A protester is arrested on July 24 in Portland. Photo: JD Barnes General-election season typically announces itself with a handful of reliable signposts — veepstakes rumors, dueling party conventions, more frequent campaign rallies in contested states. The presidency of Donald Trump has occasioned a new one: the deployment of militarized federal forces on American soil. Their presence in Portland, Oregon (and at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2018), is more than a flex of authoritarian muscle. It marks, for Trump, the establishment of an election-year ritual, a political strategy ripe for replication anytime he faces the will of the voters. Especially if he thinks he might lose. With three months to go until Election Day, the president is seeing some of the worst polling numbers of his tenure. Eight in ten Americans think the country is heading in the wrong direction, and just 38 percent say the national economy is good, down from 67 percent in January, according to a recent survey conducted by the Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Trump now trails Joe Biden in several national general-election polls by double-digit margins, and he has watched his AP-NORC poll approval rating for his -handling of the pandemic plummet… Read full this story
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