President Donald Trump’s path to re-election is getting narrower and narrower — and that prognosis was made long before the coronavirus outbreak happened.
Now, due to his lackluster response to the disease’s spread, it looks as if he’s hurt himself even more, particularly in one very important swing state: Florida.
Trump won Florida in 2016 against Democratic candidate for president at the time Hillary Clinton by a margin of 1.2 percent. Presently, a poll from Univision released this month shows he’s ahead of presumptive 2020 nominee Joe Biden by about 3 percent — however, that number is within the poll’s margin of error, so it’s technically a statistical tie.
That means it’s probably going to be a very tight race, once again, in the Sunshine State…which also means Trump can’t avoid any huge mistakes between now and November.
Yet according to a survey from 160 “politicos,” conducted by The Tampa Bay Times (which includes a bipartisan group of former elected officials, activists, lobbyists, party officials, and more), he’s doing just that.
More than half of those who took part in the survey gave Trump a grade of “D” or “F,” the survey found. Only 8 percent gave him a grade of “A.”
The Tampa Bay Times shared some of the anecdotal observations of those who took part in the survey. One Democrat explained that Trump’s actions in recent weeks would resonate with his base of supporters in a negative way, once the toll of the virus took on deeper meaning.
“The virus isn’t political. MAGA country will be infected too, and they’ll finally see how ineffective the Trump administration is,” the Democrat said.
But the dismal chances of the incumbent president were observed in a bipartisan manner, with one Republican in the survey also opining that Trump’s usual tactics wouldn’t work this time. “You can’t ‘fake news’ away coronavirus,” that Republican said.
Mar-a-Lago is suddenly under a dark cloud as a nexus where the novel coronavirus could have spread among elites in the U.S. and around the worldhttps://t.co/xqTBPpNGt8
— POLITICO (@politico) March 16, 2020
Another Republican, noting the economic consequences of coronavirus, agreed things looked tough for Trump going forward:
“Find me a President as historically unpopular as Trump winning re-election in a recession,” they said.
And an independent politico gave their more moderate reasoning for why Trump would face consequences for his earlier inaction on the disease.
“Trump spent valuable time calling the virus a hoax and a Democratic plot. In doing so, he lost time when governments, businesses, and people could be preparing,” that individual said.
Of course, the political ramifications pale in comparison, in terms of importance, to the potentially high number of Floridians and other Americans who could be harmed by Trump’s incompetence so far. Hopefully, though, because Trump cares so much about his political image, he’ll be incentivized to do something proactive to help others for a change.