36 days until November 3. What do we know?

By Dave Andrusko

*“Watch the presidential debate with live fact-checking by USA TODAY’s team of experts”—USA Today

*“He [President Trump] doesn’t know how to debate the facts, because he’s not that smart”–Joe Biden over the weekend

 *“Last week, a flurry of elected officials in southwestern Pennsylvania … most of them county sheriffs, all of them deciding that after lifelong affiliations with the Democratic Party, they had seen enough change to make them walk away”–Salena Zito

*“Biden lies about which university he attended, his class ranking, his number of degrees, and obtaining a financial scholarship. He must assume no one will question him. He’s right this campaign cycle. Biden’s campaign has been very successful at keeping the press away from Joe and he rarely answers questions, even during a ‘press conference.’ He is a longtime swamp creature that assumes he can just coast to victory without breaking a sweat and the press is happy to accommodate him”Karen Townsend

*”JAKE TAPPER: Your husband has been known to make the occasional gaffe.

JILL BIDEN: Oh, you can’t even go there. You can — after Donald Trump, you cannot even say the word gaffe.

TAPPER: Well, that’s what I want — I can’t even say the word gaffe?

BIDEN: It is — nope.

TAPPER: But you…

BIDEN: Nope. Done. It’s gone.

TAPPER: The gaffe issue is over because…

BIDEN: Over, so over—Jake Tapper “interview” with Jill Biden [“State of the Union” with Jake Tapper].

“[Florida] ABC/WP9/15 – 9/20613 LV Biden–47  Trump–51 Trump +4

“[Arizona] ABC/WP      9/15-9/20        579 LV  Biden–48  Trump 49 Trump +1 —Real Clear Politics

Just a little over 24 hours before the first presidential debate, moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News. President Trump, who gave Wallace a chance to go after him hammer and tong (which Wallace eagerly obliged) while Joe Biden declined. Will Wallace actually ask Biden not only tough questions, but follow up questions when Biden announces that he’s not going to answer, lest it play into “Trump’s hands”?

Yesterday Jake Tapper folded like a cheap suitcase when Biden’s wife announced he was not allowed to even bring up the topic of Joe Biden’s  “occasional gaffe.” Nope, off limits, announced Jill Biden, and Tapper dutifully changed the subject.

Tomorrow Wallace will likely ask Biden if he agrees with his Democrat colleagues that they should expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court—court-packing. Biden will say he can’t talk about that, all he can discuss is the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Will Wallace let him get away with non-answers?

I cite Biden’s long-established penchant for exaggerating his academic credentials because (a) it is so obviously falsifiable, and (b) one of his claims (that he had attended an historically black college) was never challenged until last week. (Biden had never been a student at Delaware State, merely a “commencement keynote speaker in 2003 and [2016], and during the former, he was awarded an honorary doctoral degree.”) 

Finally, if you look at the Real Clear Politics Average for today, Biden has an average lead of 3.7 points in the “Battleground states.”But Mr. Trump has caught up and gone slightly ahead in Arizona and Florida, two pivotal states.

More tomorrow.