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Jennifer Rubin says…

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Author Topic: Jennifer Rubin says…  (Read 585 times)
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Having fun in the hills!

« on: April 06, 2020, 05:20:41 pm »

from The Washington Post…

So much for Trump's polling bump

The president's rotten performance catches up with him.

By JENNIFER RUBIN | 10:00AM EDT — Sunday, April 05, 2020

President Donald J. Trump at the White House on April 3. — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.
President Donald J. Trump at the White House on April 3. — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.

WHATEVER small bump in the polls President Trump received at the onset of the covid-19 calamity was minuscule in comparison with the surges of support for previous crisis presidents, and puny compared with the lift other world leaders were receiving for their efforts. And even by those standards, over the past couple of weeks, much has changed. The national death toll soared past 7,000. More than 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March. And Americans have seen the contrast between Trump and their far more competent governors.

While American manufacturers are trying to help out, whatever materials they produce for health-care workers likely will be too little and too late. In light of all this, it's no surprise that the Trump bump may well have dissipated.

The latest ABC-Ipsos poll shows Americans understand this crisis is not going to be over soon. Rather, “just over nine in 10 Americans now say that the outbreak has disrupted their daily routine…. Among those saying this, 44% said they think they will be able to resume their regular routine by June 1, including 13% who said by May 1, while a combined 84% believe that will happen by the end of the summer.” Moreover, “89% of Americans now saying they are concerned that they or someone they know will be infected with the virus, compared to 79% in a poll conducted from March 18-19 and 66% in a poll in the field from March 11-12.”

The perception of Trump's performance has changed dramatically. “Trump's approval for his management of the coronavirus is now under-water, 47-52%. Approval is down from 55% in the poll released on March 20, and closer to where it was in the March 13 poll, when it was 43%.”

Trump's approval may well decline even further as he weirdly seeks to avoid taking decisive action.

He announces the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation that Americans wear masks in public, but declares he will not wear one.

He insists the national stockpile is a backup, effectively demanding states fight among themselves for scarce supplies and thereby bid up the price.

He shamelessly tries to blame the Obama administration for the testing debacle, though he has been president for over three years; he dissolved the National Security Council position on pandemics; and he disregarded his own experts' warnings, thereby losing weeks to prepare for the virus's onslaught.

The ABC-Ipsos poll might be an outlier. But one other survey, albeit a online poll rather than a more rigorous traditional poll, suggests Trump is increasingly viewed negatively, even by a large segment of Republicans. Global Strategy Group's Navigator poll found that “40% of 2016 Trump voters say the president did not take coronavirus seriously enough early in the crisis, up 17 points since early last week.” Americans overall — and 66 percent of independents specifically — say Trump did not take the threat of covid-19 seriously enough early on, up 10 points from the preceding week.

Noticeably, “the majority of white non-college Americans, a usually supportive group, say they are seriously concerned that Trump downplayed the threat of coronavirus early on.” Trump's personal qualities are shining through — and that is bad news for him. “While 61% say Trump is unprepared, 52% say he is ‘chaotic’ and ‘erratic’, and 51% say he is ‘irresponsible’.”

We are not even at the end of the beginning of the crisis. Trump's actions going forward will matter. However, his slow start and continued erratic presence may very well haunt him, causing all but his core base to throw up their hands in horror and disgust. Facts matter. And right now, the facts are grim.


Jennifer Rubin writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican Party and threats to Western democracies. Rubin, who is also an MSNBC contributor, came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades, an experience that informs and enriches her work. She is a mother of two sons and lives in Northern Virginia.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Test results lagged as the White House touted coronavirus testing availability

 • VIDEO: 33 times Trump downplayed the coronavirus

 • The Ranking Committee: Who has the edge? Trump or Biden?

 • Colbert I. King: Wondering what's behind Trump's improved poll numbers? His attacks on the press.

 • Henry Olsen: The coronavirus polling bump is real. But Trump's is abnormally small.

 • Greg Sargent: A new poll shows that Trump doesn't actually have magical chaos powers

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If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 

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