Saturday, January 23

The Rise of QAnon – The New York Times

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As the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. has moved south from its early epicenter in New York, so have the unusual patterns in deaths from all causes. Many of the recent coronavirus cases and deaths in the South may have been driven largely by reopenings and relaxed social-distancing restrictions.

In other virus developments:

Less than 12 weeks from Election Day, Trump trails Biden by about eight percentage points nationally. Is there still time for him to turn things around?

Yes, some observers say. The polls will most likely tighten as Election Day approaches, and FiveThirtyEight’s forecast currently gives Trump a 28 percent chance to win. Trump could exploit Biden’s long record on trade issues or the Iraq War to close the gap. Or he could try to engineer an October surprise involving a coronavirus vaccine.

Factors outside the president’s direct control could also help him, Ross Douthat, a Times Op-Ed columnist, argued recently. The pandemic or the economy could improve, or public opinion could turn against recent racial-justice protests.

Others think a comeback is unlikely. Given Trump’s unpopularity and the state of the economy, other poll-watchers are skeptical that he can make up much ground. Undecided voters appear less willing to back Trump this year than in 2016. And voters in some states can begin voting as soon as next month.

“The only way Trump could even conceivably eke out a win on Election Day would be through voter suppression on an improbably (perhaps impossibly) massive scale,” The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson wrote.

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