President Donald Trump appears to be responding to the Coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. with an eye towards the general election this November, but a new Monmouth University poll indicates that his virus response, even if temporarily popular among some circles, isn’t exactly helping his chances. In 300 “swing” counties around the country, in which recent margins of victory for candidates have been comparably small — under ten percent — likely Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leads Trump by a full nine percent. He nabbed 50 percent of the support — almost a full majority — compared to just 41 percent for Trump. That’s not exactly a winning coalition for the incumbent.
Pooling actual results from 2016 in those same counties, Hillary Clinton led, but by just one percent, which obviously was not enough to give her the margin of victory that she needed to claim a victory in the electoral college totals.
Patrick Murray, the polling director for Monmouth, comments:
‘These counties were close in 2016, and then they went negative on him and stayed there. Even in a national crisis, we’re still not seeing a lot of movement.’
Currently, in those swing counties, only 42 percent of voters approve of Trump’s job performance, compared with 50 percent who say that they actively disapprove — which tracks, of course, with the respective portions of people who said they’d support Biden over Trump. The counties in question, The Washington Post explains, “include many different types of counties, including ones that lean somewhat but not heavily Democratic; suburban counties that shifted Democratic in 2018; and rural ones that Trump carried, albeit not by very large margins.” Swing counties in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania were crucial to Trump’s eventual victory.
Trump has based a lot of his campaign arguments on the improving economy, but that’s temporarily gone out the window — to say the least — as U.S. leaders have attempted to lock down society in an attempt to stem the spread of the Coronavirus, which has claimed the lives of over 800 Americans and infected over 55,000 and counting. Businesses across the country, from restaurants to bars and more, have closed in order to keep people apart, but this week, Trump began talking about opening them back up in order to protect the economy — although on Tuesday, the U.S. suffered more than 200 Coronavirus deaths in one day for the first time and the rate doesn’t seem to be slowing yet.
The Post notes:
‘Many health experts seem to agree that the coronavirus is a gathering storm, and that Trump’s failures have laid the groundwork for the calamity to grow to extreme proportions in short order. And our slide into economic disaster is only beginning.’
The @Senate & @WhiteHouse have reached a #COVID19 deal at a price tag of $2 trillion, the largest bailout in history. The bill aids small and large businesses hard hit by the economic downturn.
This is a "the whole GOP loves it" deal.
— Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett) March 25, 2020
This week, Congressional negotiators have finally come up with an economic stimulus package, although it’s yet to be passed. Still, it’s on the way, and seems likely to include provisions for support for struggling corporations, small businesses, and direct payments to large swaths of Americans, many of whom have been temporarily laid off during the Coronavirus outbreak. The stock market has begun climbing back up in value, apparently on the hope of that stimulus.
If this language is approved, Trump properties would be barred from getting bailout money. https://t.co/xAqqDjkr8a
— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) March 25, 2020