The verdict is in and the people have spoken.

The court of public opinion doesn’t give a damn about Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen

Outside Manhattan and other Democrat strongholds, Americans don’t care whether a flaky porn actress and an ex-con serial liar with a closet full of axes to grind are telling the truth. 

In fact, media obsession about the partisan show trial of defendant Donald Trump is obscuring a far more significant truth about him. 

Candidate Trump has opened his biggest lead in the presidential campaign.

Polls of battleground states, along with such anecdotal evidence as the enormous turnout of 100,000 people at his New Jersey rally and dispirited concessions by Joe Biden supporters, signal that we’ve reached a key turning point in the battle for the White House. 

Yes, yes, it’s far from over.

But recent signs suggest it’s now Trump’s race to win or lose. 

Joe losing support 

Whether that is because of or despite the partisan bid to lock him up is, for the moment, beside the point. 

What matters is that his surge is so broad that something fundamental is happening.

Consider a recent analysis from the leftist Brookings Institution. 

It finds that Biden is hemorrhaging support from almost every demographic group that helped him win four years ago.

“Major shifts away from Biden have occurred among Black, Hispanic, and Asian voters,” the report says, “including among college-educated members of those groups.” 

It reports a swing among black voters of a stunning 25 points, 13 points among Latinos and 21 points among Asian Americans. 

The analysis helps explain a New York Times poll showing Trump leading in nearly every battleground state.

The numbers are shocking, but not an outlier. 

Taking an average of recent surveys, RealClearPolitics finds that Trump leads in all seven swing states, including six that Biden won in 2020. 

Granted, some of the average leads are tiny — less than 1 percentage point in Michigan and Wisconsin — but movement every­where favors Trump. 

Then there’s Nevada, a solid blue state in the past four presidential elections, which is now backing Trump by a ­12-point margin, according to the Times. 

When RealClear allocates the toss-up states to one candidate or the other, it finds that Trump is on a path to win 312 electoral votes to Biden’s 226. 

That’s a bigger margin than either of the last two elections.

In 2016, Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 304 to 227, while Biden beat Trump in 2020 by 306 to 232. 

No sugarcoating 

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, after admitting he opposes Trump, cautioned fellow Biden supporters against sugarcoating the numbers, saying most polls tend to understate Trump’s support.

Thus, the real margin is probably larger. 

I see four main factors contributing to Trump’s momentum. Chief among them is that, deep into Biden’s term, the horse-race polls are finally reflecting public sentiment about his awful performance. 

According to Gallup, Biden’s ­approval of just 38% is well below the 52% average of recent presidents in April of their fourth year.

Trump at this point stood at 46%. 

Pew puts Biden’s approval at a dismal 35%, with just 61% of Dems and Dem-leaning independents giving him a thumbs-up. 

The numbers sink lower on ­issues that voters rank as most important. 

On the economy, Biden is underwater by 19 points in the RealClear average.

On inflation, he’s 30 points negative. 

On the border, he’s negative 29 points and on crime 16 points negative. 

The second factor shaping the race is the unusual face-off of two presidents, making it easy for voters to compare their own well-being.

On key issues, more voters preferred Trump’s tenure. 

That’s especially true on the economy and inflation.

An ABC/Ipsos poll found that voters preferred Trump’s tenure by a margin of 14 points on both. 

In another damning number for the incumbent, 43% of respondents told pollsters their financial situation has declined under Biden, while just 16% said they are better off. 

Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal showed the corrosive impact of inflation.

Prices for hundreds of grocery items have soared by 50% since 2019, the Journal said, and a basket of the same items that cost $100 then now costs $137. 

Incumbent chaos 

A third factor in Biden’s slippage is chaos, domestic and globally.

The wars in Ukraine and Israel-Gaza were bad enough, but the antisemitic explosion on college campuses is creating a sense for many that America is no longer a safe haven in a world gone mad. 

Added to the tempest is that Biden’s age, 81, and obvious cognitive and physical deficiencies make it impossible to imagine him as president for nearly five more years.

And nobody wants Kamala Harris in the Oval Office. 

Although Trump will soon turn 78, he presents a far more robust and resilient figure than Biden.

And the world was quieter during his presidency. 

The fourth factor shaping the race is that Trump has been a better, more disciplined candidate than he was in his first two campaigns.

The name-calling and petty feuds that scared off many voters haven’t disappeared, but have noticeably declined. 

A low point came with his attacks on Nikki Haley after he won the New Hampshire primary in January.

In a scowling acceptance speech, he snidely demeaned her clothes as a “fancy dress that probably wasn’t so fancy.” 

The fact that he hasn’t repeated the blunder suggests he gets the point.

Still, it would help Trump to have a reconciliation with ­Haley. 

She hasn’t endorsed him and closing that breach could bring him some moderate Republicans and Dem voters.

He can only gain by making the tent bigger, and she would have a better future in the party by endorsing him. 

Lately, Trump has reserved his hardest punches for prosecutors and judges in the six cases against him, four of which involve criminal charges brought by Dem ­prosecutors. 

Given that the cases smack of election interference, and some were clearly orchestrated by Biden’s White House, voters appear to be giving him an exemption on the name-calling front. 

Trump is also more circumspect on policies, a recognition of how divided the country is.

Even on border security, a signature achievement Biden foolishly reversed, Trump is careful not to overpromise given the 10 million illegal immigrants Biden let in. 

The issue is extra complicated where families and young children are involved. 

On abortion, he stresses state control after the fall of Roe v. Wade, and doesn’t seem inclined to push for a federal law.

He emphasizes that, whatever limits individual states decide, he wants exceptions to protect the health of the mother. 

It’s common to say that in politics, anything can happen, but it’s not entirely true in this case.

There is little chance Biden can dramatically improve his performance numbers in a few months. 

Which is why I say the race is Trump’s to win or lose. 

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