucial Senate races, Trump is running ahead of his Senate GOP counterparts. In some cases, Trump might even win the state while the corresponding Senate Republican loses their race. In others, they both appear poised to lose the state but the Senate Republican could suffer a bigger defeat.

What this suggests is that Trump's wild support among MAGA enthusiasts isn't making the 1-to-1 transfer to his Senate colleagues—meaning their blind loyalty to Trump hasn't paid the dividends they anticipated. At the same time, Senate Republicans' studied obsequiousness to Trump has hobbled their chances of winning enough moderate and independent voters to be assured they can prevail in their reelection bids.

In North Carolina, for instance, Trump and GOP Sen. Thom Tillis are both losing to their Democratic rivals according to polling composites, but Tillis is running behind Trump. According to Washington Post aggregates of the races, Trump has 45% support to Tillis' 41%.

In Georgia, the Post has Trump running slightly ahead of Joe Biden, 48% to 46%, but Sen. David Perdue only garners 46% support. It's worth noting the some aggregates show Biden just slightly ahead or virtually tied. But more crucially to Sen. Perdue, if he can't clear the 50% threshold in the state, he'll be forced into a two-way runoff with Democrat Jon Ossoff.

South Carolina's Senate race is wild and GOP incumbent Senator Lindsey Graham is still favored to win reelection, though Democrat Jamie Harrison has made a real race of it. But in last week's New York Times/Siena poll, for instance, Trump enjoyed a "very favorable" rating among 79% of GOP voters while only 54% said the same of Graham. The survey also showed Trump up by 8 points, while Graham was winning by 6 points.

In Iowa, polls show a dead heat between Trump and Biden in the presidential race but incumbent Senator Joni Ernst is fairing worse against her Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield. The Post aggregates have Trump winning 46% of voters to Ernst's 44% of voters.

It's kind of beautiful, when you think about it. After Senate Republicans built Trump into a monster by underwriting every abhorrent thing he's done and then acquitting him of all wrongdoing to boot, they're getting punished for selling out America on both sides of the electoral equation.

The Texas Senate race is suddenly getting very interesting

The race for U.S. Senate in Texas has gotten a lot hotter than incumbent GOP Sen. John Cornyn ever imagined at the outset of this cycle. Due to Cornyn and his Republican senate colleagues building Donald Trump into the monster that escaped from lab, Cornyn's Democratic challenger MJ Hegar is breathing down his neck in her bid to unseat him.

In fact, a Public Policy Polling survey released Friday put Hegar just a few points down. "MJ Hegar trails John Cornyn just 49-46, making up for the Republican lean of the state thanks to a 55-34 advantage with independent voters," writes PPP. The polling outfit also noted the race was surprisingly close given that Cornyn has a 15-point advantage in name recognition.

76% of voters have an opinion about him with 39% rating him favorably and 37% unfavorably. 61% of voters have an opinion about Hegar with 32% rating her favorably and 29% unfavorably.

In other words, if Hegar managed to up her name recognition in these closing weeks, she certainly stands a chance of closing that 3-point gap.

Senate Democrats' top super PAC liked those odds. The day before PPP's survey was released, Senate Majority PAC announced it was directing $8.6 million toward the race for both English and Spanish-language ads that begin airing Friday and run through Election Day. The first ad focuses on Cornyn's numerous votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

"Three weeks out, and John Cornyn has a weaker standing than Ted Cruz ever did," J.B. Poersch, President of Senate Majority PAC, said in a statement. Of course, Cruz only edged out Democrat Beto O'Rourke by about 2.5 points in 2018.

Hegar also raised almost double what Cornyn did in the third quarter, bringing in nearly $14 million to his $7.2 million. That haul basically erased the GOP senator's cash advantage. From June through September, Cornyn spent more than twice as much as Hegar, $13.7 million to $6.4 million, according to the Dallas Morning News.

But between Hegar's increased fundraising and some help from Senate Majority PAC, Hegar is poised to make a real run at Cornyn in these final weeks.

Since 2016, the state has added more than 1.5 million voters to its rolls. On the first day of early voting Tuesday, both Harris and Dallas Counties shattered their previous first-day turnout records in what are two of the bluest counties in the state.

Strapped for cash Trump all but abandons the Midwest to salvage the Sunbelt

When a campaign piddles away precious resources on advertising in Washington, D.C. so the candidate can see himself on TV, sometimes it's not the smartest move. The Trump campaign clearly made many other not-so-smart financial moves too.

And so, three weeks out from an election in which Trump is trailing by double-digits nationally and running weak or even behind in must-win states, the Trump campaign is now making some painful advertising choices that include mostly abandoning the Midwest.

