Are the polls finally breaking for Trump? Fox News has one that suggests it
For a long time, I've been puzzling about why, given his leadership in the coronavirus crisis, President Trump hasn't seen much to cheer in the polls. Very specifically, he's constantly trailing Joe Biden in the polls, a candidate so weak he can't get people to go to his rallies, and whose internet press briefings are a shambles.
Now things seem to be turning.
The latest poll from Fox News, which has reported a lot of left-friendly poll results in the past, is that President Trump is now tied with Joe Biden.
Up until now, Trump's been looking at this kind of numbers — here they are, on RealClearPolitics. Look at the negatives over the last couple of days:
This has been strange, indeed, given that some of the polling operations, such as IBD/TIPP, have an unusually strong record of accurate forecasts.
Because nothing's been stranger than seeing voters favoring Biden over Trump, given the recent series of events.
At the time, I could only wonder:
Did the voters want some kind perceived "return to normalcy" with Biden? Was the old shoe just more comfortable? We know that President Trump has opened the gates to a more human version of a politician; could that have now been working to Biden's benefit, given his nonstop record of gaffes? It really was just puzzling that voters who have seen what President Trump can do for an economy, and now see his commanding take-charge crisis leadership on the coronavirus pandemic, would somehow still prefer a clown like Biden running things. Yes, a certain portion of Biden's base is Trump-deranged, for sure. And Democrats in general are willing to support Democrats.
The Fox News poll, released today, now suggests a striking rise in support, probably from independents. It may even reflect a previous poll reading that found15% of Bernie Sanders–supporters planning to pull the lever for President Trump.
It may be that the mushy middle, the people who don't pay that much attention to politics, the people who are independents, are breaking for Trump. Up until now, they've told pollsters "yes" to Biden. But something seems to have flipped.
Odds are, the public is seeing more and more of President Trump's leadership on the coronavirus pandemic, and it is finally translating that approval to voter support. It may be a delayed reaction, or just more people seeing more of Trump and coming to their own conclusions. And it explains why the networks are so keen on refusing the cover President Trump's press briefings: they know that the more the public sees of Trump, the more impressed the people are.
It's almost certainly a migration of independents to the Trump column, as has been noted by previous polls on other matters. Here are three likely factors for why the indies are being won over:
- Trump's capacity for working across the aisle, with the Congress that just got done impeaching him in the House, in getting the stimulus bill done, and in close cooperation the Trump-hating one-party-state blue governors, several of whom have praised him.
- Trump giving so much attention to accommodating these blue states in crisis, with no partisan bias at all in the dishing of aid. (Remember how President Obama refused to visit Baton Rouge after historic flooding presumably because it was a red city? There also was some slow-walking of aid in multiple disaster-hit red states in those Obama days.) Trump's not like that. He aids states in need whether they are Democrats or Republicans. That's new.
- Trump's aid to blue cities and states stands in stark contrast to Democrats who rejoice in Republicans catching the COVID-19 coronavirus disease, or who threaten to withhold treatment from infected Trump-supporters on a partisan basis, or who tout spreading coronavirus to Trump-supporters at Trump rallies, or who cheer violent criminals who do harm to Republicans, as we see again and again.
The real race hasn't even started yet, and now a Harris poll (hat tip: Instapundit) shows that the voters on all sides are united in their disgust with China for inflicting this virus on the entire world, including their top market, the United States.
That would explain this masterly Trump ad, which can only continue to drive the sentiment toward Trump, given its sharp recognition of public sentiment.
Trump's hands-on leadership, and united public perceptions of where the problem is coming from, is a pretty strong formula for political winds blowing in Trump's direction. The Fox News poll might just be the beginning of it.
Image credit: YouTube screen shot, Donald J. Trump.