Trump facing reelection headwinds over handling of COVID-19 pandemic: analyst


Posted at Nov 04 2020 09:57 AM | Updated as of Nov 04 2020 10:33 AM

Trump facing reelection headwinds over handling of COVID-19 pandemic: analyst 1
US President Donald Trump seen in his motorcade ahead of a campaign rally at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan, US, Nov. 2, 2020. Carlos Barria, Reuters

MANILA – US President Donald Trump is facing an uphill battle in securing reelection because of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, a political analyst said Wednesday.

Speaking to ANC, James Taylor, political science professor of the University of San Francisco, said the Republican chief executive could find himself in the company of one-term presidents such as Jimmy Carter and Herbert Hoover.

"In great times, you can't beat an incumbent President… But in bad times… it can lead to a one-term presidency. So Donald Trump is in trouble of becoming one-term president unless there's a miracle,” he said.

Democratic challenger Joe Biden has held a consistent lead in national opinion polls over Trump.

The novel coronavirus, which has infected over 9.3 million Americans, has hurt the firebrand’s chances of extending his presidency, Taylor said.

“The coronavirus has definitely hurt Donald Trump’s chance of reelection. He probably would be reelected with not a lot of obstacles,” he said.

“He didn't face any primary challenges of any significance without corona[virus], but corona[virus] did happen, and crises do happen to presidents. [The] 9/11 happened in George Bush. Ebola happened on [Barack] Obama's watch. [The] H1N1 happened on Obama's watch.”

For Taylor, running the same campaign, “Make America Great Again” or MAGA may also not bode well for Trump.

“Donald Trump of 2016 was better than Donald Trump of 2020,” he said.

“Before he was the outsider, the insurgent, the challenger. He didn't have a lot of accountability in terms of his own accomplishment.

“Now COVID-[19] is on the table, DACA is on the table, civil unrest is on the table, political division, American death, on and on, you have these issues that were before somebody else's problem when Donald Trump was pointing to those issues. Now, they are Donald Trump's issues.”

Americans streamed to the polls on Wednesday (Manila time) to choose between Trump and Biden amid a pandemic gripping a deeply divided United States.

Voters, many wearing masks and maintaining social-distancing to guard against the spread of the coronavirus, experienced long lines in a few locales and short waits in many other places. There were no signs of disruptions or violence at polling sites, as some officials had feared.

The winner - who may not be determined for days - will lead a nation strained by a pandemic that has killed more than 232,000 people and left millions more jobless, racial tensions, and political polarization that has only worsened during a vitriolic campaign.

The new President is determined by state-by-state Electoral College in which at least 270 electoral votes are needed to win.

– With a report from Reuters

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