Each election cycle, voters are easily swayed by recent and current events and the responses of different candidates to these circumstances. As the presidential election of 2020 draws closer, there are several things that are set to impact how favorably the incumbent President Trump will be perceived. In particular, the past few months and predictions of a future dealing with COVID-19 are set to dismantle the credibility of a president that has already faced a number of scandals and investigations throughout these past four years.
The Latest Polls
Some of the latest polls show the loss of confidence by members of both parties, with former Vice-President Joe Biden taking a surge against Trump by double digits. The election odds for Trump seem to be dwindling, despite history (apart from ten cases) always favoring the sitting president during re-election. For those who have studied this presidency and others, many are willing to point the finger at COVID-19 for the most recline decline in approval ratings and electability. However, forming your predictions based on polls so early in the voting season isn’t always the best bet. Remember how Hillary Clinton dominated the polls in 2016 but Trump wound up with the presidency? This year, the coronavirus has helped to increase the divide between party lines, and given the strong showing the Biden is currently making, there is an assumption of change coming to the White House this fall.
The Impact of the Economy
Not only has COVID-19 brought thousands of deaths and infected millions around the globe, but the economic impact of mitigating risk and encouraging public safety has also rocked the financial stability of the United States. The stock market was one of the first areas to take a hard hit, but the aftermath of rising unemployment rates, business closures, and a weakened supply chain have many fearing another recession looms on the horizon. Some of the predictions are showing zero growth for the second quarter.
With the state of the economy largely influencing political campaigns and presidential elections, any downturn could undermine a strong position for President Trump. A slowdown in the economy can shift the vote, despite the record for the past three years showing incredible stock market gains and strength. Though Trump has very little to truly due with a global slowdown that the coronavirus has brought, voters tend to display their frustrations with the global condition through their ballot. In many cases, the Office of the President is the one that bears either the reward or punishment for the global scene. The economy had once been his strongest campaign message, but this may be eroding from beneath him.
The Evaluation of Performance
Natural disasters are beyond the control of the presidency, with creating a sense of normal out of the aftermath usually being the largest responsibility in the wake of such disaster. However, studies seem to promote the idea that presidents are often held responsible and even punished for situations beyond their control. They earn points for their response, but in the matter of COVID-19, very few are extending such points to Trump.
From the White House narrative, there was swift and decisive action taken once the virus hit the shores of America, and in the days and weeks the country was under the threat of the pandemic, Trump argues that his administration maintained a coordinated and fine-tuned plan for handling the outbreak. Looking at the polls, public opinion shows a shift towards disapproval of the President’s coronavirus performance, with nearly 36% of American s disapproving of how the outbreak was handled. Since Presidential performance is another key issue in the voting booth, the erosion of approval and confidence opens the door for the Democratic party.
The current situation of COVID-19 is still fluid, as are the opinions of the American public. However, if trends continue, the virus can seriously damage the hope of Trump’sreelection.
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