Tired of horse race polls? They’re only a sign of the times.

ABC:

Trump in trouble as nearly two-thirds of Americans disapprove of his handling of COVID-19, protests, Russia

Nearly two-thirds of Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump‘s handling of three major challenges facing the country — the coronavirus pandemic, nationwide unrest over racial inequality and relations with Russia — in a new ABC News/Ipsos poll, a sign of the obstacles that his reelection bid faces just three months before Election Day.

With the White House confronting the most significant reckoning on race since the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the worst public health crisis in a century, and a hostile Russia reminiscent of the Cold War, Americans have little confidence in the job Trump is doing in all three of these major areas.

Trump closes out the month of July the way it began, with his approval on the coronavirus in the low 30s. His approval sits at 34%, right about where it was earlier this month (33%) when it reached a new low since ABC News/Ipsos began surveying on the virus in March.

as virus resurgence stalls recovery, GOP largely believes there isn�t much for govt to do: �A strategy for the economy?� asked IN Sen Young. �That�s not how economies work. Growth is created by innovators/entrepreneurs/workers based on supply and demand� https://t.co/HPzraU0cC2

— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) July 31, 2020

Marc Fisher/WaPo:

Three presidents embrace the struggle for rights. Trump suggests postponing the election.

Three presidents spoke in poetry, paying tribute to a fallen hero who believed — often against evidence to the contrary, including the cracking of his skull by state troopers — that America was good, its people driven by love to do right by one another.

One president, the current commander in chief, did not attend the funeral of Rep. John Lewis but instead spoke of dark forces in the country and suggested that the United States not hold its next presidential election on time.

In a country cleaved by political differences, paralyzed by a pernicious virus and suffering from a plunging economy, Thursday presented painful contrasts. It was a day of soaring tributes to the first Black lawmaker to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, offered from the pulpit of the mother church of the modern civil rights movement. And it was a day of pointed reminders that the nation is struggling, even after 244 years, to define itself, to decide what freedom and equality will mean.

The Trump administration told hospitals 2 weeks ago to bypass @CDCgov and send their COVID-19 data to @HHSGov. Officials promised the data would be faster, more accessible to the public, and more complete. So is it? /A THREADhttps://t.co/F0fcsbPAa6

— Pien Huang (@Pien_Huang) July 31, 2020

Greg Sargent/WaPo:

Obama’s rousing speech trolls Trump: Who’s the impostor now?

Donald Trump campaigned for the presidency in no small part on the idea that his predecessor was an impostor. He adopted the racist “birther” theory about Barack Obama with the carefully cultivated aim of connecting with disaffected GOP constituencies, then stuck with it through his hijacking of the party in 2016 en route to winning the presidency.

That core idea — that the first Black president couldn’t possibly have been a real American, that electing Trump would in effect set things right by erasing from history the Obama presidency, which should have never happened — is particularly galling, but also worth remembering, in light of the stark contrast we just witnessed unfolding between these two men.

It is perversely fitting that President Trump issued his clearest statement of corrupt intent yet toward our elections on the same day that Obama delivered a eulogy for John Lewis, who was revered for his willingness to sacrifice his life to realize the full promise of American democracy for African Americans, and for all Americans.

The front page of the @washingtonpost says it all today in the top two headlines pic.twitter.com/fc21Lv6Td9

— Jesse Rodriguez (@JesseRodriguez) July 31, 2020

This is why Donald Trump was engaged in a massive distraction effort yesterday. #squirrel https://t.co/q6LQ2eDGUS pic.twitter.com/0baMH25KAx

— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) July 31, 2020

But it doesn‘t mean the distraction worked. Look at the headlines.

Susan B Glasser/New Yorker:

Trump Is the Election Crisis He Is Warning About

When a sitting President threatens to delay a sacrosanct American ritual, you’d better listen.
So, sorry, we cannot just ignore it when the President threatens to cancel an election. This is the kind of statement that should haunt your dreams. It is wannabe-dictator talk. It is dangerous even if it is not attached to any actions. And those who think that some actions will not follow have not been paying attention. My alarm stems from having covered Russia when Vladimir Putin was dismantling the fragile, flawed democratic institutions that the country had established after the fall of the Soviet Union. It stems from reading history. It stems from having watched the past four years in America, where, day by day, the unthinkable has happened and been justified, rationalized, and explained away.

@djrothkopf https://t.co/8hrTBEM014

— Greg Dworkin (@DemFromCT) July 31, 2020

WaPo:

Alabama politician resigns as a Southern Baptist pastor after KKK leader’s birthday celebration

The birthday party for Forrest is an annual event. An invitation for the 2016 event said: “But, hopefully, we garner another soldier who has come to know the TRUTH about our history and our heritage and has joined the fight to save our noble Christian culture..”

“I know that in view of the past year since June 17, 2015 after the ‘Charleston 9’ shooting, our fight for our Southern history and heritage and our very IDENTITY has certainly escalated to an intensity that appears to have had an injection of steroids,” the invitation stated, according to the Southern Heritage News & Views newsletter. “… Our culture is a Christian culture and Christianity is the bullseye of their target! Western Civilization must be eradicated in order for the one world government to exist! But in the face of adversity, we MUST PERSEVERE!!!”

What I’m interested in is WHY people are CONVINCED any work disincentive impact of unemployment insurance will dominate everything else 3/

— Martha Gimbel (@marthagimbel) July 30, 2020

Ron Brownstein/Atlantic:

The Pandemic Is Damaging the GOP Brand Everywhere

The 2020 election undoubtedly offers Democrats their best chance yet to reclaim state legislative chambers across the country.

“COVID-19 and the concerns that surround that—everything from the health concerns people have to concerns about the economy and school—it’s the issue in the 2020 campaign, without a doubt,” Bob Trammell, the Democratic minority leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, told me, echoing the sentiment of Democrats elsewhere. Governor Brian Kemp, one of the Republicans who reopened early, “may not be on the ballot,” Trammell added, but “his response to COVID is very much on the ballot.”

In a matter of months, the virus has wiped out 5.5 years of GDP growth. And while a rebound is coming � one that Trump will tout just days before the election � a full recovery is years away. My @Morning_Joe chart: pic.twitter.com/UMfZjCnc2L

— Steven Rattner (@SteveRattner) July 31, 2020

AP:

Fauci to tell House panel ‘unclear’ how long pandemic lasts

There’s no end in sight to the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top government health experts will tell Congress on Friday.

“While it remains unclear how long the pandemic will last, COVID-19 activity will likely continue for some time,” Fauci, along with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head Dr. Robert Redfield and Health and Human Services testing czar Adm. Brett Giroir say in prepared testimony for a special House panel investigating the pandemic.

At a time when early progress seems to have been lost and uncertainty clouds the nation’s path forward, Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, is calling on lawmakers — and all other Americans — to go back to public health basics such as social distancing and wearing masks.

The panel, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, is divided about how to reopen schools and businesses, mirroring divisions among Americans.

Scenes from downtown Portland last night/this morning. I didn’t see a single Fed or Portland cop. Folks did start a few fires and other folks quickly put them out. That said, I did see a massive change in tone. The biggest change? No gas. https://t.co/mjG7t1xgIR pic.twitter.com/bFuSnsxXrc

— Mark Graves (@markwgraves) July 31, 2020

The hot spots are plateauing, not dropping. School is going to be difficult, and both a public health and political issue.
Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Trump is losing on the challenges facing America. 1
Yesterday TX reported 295 deaths, FL 256.

Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Trump is losing on the challenges facing America. 2