A new Gallup poll has revealed certain facts of the upcoming presidential campaign, facts that are not likely to change going forward. No matter what direction the public health crisis takes, these contours are likely to remain the same. Americans were asked to offer their opinion on various institutions’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
United States hospitals ranked at the top of the list when the poll results were counted. Their approval rating currently stacks up at 88 percent and this should not be surprising to anyone. These hospitals are doing everything in their power to keep Americans safe. Their tireless efforts needed to be recognized.
As for President Trump, his approval rating has risen to 60 percent. There are some who will downplay this approval rating, pointing to the approval ratings that presidents have achieved during past crises. When Americans are confronted with issues of this nature, they tend to rally around the flag.
Presidents who experienced crises during the 80s and 90s were able to achieve much higher approval ratings for this important reason. Nowadays, it is too hard to get everyone to come together during times like these. The Americans who are anti Trump are never going to admit that he is doing a good job, even when they are presented with evidence that contradicts their strongest held opinions.
It’s a good time to remember that elections are relative, though. An incumbent president does not have to beat anyone except for the candidate that is placed in front of them. Ronald Reagan loved to tell a certain joke about these elections. In his telling of this joke, two men are walking in the woods and they are confronted by a hungry, menacing bear.
The first man decides to put on his running shoes at this time. When the other man points out his inability to outrun the bear, he lets his competitor know that this is not his objective. He only has to outrun the other man! This is an apt analogy for what takes place during election season.
The incumbent candidate does not have to outrun the existential threats that face American, they simply have to defeat the other candidate. Trump was not all that popular four years ago and this did not stop him from beating Hillary Clinton. If the other candidate is even less popular, why would the incumbent be sweating it out?
Joe Biden may not even be as popular as Hillary Clinton was and that’s with the sheen of the Barack Obama administration propping him up. While there are some polls that have Trump behind Biden, the smart money is on the current president. PredictIt is a very prominent betting site and they are placing their bets on Trump to win a second term.
Trump still has plenty of work to do in the meantime. We are not out of the woods when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic and we need a president who is going to be able to steer the ship out of harm’s way. Trump can also point to the Gallup poll results. His approval rating may sit at a mere 60 percent but Congress is currently resting at 59 percent.
A single point difference may not seem like a lot but when it comes to an election? One point can make or break a candidacy. As the election draws closer, we are sure to see Trump taking shots at Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. Even if Biden is able to win the nomination, he will probably be able to ignore him. He can run against the Congressional incompetence instead.
Trump may even conclude that he is better off running a campaign against the media. Their approval rating is even lower than Congress, sinking to 44 percent. This provides Trump with an interesting option. He can either engage with Biden or he can simply wage war against the fake news media and the members of Congress who have drawn his ire in the past.
His daily briefings during the coronavirus pandemic have been filled with attacks on the “lamestream” media, offering a potential window into the remainder of his campaign. This is the same playbook that Richard Nixon once relied upon. It’s an election that he is certainly old enough to remember.
If there is one thing that we know about Trump for sure, it’s that he will pound away at any perceived weakness from an opponent. Now that the American people have spoken, he is going to ratchet up his attacks on Congress and the media. They may be enough to win him the next election by themselves.