(PatrioticPost.com) – For months now, much of the attention in American politics was spent on breaking down the Democratic primary and its odd collection of candidates.
From Bernie Sanders to Joe Biden to Elizabeth Warren to Pete Buttigieg to Michael Bloomberg to a score of others, the party seemed to be scrambling to find a leader. And when it did, the person who emerged (Biden) looked like he would have a big mountain to climb to try to take down President Donald Trump.
But then, very swiftly and suddenly, the coronavirus became a worldwide pandemic, making its way to the United States, putting fear into millions of us and disrupting normal life as we know it.
All the while, Trump has done his best quell the fears of Americans, to slow the utter collapse of the stock markets, to reassure us the United States would not become Italy, and to say we will defeat the virus.
According to a recent polled conducted by SSRS on behalf of CNN found that Trump’s approval rating in the first week of March — before the coronavirus outbreak took over the everyday news cycle — sat at 45%, with his disapproval rating at 52%. The reason this is pertinent now is we are inching ever closer to the General Election in November, and presidential approval ratings have historically been highly correlational with odds for re-election, even from this far out.
Two presidents who had approval ratings of 45% or lower at this point during their terms ended up losing their bid for re-election eight months later — Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1992. An estimate from Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight said Trump would only have a 3-in-10 chance of winning re-election if his approval rating were to stay at 45% heading into November.
Of course, all of this statistical analysis is slightly misleading. First, Trump could benefit once again from the electoral college system of voting in this country — as he did in 2016 — by losing the popular vote and still winning the election. Because of this, overall approval rating isn’t completely indicative of the outcome. As a result, he’d be more like a 50-50 bet to win re-election with a 45% approval rating, according to a CNN analysis.
Second, it’s only March, and there is still time to improve that rating. At this point in his first term back in 2012, Barack Obama had a 47% approval rating and won the election by 4 points.
All of this points to one thing: How Americans view Trump in the next few weeks and months will go a long way in determining his fate at the polls in November. And how Trump is viewed will probably be determined, in large part, by his continued response to the coronavirus.
If his moves such as the travel ban from Europe prove effective, and if his words reassure Americans during this time of crisis, then he has an excellent chance of winning re-election. If they do not, then we could be looking at four years ahead with Biden at the helm.