On Tuesday, November 3, voters in the United States will decide whether they want four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House or a new administration under former Vice President Joe Biden (the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee). Trump has been campaigning on the economy as well as a law-and-order platform that recalls Richard Nixon and George Wallace in 1968, but recent polls indicate that it isn't working — and in an article for the Associated Press, Jonathan Lemire and Zeke Miller report that Trump's campaign is reevaluating and recalibrating its strategy.
"Less than five months before voters will decide his fate," the AP journalists report, "President Donald Trump is confronting a vastly different political reality than he once envisioned. For starters, if the election were held today, he'd likely lose."
Trump's campaign, according to the AP journalists, is worried about a variety of things — including Democratic voter enthusiasm (which appears to be higher than in 2016), polls that show Trump trailing Biden, and the president's response to the coronavirus pandemic. Moreover, Trump's law-and-order schtick doesn't appear to be working: recent polls indicate that most U.S. voters support the Floyd protestors and realize that the vast majority of them have been nonviolent.
"Trump was facing tougher political prospects even before the death of George Floyd, the black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee for almost nine minutes into Floyd's neck last month," Lemire and Miller explain. "COVID-19's mounting human and economic tolls -– and the president's defiant response –- cost him support among constituencies his campaign believes are key to victory in November. His signature rallies had been frozen for months, and his cash advantage over Biden, while vast, wasn't growing as quickly as hoped because the pandemic put a halt to high-dollar fundraisers."
A CNN poll released on June 8 found Biden leading Trump by 14%, while an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released a day earlier found Biden ahead by 7%. And the latter indicated that Biden is in a better position than 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was five months before the election — for example, a 21% advantage over Trump among female voters compared to a 12% advantage for Clinton four years ago.
The NBC/WSJ poll also found that 55% of voters now disapprove of Trump's handling of the coronavirus crisis compared to 52% in April and 51% in March. And the poll found that 59% of voters were more troubled by the killing of George Floyd than they were by the civil unrest that has occurred — a number that includes 54% of white voters and 78% of black voters.
The right-media will reflexively claim that CNN, NBC News and other pollsters have a Democratic bias, but Lemire and Miller report that Trump's own internal polling doesn't look good for the president.
"Internal campaign surveys and public polling showed a steady erosion in support for Trump among older people and in battleground states once believed to be leaning decisively in the president's direction, according to six current and former campaign officials not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations," the AP journalists report.