Did Republicans Pick the Right Time to Lose?

President Donald Trump gestures after addressing the first day of the Republican National Convention after delegates voted to confirm him as the presidential nominee for re-election, in Charlotte, N.C., August 24, 2020. (Leah Millis/Reuters)
As Joe Biden’s struggles mount day by day, it’s looking more and more like the GOP may have dodged a bullet in 2020.


or once, it seems that the Republican Party may have picked a good time to lose a presidential election.

Historically, the GOP has chosen its victory years badly. Through no fault of their own, Republican presidents have happened to be in office during the 1990–1991 recession, the 2001 “dot com” crash, the 2007 financial crash, and the Covid-19 pandemic. President Trump was routinely his own worst enemy, and yet his defeat in 2020 was at least in part the product of the personal and economic chaos that was caused by a virus over which he had precisely no control. If Trump …

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