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Trumpdates: Oh Snap: Biden Officially Beat Trump in the Ratings over their Dueling Town Halls

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | October 16, 2020 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | October 16, 2020 |


11:30 — Trump schedule a town hall against Joe Biden for one reason only: So that he could brag about getting better ratings because Trump knows as much as anyone that folks typically prefer to watch the train wreck. Apparently, we are all wrong, because viewers preferred to watch the train quietly move from station to station last night. Joe Biden’s ABC town hall was seen by 12.2 million viewers and had a 2.6 rating among adults 18-49 last night, while Donald Trump’s town hall on NBC was seen by 10.3 million Americans with a 1.7 rating.

Huh. The KPop/Tiktok stans might have factored in, but in either respect, it’s a total disaster for the President, who looked like an asshole and doesn’t even get to brag about his ratings.

10:15 — For what it’s worth, the NYTimes Editorial board has “published a special project explaining why President Trump is unfit for a second term in office.” In it, they call on voters to “end our national crisis,” saying Trump’s “re-election campaign poses the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II.”

Mr. Trump has outstripped decades of presidential wrongdoing in a single term.

Frederick Douglass lamented during another of the nation’s dark hours, the presidency of Andrew Johnson, “We ought to have our government so shaped that even when in the hands of a bad man, we shall be safe.” But that is not the nature of our democracy. The implicit optimism of American democracy is that the health of the Republic rests on the judgment of the electorate and the integrity of those voters choose.

Mr. Trump is a man of no integrity. He has repeatedly violated his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Now, in this moment of peril, it falls to the American people — even those who would prefer a Republican president — to preserve, protect and defend the United States by voting.

Meanwhile, over on WashPo, they’re essentially anticipating Trump’s loss, and wondering, “Where will Republicans in the Trump Administration go?”

Today, some of those same Republicans are now quietly on the job hunt as President Trump’s standing in the polls continues to slide against Democratic nominee Joe Biden with decision time in just 18 days. But now, these GOPers are hoping the Trump presidency isn’t a disqualifying blemish on their resumes or Google footprint as the door revolves the other way and they seek to land, once again, in the private sector.

I hope to God it is a disqualifying blemish. They’re all white, and mostly male, so I’m sure they’ll be fine, but in a just world, they’d be forced into all the essential positions their Administration so badly endangered.

I should add, too, that our collective friends and family members who have lived in this delusion for the last four years will not be forgiven anytime soon, either. Even when the pandemic is over, you’re still not invited to Thanksgiving, Nana.

9 a.m. — There were dueling town halls on ABC and NBC last night, and while it was a horrible, terrible idea for Democracy for NBC to give Donald Trump airtime opposite Biden, it actually ended up … working out for Joe Biden. Interestingly, the reason Trump wanted to hold his town hall at the same time was that he knew he could brag about better ratings, and while linear ratings are not yet in, Trump didn’t fare nearly as well as Biden on YouTube (I suspect that KPop fans helped out here, too).

There’s a reason Trump didn’t do as well, too, for anyone who decided to switch back and forth, because the dueling town halls offered a clear contrast, showing exactly who should be leading the country, and it isn’t the “crazy uncle” who refuses to denounce QAnon.

Meanwhile, if you switched over to Biden, you’d get someone calmly talking about environmental policy.

A Trump supporter described Biden’s town hall thusly:

First of all, Ms. Slap [sic], it’s spelled Mr. Rogers, and second of all, that’s not the insult that you think it is. I saw numerous people describe the contrast between the two thusly:

Screen Shot 2020-10-16 at 8.28.20 AM.png

For Trump, the debate was a disaster. For Biden, it was a chance for a lot of people to see him speak calmly in a format in which he thrives, offering the starkest contrast imaginable.

Meanwhile, if the debate did not offer enough contrast, I woke up this morning to “The Onion” trending on Twitter, because Trump had cited a story from the right-wing Christian version of The Onion:

What’s that about Savanah Guthrie saying that Trump is not “someone’s crazy uncle”?

Speaking of Guthrie: Shame on NBC for that programming decision. But also: Savanah Guthrie was great, and at the end of another debate that left Trump looking like a damn fool, here’s how Sean Hannity characterized it:

I know that Trump supporters haven’t got tired of “the winning” yet, but have they gotten tired of all the complaining? Jesus. No wonder “political exhaustion” is weighing into the decision of so many people going to the polls right now.

Speaking of winning: Republican Senator Ben Sasse doesn’t believe there’s going to be a lot of it for the Republicans or Trump in November, according to a telephone town hall with constituents on Wednesday night. From the Times:

In a dire, nine-minute indictment of Mr. Trump’s foreign policy and what Mr. Sasse called his “deficient” values, the senator said the president had mistreated women and alienated important allies around the globe, been a profligate spender, ignored human rights and treated the pandemic like a “P.R. crisis.” He predicted that a loss by Mr. Trump on Election Day, less than three weeks away, “looks likely,” and said that Republicans would face steep repercussions for having backed him so staunchly over four tumultuous years.

“The debate is not going to be, ‘Ben Sasse, why were you so mean to Donald Trump?’” Mr. Sasse said, according to audio obtained by The Washington Examiner and authenticated by The New York Times. “It’s going to be, ‘What the heck were any of us thinking, that selling a TV-obsessed, narcissistic individual to the American people was a good idea?’”

“We are staring down the barrel of a blue tsunami,” he added.

I certainly hope so, Senator Sasse. I certainly do.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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