President Trump has always blazed his own trail and keeps his own counsel. It served him well as he won the highest office and maintained his political base for several years. But now he appears to be on the opposite side from the majority of Americans on several issues, and it’s costing him in the polls as the general election gets closer.
Trump portrays himself as the law and order guy who wants to clamp down on the rioters and looters who came out during the protests over George Floyd’s murder. The president supports the peaceful protesters, but his hard stance and calls for the military to intervene if cities and states don’t take decisive control puts him a bit at odds with two-thirds of Americans who support the protesters.
The president is pushing for police reform, but the measure he recently signed doesn’t ban chokeholds or racial profiling and doesn’t require federal police to wear body cams or support independent investigations of police departments with patterns of misconduct. A Reuters/Ipsos poll shows 80% to 90% of Americans support each of those initiatives.
On the coronavirus, the president favors a quick opening to spur a “V” shaped economic recovery, while 76% of Americans are worried about a resurgence of the disease.
All of this has Biden gaining ground, and now holding a 13-point lead over Trump, the biggest gap since Reuters/Ipsos began polling during the Democratic nomination process earlier this year.
Voters still see Trump as the better economic steward by 43% to 38%, and the economy usually drives the election, but his other main initiatives, immigration and pushing back against China, have moved out of the spotlight.
While the election might be close, it’s still five months away, and anything can happen. Five months ago the economy was on fire, unemployment was at 50-year lows, and Trump was finalizing the first phase of the new trade arrangement with China. Who knows what could be happening the first week in November.
And of course, polls have been wrong before.