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STEVE CORTES: Polling Shows 3 Key Issues Trump Must Hammer Biden On At Debate

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Steve Cortes Contributor
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What are the poll-tested themes and messages that work?

As former President Donald Trump approaches the critical first debate vs. President Joe Biden, most battleground-state polling shows him with material leads in key Sunbelt states—Nevada, Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina—and small leads or ties in the northern battlegrounds of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

My laborers’ advocacy group, the League of American Workers, has conducted extensive polling in the swing states for months, and these surveys confirm and solidify where Trump will find the most resonance in directly confronting Biden.

These polls were conducted by North Star Opinion Research, using representative samples of the 2020 presidential vote.

Here are the three issues that matter most:

1-Biden’s Cognitive Issues—Voters clearly acknowledge the reality of Biden’s mental abilities right now. In our Arizona survey, for example, only 36% of likely voters believe that Biden is “mentally capable of performing his duties as president for another four years.” Even among Democrats 17% do not believe Biden is mentally capable; and among independents a solid 55% majority say he is not capable.

Trump should acknowledge this reality—but with one major caveat: show some empathy for this problem that afflicts millions of elderly Americans. Trump should say something like: “Joe, your cognitive challenges are not your fault, and many Americans deal with similar challenges with their own parents and grandparents. I do not blame you for the issues you are having, none of us blame you. But you cannot be president any longer in your state.”

2-Immigration—Swing- state voters have soured incredibly on immigration, thanks to Biden’s reckless, radical open-border policies. America’s national security is put at risk, U.S. workers are forced to deal with the unlawful competition of illegal aliens in the labor market and America’s street safety is compromised as preventable migrant crime spreads across our land.

In the North Carolina poll we just promoted, only a scant 13% of likely voters say that immigration in North Carolina has “made the quality of life better in the state.” Even among Biden 2020 voters there, only 26% believe immigration has made life better. In border state Arizona, 72% of citizens judge the federal government’s job performance at the border as “weak.” So, Trump should hammer this issue hard and often—and use the tragic case of Laken Riley’s murder as the most moving example of open borders dangers.

3-Inflation—Trump finds big leads on economic questions generally, and especially the key “better off” metric. In Wisconsin, a state decided by razor thin margins in each of the last two presidential elections, voters report by a 54% to 39% margin that they were “better off” under Trump. Among independent voters in the Badger State, the “better off” margin expands to 55% to 32%. Even 11% of Democrats admit they did better under the 45th president.

Trump can land this point most effectively by exposing Biden’s constant lie about real wages, meaning pay adjusted for inflation. Even though most of the compliant, corrupt corporate media constantly let Biden slide on this lie, the truth was explained by Yahoo Finance, which used the real data to show that Americans work harder to afford less. Buying power plunges thanks to Biden’s runaway inflation. After all, even if they are not economists or data gurus, Americans cannot be fooled about their kitchen table economic reality. For example, in battleground Nevada, a whopping 64% said that “Bidenomics” does not work for middle-class families.

Across all of our surveys, food prices are the aspect of inflation that most bothers Americans, and big supermajorities blame Biden for that harsh new reality at the grocery store. Trump can make the argument tangible by pointing out that Biden’s own administration has determined that a “thrifty” grocery plan for a family of four has soared from $675 per month to $975 per month during his presidency, a shocking 44% increase that crushes middle class budgets. Trump ought to tell Biden, to his face, “you and your radical cronies cost even frugal American families an extra $75 every single week, just to eat! That’s not acceptable Joe.”

With these powerful messages, delivered with the right combination of strength and empathy, Trump can turn his current modest battleground leads into commanding ones. Time to start saving America.

Steve Cortes is former senior advisor to President Donald Trump, former commentator for Fox News and CNN. He is currently president of the League of American Workers and a contributor to American Greatness for polling and strategy.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.


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