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July 4, 2020, 7:57 a.m. EDT

James Carville says there’s a ‘significant chance’ Trump drops out of the presidential race

The Democratic strategist predicts Republican senators like Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham will turn on Trump after Labor Day

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By Nicole Lyn Pesce


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James Carville thinks Trump will drop out of the race.

‘I think there is a significant chance he doesn’t run. I mean, this thing is going so poorly. He’s so far back … to me, it doesn’t make much sense to run.’

That’s Democratic strategist and “2020 Politics War Room” co-host James Carville on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday morning, doubling down on his prediction last week that Donald Trump will drop out of the presidential race before November.

He suggested on the Comcast-operated /zigman2/quotes/209472081/composite CMCSA -0.07% news channel that Republican senators including Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Martha McSally of Arizona and Dan Sullivan of Alaska will try to separate themselves from Trump this fall. “This is the great ‘Moscow Mitch’ strategy: ‘After Labor Day, we’re going to turn on him.’ That’s really going to work,” Carville said with sarcasm. “McSally and Sullivan and Lindsey have been licking his boots for three years and nine months. But, boy, come Labor Day, we’re going to get some separation.”

Carville continued by asserting “the chances of that working are zero. He is gonna drag the whole outfit down with him.” He listed anti-Trump campaigns such as the Republican-led Lincoln Project “bludgeoning him every night” and spending “tens of millions of dollars” to stop Trump from being re-elected — or, in his words, “to extract this menace from the body politic.”

‘Trump has no idea of what he’s getting ready to get hit with. There are a lot more patriots in this country than he ever thought.’

Carville made a similar claim last week, on the same cable channel, when he said there is “no chance” that Trump gets re-elected. “I think there is a better chance Donald Trump does not run for re-election than he is re-elected,” he told Brian Williams. “If you just take the events of the last 10 days, obviously he has no control over the virus, he has no control over the tension in the streets. ...He’s lost control over everything.”

He added that, “Jared [Kushner], or somebody, is gonna have to sit down and have a real, like, talk, a real man-to-man, a come-to-Jesus, as people used to say, I don’t know what. ... That is, that which can’t continue will not.”

Carville isn’t the only one suggesting that the president will withdraw his re-election bid as Trump lags presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in most national polls, and coronavirus cases have continued to rise in 35 states over the past two weeks.

Earlier this week, Charlie Gasparino of Fox Business reported that “major players” in the GOP are wondering whether Trump should drop out. “It’s too early, but if the polls continue to worsen, you can see a scenario where he drops out,” one anonymous source is quoted as having said.

But the president also had the opportunity this week to celebrate a better-than-expected jobs report, telling reporters and TV cameras that the economy is “roaring back” and warning, “Your 401(k) will drop down to nothing and the stock market will drop down to nothing” if a president inclined to raise taxes is elected.

What’s more, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh told Fox News that the rumblings of GOP operatives suggesting the president should quit the race are “the granddaddy of fake news.” He continued, “Everyone knows that media polling has always been wrong about President Trump —­ they undersample Republicans and don’t screen for likely voters —­ in order to set false narratives. It won’t work. There was similar fretting in 2016, and if it had been accurate, Hillary Clinton would be in the White House right now.”

Watch Carville on MSNBC:

And stay up to date with MarketWatch’s coronavirus updates and 2020 election coverage.

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