Trump, for instance, "yanked more than $17 million" from Ohio, Iowa, and New Hampshire in the six weeks since the GOP convention, according to the L.A. Times. That's particularly notable because Trump needs Ohio and Iowa to win and he's running almost even with Joe Biden in both states.

Trump has also cut $11 million in ad space since the end of August in Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, and Wisconsin. By a handful of points or more, Biden is running solidly ahead in every one of those states in polling aggregates, and in 2016 Michigan and Wisconsin both helped push Trump across the 270 electoral vote threshold.

Those decisions appear to have all been made so Trump can push resources to states he absolutely has to defend in Sunbelt region. In the last six weeks, the Times notes Trump has directed an extra $18 million to ad buys in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Arizona.

Pennsylvania appears to be the one Rust Belt state the Trump campaign can't afford to surrender. The campaign reportedly pulled $2 million in ads from the state in September but has been increasing spending there in recent weeks.

Nonetheless, Biden maintains a gigantic edge in spending, maintaining his presence in the key Midwestern states that narrowly swung Trump's direction in 2016, while pushing into other states that weren't originally viewed as competitive: Ohio, Iowa, Georgia, and Texas. In the past week ending Monday, the Biden campaign spent twice as much on TV and radio ads as Trump's campaign, $36 million to $18 million. A similar picture emerges since early September, with Biden spending nearly $95 million on TV spots to Trump's $41 million. But CNBC reports that the two campaigns spent roughly the same amount—a little over $5 million—on Facebook ads over the past week.

Hillary Clinton also outspent Trump on ads during the 2016, but one thing Trump hasn't been getting the luxury of this cycle is the enormous amount of free earned media coverage he got at nearly every raucous rally he held. Particularly in these closing months, Trump's rallies have been limited and the mere fact of him holding events that both can and have turned into superspreader events cuts both ways in any case.

Nonetheless, Trump addressed several hundred people from the White House balcony Saturday for roughly 18 minutes, and he has rallies planned this week in Florida, Pennsylvania, Iowa, and North Carolina. On Sunday, Trump declared himself "totally negative" for COVID-19 but provided no evidence for that.

'It just keeps getting worse': Trump defectors and 2016 nonvoters help cement Biden's growing lead

The major question for Democrats following 2016 was whether the party should focus on trying to win over some of the white voters who turned their backs on the party to vote for Donald Trump, or whether turning out the cycle's non-voters and and driving up numbers among the party's base was the path to taking back the White House in 2020. The Biden campaign appears to be succeeding in doing a bit of both, and to very good effect.

Ruth Mierzwa, a Pennsylvania business owner, told The Washington Post that she simply couldn't bring herself to vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in 2016, so she settled on neither and voted third-party. Not this time around.

"Trump is just so scary at this point that I don't think I can waste my vote on a third party," she said. "It just keeps getting worse. From his pick for the Supreme Court to his racist comments to his degrading anyone who doesn't agree with him to his handling of the virus. I can go on and on."

The Post released a national poll Sunday that put Biden up 12 points over Trump, and it's no outlier. National polling aggregates at the The New York Times, FiveThirtyEight, and even RealClearPolitics have Biden leading by 10 points.

Another outlet that gave Biden a 10-point advantage last week was Pew Research Center, which also found that nearly half of people who voted third party in 2016 now lean or support Biden at 49% while 26% say they plan to vote for Trump. The outfit also found Biden leading solidly among voters who didn't vote in 2016, 54-38%.


As for independents, the Post poll found Biden winning those voters by 12 points. That's a 16-point turnaround from the exit polling in 2016, when Trump won the bloc by four points.

Those takeaways from the Post and Pew surveys were backed up by battleground state polling released Monday from the New York Times and Siena College that found Biden ahead in Michigan by eight points, 48-40%, and in Wisconsin by 10 points, 51-41%.

Trump, writes the Times, "faces modest but significant defections among white and independent voters, while facing a groundswell of opposition from those who voted for a minor-party candidate or didn't vote at all in 2016."

Among likely voters in Michigan, Biden is losing whites by just one point, 44-45%, whereas Trump won the demographic by 21 points in the exits. And Biden is ruining Trump among independents, 48-31%, after Trump won the group by 16 points in 2016—a net 33-point turnaround.

Among likely voters in Wisconsin, the Times shows Biden winning whites by eight points, 51-43%, after Trump won them by 11 points in 2016. Biden is also trouncing Trump among independents by 18 points, 52-34%, after Trump won the group by 10 points in 2016.

