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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Public opinion polling and other indicators are pointing to Donald Trump starting in a tough spot as he looks towards competing for a second term this year against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“One of the polls shown to Trump in an internal [Republican National Committee] survey of voters in 17 battleground states, where Biden led Trump 48-45. An official briefed on the polling memo told The [Washington] Post voters ranked the coronavirus as the most important issue, with 54 percent saying Trump was too slow to respond, 52 percent said they believed the government should be doing more,” MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski told co-host Joe Scarborough on-air. “Only 36 percent said they consider Trump more honest and trustworthy. Thirty-five percent said he was more compassionate and empathetic. Forty-three percent believed he fights more for people like them. And 36 percent said Trump was more calm, steady, and relatable.
“Trump did outperform Biden in some areas, including who is better at getting things done and handling a crisis. But only 37 percent said they believe the country was headed in the right direction,” she said. “A question which has historically determined whether an incumbent will win re-election. After sharing the polling with Trump, the paper reports he flew into a rage, saying he did not believe the numbers, arguing that people love his performances at the daily briefings and think he is fighting for them, according to a person with knowledge of the conversation.
“NBC News and the [Associated Press] also had similar reporting last week regarding his reaction to seeing the poll numbers. That intervention, Joe, that intervention, I guess, got him so angry, because this has been something you’ve been saying every morning directly to him,” Brzezinski said.
The daily televised White House coronavirus briefings from which Trump held forth daily, sometimes for hours, have ended up hurting him, Brzezinski said.
“It is making people like him less, trust him less, and feel fear about their own future,” she said.
MSNBC political analyst John Heilemann also painted a grim picture of Trump’s position.
“What you’re seeing in the polls that you just cited across the board, on the fundamental issue that’s going to face these two candidates in this fall, the question of the coronavirus and President Trump’s handling of it, is the race is slipping away from Donald Trump,” he said. “I’m not trying to say he can’t win, I’m just trying to say that if history is a guide, this race is being determined right now. Not after Labor Day, it is being determined now. And if that’s true, and that pattern holds, then the president’s people should be deeply concerned about what’s happening right now. Because views of him with respect to the central issue are hardening right now. And the Biden campaign isn’t even having to do very much to make it happen. That’s a really worrying situation for President Trump.”
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