Who would’ve thought that Donald Trump would be leading the US fight against a global pandemic in 2020? Not me, that’s for sure. You’d think that Americans must be daft to put someone like Trump in power, but that isn’t necessarily the case.
Say what you want about Donald Trump, but he knows how to win. Many past presidents have played on fear quite well, but none have done so as effectively as Trump. It’s almost as if he knew that playing to the public’s phobias would make him a serious contender and he milked the sh*t out of that.
Fast forward four years, and America is in shambles. To be fair to him, no one could’ve predicted a pandemic on the scale of the coronavirus, but ask anyone and they’ll probably tell you that the Trump administration could’ve reacted a whole lot better to the pandemic.
As it stands, America is the worst hit country, with 1,538,117 cases and 91,460 deaths. But in spite of his terrible handling of the pandemic, Trump still actually has a real shot of getting re-elected come November. Rewind to 2016 and you’ll find that people’s reception towards Donald Trump hasn’t actually changed much.
Back then, less than 4 in 10 voters said they had a favourable opinion of Trump, just 1 in 3 thought Trump was honest and trustworthy and only 35% said that Trump had the right temperament to be president. But guess what? He won.
Now, you might argue that fewer voters dislike Biden than they did Clinton, but the thing is, Biden hasn’t exactly seen a surge in the early polls either. Yes, he’s had some consistent leads in most national and swing-state polls, but they’ve not really been comfortable ones.
You would expect Biden to be dominating Trump in the polls but he’s been rather quiet since becoming the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. Try as he might, but Biden doesn’t seem as well equipped when it comes to shaping public opinion. Trump on the other hand, is an expert at shaping public opinion, and he does so effortlessly.
Once he has his target, he emphasises the negative (be it real or imaginary) and how his policies will fix that. He uses language that’s easy to understand so that voters resonate with him better. He digs dirt on his opponents and goes into overdrive to make it known (He’s already started with Biden). Trump doesn’t need to win over the haters. Heck, he wouldn’t be able to do that if he tried.
If the last election has taught us anything, it’s that the elections are not a popularity contest. Remember how Trump lost the popular vote by a record 2.688 million votes? The same could very well happen again. Joe Biden could win the popular vote but lose the Electoral College, just as Hillary Clinton did.
He’s survived being impeached, endorsing a drug that’s not been tested and advising Americans to inject disinfectant. Who’s to say he won’t survive his first term, eh?