Reuters: A newly restrained Trump faces the same old problems

I spoke to James Oliphant of Reuters about the final Presidential debate and whether the President’s performance will move the race.

Thursday’s debate in Nashville, Tennessee, was the last time for both candidates to share a stage before a large television audience, and Trump engaged in a more civil discourse with far fewer interruptions than at their first debate in September.

“Trump was fine tonight. Might even give it to him on points. It’s just not the game-changer he needs,” said Liam Donovan, a Republican strategist in Virginia who has worked on U.S. Senate campaigns.

Trump’s vulnerability on the pandemic has forced him to turn to other stratagems to try to get back in the race, including aiming to brand Biden as a corrupt politician in the same manner he attempted to do with Democrat Hillary Clinton four years ago before he edged out a narrow victory.

Donovan said the gambit would yield diminishing returns in an election where voters have far greater concerns.

“It just feels like a ham-fisted attempt to reprise 2016, which worked – barely – because a dozen things went exactly right, and people had nothing else to worry about,” he said.

Read the full piece here.

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