Overall, after polling 5,556 respondents in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Ohio, the Times has found those voters backed Trump by 2.6 points in 2016—matching his actual 2.6-point margin of victory across the six states that year. But now, they support Biden across all six states, with the sample of 5,556 voters favoring Biden overall by six points. According to the Times, three demographic groups have contributed to that change in fortunes: Trump defectors (or vote switchers), third-party flips, and 2016 nonvoters. While all three groups make up a relatively modest slice of voters, they have all moved heavily in the direction of Biden in these six Northern battleground states.

Trump plans his next White House superspreader event for Saturday

Nose-to-the-grindstone Donald Trump is getting back to his mission: personally spreading the coronavirus to as many Americans as humanly possible.

So even as the White House continues to dodge all questions concerning Trump's COVID-19 status, Trump is planning an event Saturday (yes, Oct. 10!) with hundreds of people for "his first in-person event since he announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus," reports The New York Times.

Enticing! Who exactly will show nobody knows, since most of Trump's besties are still sidelined following his last coronavirus bash two weeks ago. But Trump will reportedly reprise his triumphant "Covita" return from Walter Reed Medical Center earlier this week.

The president was expected to make remarks from one of the balconies at the White House to the crowd, which was expected to include people attending an event elsewhere in Washington staged by a Trump supporter, Candace Owens, one of the people familiar with the plans said.

One person who clearly won't be there is GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who told reporters Thursday he had deliberately steered clear of the White House since August since it was clearly a COVID-19 hot zone in the making based on its lax protocols.

Nonetheless, Trump deftly sidestepped McConnell on the way to infecting several members of the Senate Republican caucus, hobbling the U.S. military's top brass and turning the White House into one of the "most dangerous places in the country," as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi put it. Tragically, Trump's superspreader event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett may have also sent the virus back to Barrett's community, where one teacher and two students recently tested positive at the small private school in South Bend, Indiana, which is attended by some of Barrett's children.

Anyway, things could change. As of yesterday, Trump was also planning a campaign stop in Pennsylvania. As of today, he wasn't. And after calling off coronavirus relief negotiations a couple days ago, Trump is now demanding the biggest, bestest deal ever.

So, yeah, Trump's not well. Things could change.

Trump and Pence are doing their best to alienate women voters

If suburban women heard it once during the vice presidential debate on Wednesday, they heard some version of it more than a dozen times. "Mr. Vice President, I'm speaking," Sen. Kamala Harris said, as she fought through Mike Pence's verbal badgering to make the point that Donald Trump lied to the country about how lethal the coronavirus is.

Pence's manner wasn't nearly as bellicose as the disastrous performance Trump gave during last week's presidential debate, but he still repeatedly talked over Harris and sought to steal her time throughout the hour-and-a-half debate. MSNBC reported Thursday morning that Pence had interrupted Harris at least 16 times—giving the suburban women the Trump-Pence ticket so desperately needs at least 16 reasons to stick with the Biden-Harris ticket.

It's not like it was a small transgression. When debate moderator and USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page laid out the ground rules for the evening, she stipulated that Harris and Pence would have two minutes to respond to each question "without interruption." In fact, in an effort to preempt another debate circus, Page reminded both candidates that they had two minutes to respond "without interruption" or "uninterrupted" no less than 13 times.

But Pence, with all that honest-to-goodness white male privilege of his, clearly figured the rules didn't apply to him. He talked over Page, he talked over Harris, and frankly, Harris repeatedly lobbied to be afforded more time after Pence siphoned away her precious seconds.

In fact, some of Harris' biggest zingers came after she fought for extra time to make her points. Roughly 30 minutes into the debate, as Harris reminded viewers that Trump was in court "right now, trying to get rid of" the Affordable Care Act, Page started to cut her off.

"He interrupted me and I'd like to just finish, please," Harris noted, before continuing, "If you have a preexisting condition—heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer—they're coming for you. If you love someone who has a preexisting condition, they're coming for you. If you are under the age of 26 on your parents' coverage, they're coming for you."

Pence tried to cut Harris off, calling her charge "nonsense," but it was a clear and forceful moment for Harris as she looked directly at the camera to address viewers watching from their living rooms across America.

But if Pence's 16 interruptions weren't enough reasons for suburban women to stay in the Biden-Harris camp, here's a 17th: Harris ultimately logged almost exactly as much speaking time as Pence, with Pence getting 36 minutes and 27 seconds to Harris' 36 minutes and 24 seconds. Any woman who's fought her way into a male-dominated conversation in a board room knows that equal time didn't come without a fight.

And if those 17 reasons weren't enough, Trump's personal post-debate outreach to "Suburban Housewives of America" surely was.

Let's count Trump's two references to Harris as a "monster" on Thursday morning as reasons number 18 and 19 to flee the GOP ticket—as if the suburban women of America needed any more reasons to ditch Republicans altogether.

