An ABC poll released Friday showed that 55% of the American people approve of President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis—43% disapprove of his actions. In these times, that 55% is a very impressive number.
Any competent analyst will stipulate that we live in a politically polarized nation. Who is doing a majority of the polarizing is a matter of opinion. Many will also recognize that the coronavirus is perhaps the most important national challenge since 9-11.
Combine those two facts with the political math that for some time the president has had the support of approximately 45% of the public and 45% have opposed him, and we see a 10% swing to him on this absolutely crucial issue—12% if we look at the issue alone. That means the all-important category of swing voters approve of him.
That is more than enough for reelection. Joe Biden has been knocked off the airwaves and Bernie Sanders is brooding in his tent. The media void is being filled by those in the Democratic Party, like Nancy Pelosi, who are incredibly trying to take blatant partisan advantage out of the virus. The public is disgusted and will hold them liable. More points for Trump.
However —yes, there’s usually a however in politics— the virus is only part of the equation. The economy is the other part and it is bigger. The virus will sooner or later burn itself out, as all others viruses have. But the effects on the economy will last longer than that.
Those of you who have regularly read this column know I was bullish on the president’s reelection chances—still generally am. But I always mentioned a caveat: The nation had to be at peace abroad and the economy had to still be humming.
Well, for right now at least, it isn’t humming anymore. The unemployment numbers primarily, but other economic data as well, will decide the president’s fate on Election Day. However, again, because so much is unknown at this point the potential negative consequences of the virus are frightening to many Americans. But even with that fright and the economic picture, a double-digit spread approves of the president’s actions. That is a good thing for him and also a very good thing for America.