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As Trump-Biden 2.0 heads toward the party conventions, the major issues on which their contest will be decided have stabilized.  
 
An "October surprise" is still possible but very unlikely. The two candidates have both served as president and both have been under intense scrutiny for at least a decade for former President Donald Trump and five decades for President Joe Biden. New "opposition research" that can change any significant number of votes is therefore remote.  
 
So what are the issues that are going to drive voter turnout other than their personal animus or love for either Biden or Trump? An easy way to remember them is: "A-B-C; DEI; E-E-I-I-I." 

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No catchy tune serves to help you when it comes to the specifics like that which accompanied Nat King Cole’s "L-O-V-E," but "A-B-C; DEI; E-E-I-I-I" serves to categorize stories on news platforms.  

Biden, Trump

If you are stumped on how to decide between President Biden and former President Trump, you need to focus on the major issues. (Getty Images)

"A" should allow you to recall Afghanistan and abortion as well as appeasement.  
 
"B" is the border of course. 
 
"C" is crime, chaos on campus, climate and China.  
 
"DEI" is exactly that: diversity, equity, inclusion issues of all sorts.  

The second two "Es" are for education and energy 
 
Education is on many parents’ minds both because of its failures during Covid and also and more generally because of the collapsing confidence in public schools. Public schools are perceived by millions as both politicized and also incapable of readying children and young adults for life after 18. The education awaiting graduates of 12th grade on college campuses is now also in the spotlight because of the explosion of anti-Semitism on campus and the buffoonery of some university presidents, and not just the wretched testimony of a few before Congress but the cowardice and moral confusion on display as many college presidents display as they face alumni and parents of current students.  
 
"Energy" is simple: What are you paying for gas to run your car and gas or electricity to heat or cool your home or apartment? 
 
The three "I"s are inflation, Israel and the infirmity of President Biden. ("Inflation" is far more than energy costs but especially includes rent or borrowing costs.) 

"Wait!" some folks who hate Trump will object. "What about the threat to Democracy?"   
 
"Wait!" others will object. "What about the Biden Crime Family?" 

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To those two objections I can only assert my opinion that the voters motivated by either J6 or Hunter’s laptop are not really "in play." Voters motivated by either of those slogans aren’t changing their minds between now and November and are already very likely to turn out to vote in person and probably are voting early.  
 
The formulation of "A-B-C; DEI; E-E-I-I-I" is unwieldy but it does capture the key issues of salience to either (1) voters who  genuinely have not already made up their minds (and these are relatively few I guess) or (2) those voters unmoved by love or hate for either Biden or Trump or any single issue passion and who are thus going to find it difficult to motivate themselves to get out to vote (a far larger covered number, I guess, than the genuinely undecided). Almost all voters in both categories are going to either force themselves to decide and/or get themselves to a polling place will figure out which of the candidates to support (or whether or not to even bother going to vote) are mostly going to have to do so based on an issue or combination of issues captured by "A-B-C; DEI; E-E-I-I-I." 

So what are the issues that are going to drive voter turnout other than their personal animus or love for either Biden or Trump? An easy way to remember them is: "A-B-C; DEI; E-E-I-I-I."?

If you agree in whole or part, then ask yourself if your sources of "news" are regularly covering all of these issue sets, and if so, are they doing so fairly? 

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Do not trust any "news platform" that does not at least touch on these issue sets repeatedly and in a serious way between now and the close of the Democratic Convention in Chicago in August. "Horse race" coverage is inevitable. It is the nature of the beast that is a presidential election. But fundamental things are afoot, America’s direction on all these issues is up for grabs as the parties diverge significantly on each of the issues. Voters who feel that shaking of the ground beneath their feet and who try to think their way to an informed choice in this important election — not just of a president but also for the approximately 3,000 appointees either candidate brings with them, need information on these very different directions on all of these issues.  


 
Are you getting it? Are these issues even being mentioned on whatever you watch or read? If not, find some new sources. Soon.  

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM HUGH HEWITT

Hugh Hewitt is host of "The Hugh Hewitt show," heard weekday mornings 6am to 9am ET on the Salem Radio Network, and simulcast on Salem News Channel. Hugh wakes up America on over 400 affiliates nationwide, and on all the streaming platforms where SNC can be seen. He is a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel’s news roundtable hosted by Brett Baier weekdays at 6pm ET. A son of Ohio and a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Michigan Law School, Hewitt has been a Professor of Law at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law since 1996 where he teaches Constitutional Law. Hewitt launched his eponymous radio show from Los Angeles in 1990.  Hewitt has frequently appeared on every major national news television network, hosted television shows for PBS and MSNBC, written for every major American paper, has authored a dozen books and moderated a score of Republican candidate debates, most recently the November 2023 Republican presidential debate in Miami and four Republican presidential debates in the 2015-16 cycle. Hewitt focuses his radio show and his column on the Constitution, national security, American politics and the Cleveland Browns and Guardians. Hewitt has interviewed tens of thousands of guests from Democrats Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to Republican Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump over his 40 years in broadcasting, and this column previews the lead story that will drive his radio/TV show today.

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