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Commentary By Jason L. Riley

The Presidential Debate Is Donald Trump’s to Lose

Governance Elections

Even with the moderators in Biden’s corner, the president will have a hard time with the questioning.

Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Our summer bliss is being interrupted by an unusually early election-year debate because President Biden’s campaign is in trouble, and the White House is hoping that a solid performance Thursday evening in front of a national audience can help reshape his public image.

That’s possible but unlikely. If the election were held today, Mr. Biden would almost certainly lose, which is why so much more is at stake for the president in his televised mano a mano with Donald Trump. In addition to energizing his supporters, the president must convince skeptical party insiders that he has what it takes, physically and mentally, to win a second term. The president’s opponent has no such burdens. If Mr. Trump has a bad night, his campaign will go on. If Mr. Biden stumbles, it could be game over as Democrats call for him to be replaced on the ballot.

Continue reading the entire piece here at The Wall Street Journal (paywall)


Jason L. Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, and a Fox News commentator. Follow him on Twitter here.