With four months until Election Day, Republicans are getting worried because it’s becoming clearer with each day that President Donald Trump is increasingly unpopular with the voting public and a return of the coronavirus in key states such as Arizona, Florida, and Texas are reinforcing that the president has failed in the biggest challenge to confront him since he took office.
Bloomberg spoke with GOP insiders and found that many of them are indeed pessimistic about Trump’s chances and the damage that having him at the top of the ticket may do to Republicans in other House and Senate races:
“Republican strategists say they doubt Trump’s promise that the economy will quickly recover and that he can rebuild it to its former strength will win over voters more concerned for the first time with a public health crisis and while the economy is still hobbled by high unemployment and slow growth.”
The U.S. economy officially entered a recession in February, according to data from the National Bureau of Economic Research, and now stands on the verge of an outright depression with 40 million still out of work and the prospects for a full national reopening dimming with each new case of COVID-19 that’s diagnosed.
Ed Rogers, a former top adviser to Ronald Reagan, said he’s not optimistic about what’s going to happen over the remainder of 2020:
“In January, Trump was taunting people, saying that you may not like me but you have no choice. By any measure, that said, this president has a lot of red lights flashing on the dashboard and is losing altitude and it’s not good. I’m a good Republican but I’m not optimistic. There’s no reason to be.”
Economist Stan Shipley of Evercore ISI, noted that Trump cannot even credibly run on what was once his main strength: Positive job growth:
“He’ll have to run on employment. And the problem with running on employment is, the unemployment rate is still going to be relatively high. It will still be in double digits until the end of this year. So it’s going to be tricky how he runs on it.”
A glum Amy Koch, a Republican strategist in Minnesota, said all the happy talk in the world from the president cannot hide some harsh realities:
“It is the main thing that people vote on, so it can work in his favor in a good way and also if we see the fallout in the next few months, that’s going to be a problem. He knows that and that’s why you see him talking up the economy.”
If things don’t improve for Trump soon, you can count on more and more Republicans distancing themselves from him in a desperate attempt to save their own fading campaigns. And that alone could all but guarantee that Trump is toast on November 3.
Featured Image Via NBC News