It is hard to remember another incumbent president in recent history who has done as little as Donald Trump to try to win reelection. In an environment that forecasts a November disaster for Republicans, Trump continued last week to barrel down a road that seems destined for defeat.
Rather than course correcting in the midst of tumbling poll numbers, Trump — who doesn’t like to admit mistakes — appears incapable of shifting in a more constructive direction on myriad fronts, from race relations to the coronavirus crisis.Last week, he again refused to acknowledge the worsening pandemic or encourage Americans to adopt the simple and effective measure of wearing a mask, even though lives are on the line. At a time when thousands have lost the health care they had through their jobs, Trump redoubled his efforts to strip Americans of health insurance obtained through the Affordable Care Act.He continued to use racist language to describe the virus and kindled more disquiet by championing the cause of dead generals with racist pasts at a time when a majority of Americans say they hope to stamp out racism.One could be forgiven for wondering aloud whether Trump really wants to win the election in November — if it were not for his narcissism and competitive streak.View Trump and Biden head-to-head pollingGiven his intransigence and unwillingness to heed the concerns of the majority of Americans, the political reality for Trump looks increasingly bleak. Coronavirus cases rose in more than 30 states last week, and a new New York Times/Siena poll showed former Vice President Joe Biden leading Trump by 14 points, with a double-digit lead among independent voters as Trump’s support continues to crater with suburban voters and seniors.But it was the slate of NYT/Siena battleground polls that gave Republicans the most heartburn. They showed Biden leading by 11 points in Michigan and Wisconsin, 10 points in Pennsylvania, 9 points in North Carolina, 7 points in Arizona and 6 points in Florida.”The more that Donald Trump is out, the worse he does,” Biden observed during a Saturday campaign event focused on the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. “I think it’s wonderful he goes out. He goes — I’m being a bit facetious because it’s dangerous what he’s doing with these rallies. But look at his numbers have dropped through the floor.”
Republicans worry about Trump’s drag on the ticket
Worried about what that could mean for the power of their party in Washington, Republicans are increasingly expressing their concerns about the November election after largely refusing to criticize the President for months, fearing a backlash from his base.Several congressional Republicans voiced their unease after Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last Saturday — where he said he told his “people” to dial back coronavirus testing because he thought increasing case numbers were reflecting poorly on his handling of the virus.
Trump followed that incomprehensible admission on testing with a race-baiting event this week in Arizona where he once again used the racist term “Kung Flu” to describe the virus to the delight of his young conservative audience.
As Washington pondered who that rhetoric helps, Senate Majority Whip John Thune pointedly noted that Trump is already “good with the base,” adding that “the people in the middle” will cast the deciding vote in November..