Republished with permission from Lucian K. Truscott IV
Boy, we haven’t had cause for a headline like that one in a while, but wham-o! There it is! Fox News had to go spelunking down into the nether regions of a new poll by Quinnipiac University to find a way to keep from losing viewers due to strokes and heart attacks in front of nursing home TV screens.
“President Biden holds a six-point lead over former President Donald Trump in a likely November election rematch, a new national poll suggests,” the Trump Network blasted out to its slavering masses yesterday. To soften the blow, Fox followed with this: “The poll also shows Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley topping Biden by five points in a hypothetical November showdown, but Biden with a slight edge over the former South Carolina governor and former U.N. ambassador in a crowded field of contenders.”
And to think: The Biden campaign hasn’t even activated its Pentagon psy-ops asset Taylor Swift yet.
The poll by Quinnipiac University released yesterday shows Biden leading Trump in a hypothetical one-on-one matchup in November by 50 to 44 percent among registered voters. The last time Quinnipiac asked the same questions of registered voters on December 20 of 2023, the results were too close to call, with Biden at 47 percent and Trump at 46.
This time, Quinnipiac reported that “the gender gap is widening,” with women supporting Biden by 58 to 36 percent, as compared to 53 to 41 percent in the previous poll. Quinnipiac reported that male support for Trump was “largely unchanged” at 53 to 42 percent, as opposed to 51 to 41 percent when the poll was taken last December.
Down in the weeds growing around a highly unlikely match between Biden and Haley, Quinnipiac found Haley beating Biden 47 percent to 42 percent. When the potential contest was widened out to include independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cornel West, and Putin Party candidate Jill Stein, the results tipped the other way, with Biden receiving 29 percent to Haley’s 26 percent. Quinnipiac attributed Haley’s win over Biden in the head-to-head matchup to support from Independents.
In a hypothetical showdown between Biden and Trump with the same independent candidates included, Biden beat Trump narrowly 39 to 37 percent, with Kennedy taking 14 percent of the vote.
There’s some other positive news in the poll—Biden has an overall negative approval rating of 41 percent positive to 55 percent negative, so Trump’s negatives must be stratospheric to give Biden a six point win in the head-to-head matchup. And Biden leads in the 18 to 34 vote by 55 percent to Trump with 41, a surprisingly good figure given all the negative news about young people’s disapproval of Biden on the economy and his support of Israel in the war against Hamas in Gaza.
I have to tell you that I don’t have any kind of snap answer for the numbers reflected in this poll, other than the one about the strong support of women for Biden. He has only begun in the last week to beat up Trump over taking full responsibility for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, so it’s unlikely that his speeches in South Carolina and elsewhere have begun to have an effect on the polls. That seems to indicate that women don’t need much persuading when it comes to disliking Donald Trump—good news for Biden and Democrats any way you look at it.
The other good news on the Trump front has to do with a story that’s just beginning to develop over a $48 million loan that popped up in a letter to Judge Arthur Engoron last Friday from the special monitor overseeing the Trump Organization while the judge decides on the penalty Trump will face for having lost his fraud case in New York.
The special monitor appointed to oversee Trump’s company, former federal judge Barbara Jones, reported to Engoron that she had been able to find no formal loan agreement for a loan of $48 million loan made to Trump in 2012 by one of his companies, Chicago Unit Acquisition, which apparently owns or controls Trump Tower in Chicago. The loan was included as a liability that Trump has not paid back on Trump’s financial disclosure forms required by the U.S. Government Office of Ethics during the time Trump was president, which seems pretty straightforward, since those are reports every president and member of the government must make while they serve in office.
But now the special monitor reported to Engoron that the Trump Organization has told her that the loan never existed. This presents a couple of major problems for Trump. First, if there never was a loan of $48 million to Trump, then his listing of the loan as a liability on federal forms is fraud. If in fact the loan existed, and Trump has not paid it back, as his federal financial disclosure forms indicated, and the loan was made way back in 2012, then the $48 million must be considered to be income. If Trump has not reported that income on his tax returns, and reported the loan as an asset on his business tax returns, then that’s tax fraud two ways.
Forty-eight million dollars ain’t chicken feed, as they say. When federal financial disclosure forms are involved, you don’t just disappear $48 million without there being consequences. It’s unclear how this is going to shake out, but for the moment, it appears that the verdict in Trump’s fraud case in New York is beginning to have what we in the world of financial analysis like to call “unforeseen consequences.” That is, when you get in enough trouble that a judge appoints a special monitor to keep watch over your business, and that special monitor start digging around in the records you’ve been keeping, or failing to keep, irregularities can begin to appear like little pustules that have been hidden by the bandaids Trump has put on his lies about his overall wealth, his businesses, and the way he ran them.
The Trump Organization has already been found guilty of fraud. It is already facing a potential fine of $370 million and a ban on doing business in the state of New York whenever Judge Engoron hands down his decision. And now Donald Trump personally is beginning to face consequences for the way he ran his businesses as a personal piggy bank for the last four or five decades. The statute of limitations has run out on all the flim-flams he pulled off in the 80’s and 90’s and early 2000’s, and he would probably still be sitting pretty on all the fraud he committed in New York State with the lies he told to get better terms on loans and insurance policies over the last 10 years or so…
If he hadn’t run for president in 2015 and gotten himself elected.
He probably could have sat up there in Trump Tower refusing to pay his bills and scamming his businesses to his heart’s content until the day he died and his estate had to be divvied up, which is when the bills would have definitely come due.
But nooooooo…he had to do what we used to call stick his head out of the foxhole by running for president and becoming president and then breaking copious quantities of laws trying to remain in office despite the fact that he lost the 2020 election.
Now look at him. Ninety-one felony counts in four jurisdictions and all of a sudden previously hidden scams like $48 million loans he made to himself are popping up like pimples, and there isn’t enough greasy orange foundation in the world to cover them up.
From here on out, it’s going to get worse for Donald Trump, not better.
Lucian K. Truscott IV
Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist and screenwriter. He has covered stories such as Watergate, the Stonewall riots and wars in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels and several unsuccessful motion pictures. He has three children, lives in rural Pennsylvania and spends his time Worrying About the State of Our Nation and madly scribbling in a so-far fruitless attempt to Make Things Better.