The renewed spread of coronavirus across the United States—and, in particular, into battleground states—is not doing Donald Trump any favors. That’s appropriate, since Trump’s early refusal to treat the pandemic seriously and his repeated failures since have gotten us to this point. It’s almost like Trump may face a consequence at some point.
We’ve seen the slides in Trump’s battleground state polling, with his handling of coronavirus drawing very poor ratings. But it gets more specific. “Pew surveyed voters in late March and the same people again in late June, and found 17% of those who approved of the president in March now disapprove,” Bloomberg reports. That slip came across demographic groups, “But those who live in counties with a high number of virus cases were 50% more likely to say they no longer approve of Trump.”
In March and April, COVID-19 cases were largely clustered in states Trump doesn’t care about—states that didn’t vote for him in 2016 and weren’t going to vote for him in 2020. So why would Trump, who only cares about himself, care? That’s no longer the case. The most COVID-19 cases are now in states that did vote for Trump, with Arizona and Florida being critical to his chances in 2020.
Trump should care about every state’s coronavirus levels, of course. That’s a question of basic human decency as well as doing the job of president. But he doesn’t. What’s striking is that he doesn’t even seem to care about the states that voted for him and that he needs again. Trump’s so locked in on the idea that reopening is the key to everything (i.e. it will benefit him) that he can’t see that competence in slowing the spread of the virus would also benefit him. (Then again, he may not know what competence is.)
Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic means that Trump’s failures are measured in lives lost. Him losing support and (we hope) losing the election can’t bring those people back. It can only help ensure this won’t be repeated.
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