COVID surge is a live threat to Trump's already-weak campaign

Trump's reelection campaign is hurting the most in places where COVID-19 is rising the most

By Alex Henderson
October 31, 2020 4:59PM (UTC)
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A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020. - US President Donald Trump drove past supporters outside the hospital where he was being treated for Covid-19, after announcing on Twitter a "suprise visit" to his backers. (ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

Many medical experts are voicing concerns that as winter draws closer, the coronavirus pandemic will continue to worsen in the United States and other countries. Surges in the number of infections are occurring in many different parts of the U.S., and Vox's Julia Belluz — the week before the presidential election — is reporting that according to polls, President Donald Trump's reelection campaign is hurting the most in places where COVID-19 is rising the most.

"The third — and largest — coronavirus wave is hitting the U.S. just in time for the presidential election, with surges in key midwestern swing states," Belluz observes. "Numerous polls suggest voters may be taking their pandemic pain and panic with them to the ballot boxes in these places: President Donald Trump isn't just down in national polls — he's faring especially poorly in battlegrounds where infection rates are spiking."

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Belluz cites Wisconsin and Michigan as two states where Trump isn't doing well in recent polls and where coronavirus infections have been surging. 

"According to a pair of Washington Post-ABC News polls, likely voters in Michigan have put Biden ahead of Trump 51% to 44%, while a Financial Times analysis of RealClearPolitics polling data gives (former Vice President Joe) Biden a 7.9-point lead," Belluz notes. "In Wisconsin, the Post-ABC polls favor Biden by a stunning 17 points, and again, the FT finding was more modest — a 6.8-point edge for Biden. Registered voters also favor Biden in both states, according to the Post-ABC, which found the Democrat is more trusted when it comes to the pandemic response than Trump."

Belluz adds, "In states that border Wisconsin, including Iowa and Minnesota, Biden is also polling well, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis. In Iowa, a RABA Research poll has Biden at 50% and Trump at 46%; a Gravis Marketing survey has Biden carrying Minnesota by 14 points."

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Mike Greenfield, CEO of Change Research, told Vox that Biden "is doing well everywhere — but his leads are even more solid in places where the coronavirus is hitting the hardest…. We suspect that Biden's especially strong lead in Wisconsin is the result of people seeing the ineffectiveness of Trump's policies in that state."

Vox also interviewed Amesh A. Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore. Adalja told Vox, "(People in) places that were hit hard or are currently being hit hard are going to be looking to some solutions for their day-to-day problems….. (They) may be looking to find a solution in the other candidate."


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2020 Election Alternet Coronavirus Covid-19 Donald Trump Politics Trump Campaign