Watch Harris fight to make one of the most important points of the night.

Top Trump donor and former RNC finance chair charged in foreign lobbying scheme

At top donor to Donald Trump became the third National Republican Committee finance chair since 2017 to run into legal trouble.

Federal prosecutors charged Elliott Broidy Thursday with an elaborate money-making scheme to pocket millions by illegally lobbying the U.S. government on behalf of a wide array of foreign entities, according to TPM. Washington, D.C. prosecutors charged that Broidy had used his direct access to Trump "to orchestrate back-channel, unregistered campaigns to lobby the Administration and DOJ." The disclosure by federal prosecutors suggests Broidy is preparing to plead guilty to the charges soon.

Broidy's lobbying included an effort to get the Justice Department to drop an investigation into a Malaysian scheme to bilk billions from a state-run fund named 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB. TPM reports that Trump also "pushed the Trump administration to extradite an exiled Chinese billionaire living in Manhattan who had become bothersome to Beijing."

Frankly, Broidy had an array of questionable endeavors in the works when federal authorities raided his offices last year. In 2018, Broidy had resigned his post as an Republican National Convention (RNC) deputy finance chair after it was revealed he was making payments in a $1.6 million hush-money deal with a former Playboy model.

In 2017, the RNC rolled out four auspicious members of its finance committee under Trump's leadership: Steve Wynn, Michael Cohen, Louis DeJoy, and Broidy.

Wynn, a wealthy hotelier, resigned his RNC finance post in early 2018 after being accused of sexual misconduct. He became the subject of multiple lawsuits, some of which settled while others were dismissed. The Washington Post reports that Wynn has cooperated with investigators in Broidy's case. Cohen, of course, pleaded guilty to multiple criminal counts and served prison time. He also played a role in securing the $1.6 million hush-money deal for Broidy. And DeJoy—now the embattled U.S. postmaster general—while not facing immediate legal trouble, is under investigation by Congress for potentially violating campaign finance laws.

Only the best people.

Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis seems to have highlighted one singular truth for voters

Donald Trump is a man who has no idea what's happening in the real world because he's so desperately committed to his demented version of reality.

To him, spending a mere three days in Walter Reed Medical Center and leaving while he's still highly infectious projects strength. To the vast majority of Americans, it's foolish.

To him, taking a joy ride in his SUV caravan to wave at a dozen or so supporters outside the hospital projected his connection to voters. To the vast majority of Americans, it was positively reckless.

To him, walking up the stairs of the White House to pose on the balcony, rip off his mask, and greet cameras upon his return from Walter Reed was triumphant. To the vast majority of Americans, it was just pathetically selfish as he gasped for air, putting everyone around him at risk.

To him, telling Americans not to let the coronavirus "dominate" their lives was strong. To the vast majority of Americans, it's insane, particularly because they don't have the luxury of having a fully functional medical wing in their house, a helicopter at their disposal, and access to any number of medications, FDA approved or otherwise.

What we appear to be seeing in the early polling is that Trump has taken whatever goodwill he might have gotten from contracting COVID-19 and thoroughly trashed it. Between his epic meltdown at last Tuesday's debate and his truly unfathomable handling of his own COVID diagnosis, rather than becoming more accessible, Trump is becoming further removed from voters—almost otherworldly, and not in a good way.

The CNN/SSRS poll released Tuesday reflected this in the notable movement on who voters trust more to handle the pandemic, with voters choosing Joe Biden by 21 points—a 9-point shift toward Biden since last month's CNN/SSRS poll.

There's also evidence of a post-diagnosis shift toward Biden in the new SurveyUSA poll released Monday that gave Biden a 10-point lead nationally. When the interviews with voters were broken down into time periods, Biden led by 8 points shortly after the debate (before Trump's positive test became public), but then Biden's lead bumped up to 16 points after Trump was airlifted to Walter Reed. It all averaged out to a 10-point advantage.

The polling outfit writes: "Of likely voters interviewed by SurveyUSA after Trump and Biden debated 09/29/2020 but before Trump had revealed his COVID diagnosis, Biden led Trump by 8 points, 51% to 43%. In the tiny window of time between when Trump acknowledged his illness but before he was hospitalized, Trump closed to within 4 points, Biden 50%, Trump 46. In interviews completed after Trump had been helicoptered to Bethesda, Biden appears to have consolidated support, leading by 16 points among likely voters interviewed most recently, 56% to 40%."

Obviously, this situation is fluid. But watch for more of these trends in the coming polls. What appears to be happening is that Trump—through his complete disconnect from the real world—has convinced the tiny sliver of voters who were still sitting on the fence that he is definitively not the man for the job.