It’s become obvious over the past week that the Democrats are beginning to flail in their handling of the coronavirus crisis. It started with the release of an ABC/Ipsos poll early Friday morning which showed Trump’s approval numbers way up:
As a deepening public health crisis rocks the nation, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll released Friday shows a far different portrait of a country than from only one week ago, as nearly three in four Americans now say their lives have been upended in some way by the novel coronavirus and President Donald Trump’s approval for his handling of the outbreak is on the rise.
In the new poll, 55% of Americans approve of the president’s management of the crisis, compared to 43% who disapprove. Trump’s approval on this issue is up from last week, when the numbers were nearly reversed. Only 43% approved of Trump’s handling of the pandemic and 54% disapproved in last week’s poll.
One poll not enough for you? How about two:
A Morning Consult poll conducted Tuesday through Friday found 53 percent of voters approve of Trump’s handling of the spread of coronavirus, compared with 39 percent who disapprove. Taken together, it marks an increase of 10 percentage points in net approval of his coronavirus response since polling conducted March 13-16.
The uptick was largely driven by 8-point bumps in approval among Democrats (from 18 percent to 26 percent) and independents (from 43 percent to 51 percent), while positive sentiment among GOP voters rose from 83 percent to 87 percent.
Trump’s poll numbers also jumped in a Harris poll as well.
The Biden campaign claims he is going to start giving “shadow” press briefings to correct Trump’s “false and misleading statements” about the virus.
Joe Biden is planning a regular shadow briefing on coronavirus to start as early as Monday to show how he would handle the crisis and address what he calls the lies and failures of President Trump.
Biden gave a preview of what’s to come in a conference call with reporters Friday, where he listed a litany of false and misleading statements from Trump, who has been holding regular White House press conferences concerning coronavirus preparedness and response that have been broadcast live on all major networks.
I think these “press conferences” are going to go over about as well as the obligatory response speeches to the State of the Union (you know, the responses that no one watches or cares about and almost always make the other party look bad).
I think the Democrats know it too, because now they’re calling for an effective blackout of all Trump press conferences:
Calls are increasing for cable networks to stop airing President Donald Trump’s press conferences live as critics believe Trump is turning White House news briefings into virtual campaign rallies that can “get people killed” with lies about the Coronavirus crisis. The pressure only increased after Trump’s Friday briefing.
The Atlantic’s James Fallows believes the attention-starved Trump is turning the press conferences into “virtual campaign” rallies and Trump would actually lose interest in showing up if the media did not cover the briefings live.
“Also, as a practical matter, if the briefings were no longer covered live, Trump would lose interest in attending himself,” Fallows argues. “Then the scientists could come back on stage—and eventually they could be covered live again.”
What’s going on here is that the Democrats hoped to make the virus crisis “Trump’s Katrina” after they failed to make the devastation of Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria “Trump’s Katrina” in 2017.
The problem for the media was, the coronavirus situation is not analogous to a weather disaster. It’s an extended crisis which no one saw coming and which is liable to continue for a substantial length of time, much more like an old-school interstate war rather than a hurricane which blows through town in about a day, with a week or two of cleanup after.
In major crisis situations, the people look for leadership, and Trump’s decision to take the virus seriously starting this week, combined with his daily press conferences, is making him appear calm, rational, and in charge. This has led to his poll numbers going up. The country clearly does not blame him for the existence of the virus. The constant screaming by the media about Trump calling it the “Chinese virus” means Trump is being effective in his efforts to remind the country who actually started this crisis in the first place.
Biden could do well here for himself if he was able to provide contrasting leadership to Trump and also be seen cooperating to steady peoples’ nerves. But if I may speak plainly, Biden is clearly suffering severe cognitive decline and barely seems to able to perform on a stage. I have serious doubts about whether these “shadow press conferences” will even happen because I don’t think Biden can handle it. If they do happen, I cannot imagine they will last more than a few days before they give up.
Furthermore, Biden is very old, so he is also dangerously vulnerable to the coronavirus. There is a real risk of him being crippled or killed if he is infected, so the Biden campaign can’t chance him making many public appearances. Thus the Biden campaign is reduced to biting Trump’s ankles in “virtual” press conferences no one will watch and churning out web ads that few will see.
Meanwhile, Trump is in front of the cameras ever day and behaving like a leader.
An economic crash was supposed to be left’s “holy grail” that would finally bring down the US and usher in a new era of socialism, but it hasn’t happened. Instead, it seems to be doing the opposite and producing a “rally around the flag” effect.