If Donald Trump had attacked Covid as aggressively as he attacked the election, he’d be in his second term, not his second impeachment trial.
That’s not the contention of a Trump-hating Democrat or a Never-Trump Republican. It’s the conclusion of one of Trump’s own pollsters.
A post-election exit poll analysis by Tony Fabrizio (see link below), first reported by Politico, said:
“Coronavirus was the most important issue followed by the economy…. While POTUS (Trump) dominated among voters focused on the economy, Biden won Coronavirus voters, which was a bigger share of the electorate.”
The analysis looked at 10 key states, including North Carolina. Covid was voters’ top issue, especially in five states that flipped from Trump in 2016 to Biden. Biden carried voters whose top concern was Covid by nearly 3 to 1.
Trump didn’t help himself by mocking masks and criticizing Dr. Anthony S. Fauci; 75% of voters supported a mask mandate, and Fauci’s approval rating was almost that high.
Last September, I wrote a blog (“Could Trump Have Clinched Reelection?”) about Covid’s political impact. I wrote, “Imagine a political universe in which Trump did the opposite of what he did” – that is, aggressively attacked the virus instead of downplaying it. “If he had, he might be cruising to reelection right now.”
He didn’t take my advice.
Contrary to Trump’s false claims of election fraud, the report confirms that President Biden won the election. Trump’s lawyers also acknowledged that fact on the first day of his Senate trial this week.
Contrary to Trump’s failed challenges to Biden votes in majority Black precincts – and contrary to conventional wisdom – the analysis says he lost white voters, especially college-educated whites:
“Racially, POTUS suffered his greatest erosion with White voters, particularly White Men…. However, he made double digit gains with Hispanics in both groups, while his performance among Blacks was virtually the same as 2016.”
Trump lost ground with almost every age group compared to 2016, most of all with voters 18-29 and over 65: “Worse was the double-digit erosion he suffered with White College educated voters across the board.”
More from the exit-poll analysis:
- There was “a massive swing against POTUS” among Independent voters in all 10 states and more GOP “leakage” in the states that flipped against Trump.
- “Voters who did not vote in ’16 but voted in ’20 accounted for roughly 1-in-6 voters and they broke markedly for Biden…One-in-10 voters say they decided their vote in the final month of the campaign, and contrary to conventional wisdom, they broke in Biden’s favor.”
What Republicans Face
Looking at these findings – and watching the Senate trial this week – Republicans might wonder: Do we want to be the Trump Party?
His negative ratings have gone up in polls since the January 6 attack on the Capitol. One report said that, in 25 states with accessible data, nearly 140,000 Republicans have left the party since January 6.
Most all Republicans in Congress are sticking with Trump. He still has a strong hold on the party. But his hold on the American electorate has been significantly weakened.
During the four years he was President, Republicans lost the House, the White House and then the Senate.
Will they stay aboard the USS Trump in 2022 and 2024 – or abandon ship?
Link to Fabrizio report: https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000177-6046-de2d-a57f-7a6e8c950000
My September 18 blog: https://newdayfornc.com/2020/09/18/could-trump-have-clinched-reelection/