As Donald Trump walked back to the White House from the Marine One helicopter after the disastrous Tulsa rally, CNN cameras caught a shambling figure backlit in the dark, his jacket flapping open to a white shirt, literally hat in hand, with a crumpled red MAGA hat in one hand and his red tie trailing from a jacket pocket.
Pranked by TikTok users and K-Pop fans who reserved tens of thousands of tickets and ghosted him, spooked by rising infection rates in some states that have re-opened, the 45th president told the rally he would fix the surging pandemic rate by reducing the amount of testing -- a solution so ridiculous and so deadly that the White House has been dealing with the blowback ever since.
Trump might also feel low because his ineptitude and obvious bias in handling the public protests about George Floyd's death and other police encounters that lead to police violence against BIPOC have only compounded his gross mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis.
For these and one other reason (Joe Biden), Donald Trump's polling numbers are sinking at the fastest rate since he took office in January 2017 -- this comes just a few months before November 3, the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November.
Nate Silver's authoritative FiveThirtyEight.com compiled recent Ipsos, Igov and Rasmussen polls and reported that 56 per cent of voters disapprove of Trump's actions as president, and only about 40 per cent approve -- a rating that has been dropping week by week.
Reuters/Ipsos found the same:
"American approval of President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic has dropped to the lowest level on record as new COVID-19 cases surged and Trump was widely criticized for suggesting he wanted to slow down testing ... Trump has steadily bled support among a broad swath of voters since March."
Drawing on the same report, The Hill noted that:
"only 37 percent of Americans approve of the way Trump has responded to the health crisis, the lowest percentage since the poll began asking the question in early March. Of those surveyed, 58 percent of Americans responded that they disapproved of how Trump has reacted to the pandemic ..."
There's an old political adage that governments defeat themselves -- but only if there's a reasonably attractive alternative. Polls that compare Joe Biden (as the presumptive Democratic candidate) against Donald Trump usually find Biden ahead by at least 10 points.
"Joseph R. Biden Jr. has taken a commanding lead (14 points) over President Trump in the 2020 race," reported the New York Times on June 24. Biden has done this by, "building a wide advantage among women and nonwhite voters and making deep inroads with some traditionally Republican-leaning groups that have shifted away from Mr. Trump following his ineffective response to the coronavirus pandemic ..." Trump has become "an underdog."
The Realclearpolitics chart shows Biden leading by between four and 14 points in opinion polls this month.
"As President Trump skids in the polls," the LA Times reported last week, "Joe Biden has amassed a lead in so many battleground states that he is competing in places once considered out of reach, narrowing the president's path to reelection."
However, warned the article, "for all Biden's good fortune, there is a catch. Voters are not so much upbeat about him as they are upset with Trump. Many, in fact, don't know much about the prospective Democratic nominee, despite his decades in high office ... "
A CNN poll found that three out of five Biden voters said they were voting anti-Trump; just over a third (37 per cent) they were actually voting for Biden. On the other hand, with Barack and Michelle Obama supporting his campaign, Joe Biden seems to enter the electioneering period with an unbeatable points advantage.
Since the 2018 mid-term election, the Democrats have been on a roll, with increased diversity and rising new stars in Congress. With 10 candidates for the presidential nomination, candidate debates actually showcased diversity. And yet, 45 still led in the polls.
How ironic that even though Donald Trump -- probably the worst president in U.S. history -- is sinking now from his own limitations, that the key to Democrats defeating Trump, to winning back those rural conservative voters in Trump's "rock solid" base, seems to be that the Democratic party is putting forward another older white male this time, instead of running a woman or a Black candidate.
Mind you, there's more than one way to win an election. #45 has resisted calls to fix the U.S.' decrepit, hackable, patchwork national voting system, despite the Senate intelligence committee report that stated unequivocably, "The Russian govemment directed extensive activity, beginning in at least 2014 and carrying into at least 2017, against U.S. election infrastructure at the state and local level."
With the pandemic, health officials as well as Democrats and other parties have called for a nationwide scaling up of mail-in ballot voting, as is standard in six key states and permitted with "no excuse" or "no fault" in a total of 28. In response, Donald Trump has threatened to cut funding the U.S. Postal Service. That's my next topic.
Award-winning author and journalist Penney Kome has published six non-fiction books and hundreds of periodical articles, as well as writing a national column for 12 years and a local column in Calgary for four years. She was editor of Straightgoods.com from 2004-2013.
Image: Wikimedia Commons
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