If you’ve been following financial markets, you may know that U.S. markets, especially tech security markets, have seemingly decoupled from reality. Markets are now trading higher than before the pandemic and investors are questioning how this is possible. As serious fiscal and monetary stimulus has come into the market, it appears as if markets have priced in more stimulus and a potential turn in the U.S. presidential election.
U.S. President Donald Trump now has the highest level of approval he has had in over five months and recently got the biggest boost ever from a political convention on the popular U.K. betting site Betfair, which takes bets on who is going to win the election. Currently, Democratic candidate Joe Biden leads Trump by only 1 point, down from a double-digit lead. This means people are literally putting their money on Trump to give Biden a run for his money.
Before the convention, I had suggested that Trump may actually move to the left of Biden on some issues and try to go after progressives to win, but he didn’t. In fact, Trump doubled-down on his usual talking points and did what Biden didn’t – appeal directly to his base. Trump knows convincing Democrats to vote for him in November is a lost cause, so instead, he turned to those that already enthusiastically support him and to the 100 million Americans who don’t vote. That’s right, 100 million Americans don’t vote. This number is according to a recent study published by the Knight Foundation. They found 100 million Americans either have never voted or voted only once in the last 24 years. Of these non-voters, 40 million had a positive opinion of Trump. Forty million. That’s enough to easily hand Trump victory in November, and this will be his go-to strategy.
How did Trump go after these 40 million Americans at the convention? He framed the election as essentially a cultural war, pitting right against left. Ivanka Trump spoke to the need for a “warrior in the White House.” Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani spoke to a war on the suburbs. The St. Louis couple infamous for aiming their guns at protesters walking by, Mark and Patricia McCloskeys, spoke to a war on the police and law and order, as the president often tweets. Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and many others spoke to the war on China and the “China virus,” as I had predicted in a previous column. This will be Donald Trump’s rallying cry for the remainder of the election season, and if he can hit these points hard and often, he might just pull off another win, which may mean more corporate handouts and fiscal stimulus could be around the corner.