In November, it appears that most Democrats will be holding their noses and voting for Biden — if they bother to vote at all. That’s the conclusion from the ABC News/Washington Post poll Michael van der Galien covered yesterday for PJ Media.
Only 24 percent of Democrats are “enthusiastic” about casting a ballot for the former vice president while 53 percent of Republicans say they can’t wait to vote for Trump.
Do you think that matters to the outcome if lingering effects from the pandemic are hanging around?
“Since our last poll, Biden has won enough delegates to make him the presumptive Democratic nominee, but the horse race has not budged. This might be a bad sign for Biden since he has received extensive and largely positive news coverage over the last month,” said Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, whose firm conducts the Fox News poll with Republican Daron Shaw.
But over the past month, the coronavirus pandemic has turned the country upside down, forcing Americans to huddle in their homes to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. Trump has seen his approval ratings jump as he leads the federal response to the pandemic, but the rise has been smaller than past presidents have seen when dealing with a major crisis.
“There appears to be a modest rallying to the flag effect in response to the pandemic that is rewriting our political and social landscape in still unknown ways,” Anderson added.
In fact, there are a lot of “unknowns” in this race that will depend somewhat on the perception of Trump’s performance in this crisis. What Trump actually does is largely irrelevant. It’s how he’s perceived to be responding to the crisis that matters.
Of course, perception is shaped by many things and not just media coverage. Try as they might to discredit him, Trump can bypass the media because he has a direct line to the American people every day in his daily briefings on the crisis.
It’s no accident that the president’s approval numbers began to rise the more he became visible during the crisis. All of a sudden, the media’s portrayal of Trump as a bumbling incompetent didn’t seem credible. The president may occasionally mangle the message, but overall he has been a calming presence during stressful times.
Ironically, this has forced the media to become desperate in trying to discredit his efforts. Blaming Trump for virus deaths is only the latest example of an unhinged opposition. What this has done is create an even greater disconnect between what’s being reported and the reality of the situation perceived by the voting public that only further destroys the credibility of the media.
National polls are useless in a presidential race, as the contest comes down to 12-15 state races that will determine the winner of the electoral college. In a race that will be determined by partisan turnout, Trump has a decided advantage in people being eager to vote for him.