How Donald Trump’s Chances Could Improve Instantly
Author: Greg Valliere
June 29, 2020
THERE’S AN ENORMOUS GULF between President Trump and most Americans — we wear a mask and practice social distancing, and he doesn’t. We’re convinced that if Trump wore a mask and set an example, he would see an instant bump in his dismal polling numbers.
THE DATA SUPPORTS THIS: We were struck recently by polls from Pew Research and Fox News that showed overwhelming percentages of Americans support the use of masks. About 70 percent of respondents told Pew that people should wear masks most or all of the time they’re in public, and an astonishing 68% of Republicans — and 61% of strong Trump supporters — told Fox they favor warning masks.
TRUMP TALKS ABOUT A “SILENT MAJORITY” that supports law and order, but we would argue that the real silent majority supports doing whatever can open up the economy; wearing a mask is a small price to pay. Unfortunately, the media is addicted to photos of young people crowding bars and beaches, which sends an incorrect signal that the entire country is in non-compliance.
THE SHIFT ON MASKS has been remarkable in recent days from Republicans — tough guy Dick Cheney, former Defense Secretary James Mattis, and most prominently Mike Pence are wearing masks. And most of the Republican governors in the reeling Sunbelt have urged the wearing of masks.
PRESIDENT TRUMP HATES ANY SIGN OF WEAKNESS, and thus feels that wearing a mask would be inappropriate for him. We strongly disagree — wearing a mask wouldn’t hurt him with his adoring base; they’ll back him unequivocally.
AMERICANS WANT SOME LEADERSHIP, not happy talk; a mask-wearing president would show that Trump gets it, he’s one of us. And it just might revive his slumping poll numbers with senior citizens, who are the main victims of this plague.
WE HEARD OVER THE WEEKEND that Trump’s inner circle — aghast that he’s far behind in the polls — is looking for a new agenda and some new themes. Wearing a mask and urging social distancing would be a good start. Yet Trump wasted the news spin yesterday by re-tweeting a video of his supporters, one of whom chanted “White power!!”
RATHER THAN IGNORE THIS NEW VIRUS OUTBREAK, Trump could get in front of it by urging aggressive public behavior, supporting experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci — and it could help the president in the polls. Joe Biden still looks beatable, but not if Trump stubbornly refuses to wear a mask or show any empathy.
CAN TRUMP CHANGE HIS TONE? That’s the key; his advisers are urging him to appeal to the center on issues like the economy. If he doesn’t, Trump will be a one-term president, potentially dragging the Senate down with him. That terrifies Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — who suddenly has become a big proponent of wearing masks.
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