Despite the media narrative about his coronavirus response, Donald Trump is impressing the most important critics in America–voters.
Trump’s approval ratings are soaring. His current net disapproval is 2 points, his best since February 1, only twelve days after his inauguration. A confused initial response to the coronavirus hurt the President’s polling in early March. However, his forceful demand for action from Congress and the Federal Reserve, and his efforts to shut down borders, seem to be the response housebound Americans are craving.
The President’s regular press briefings on the coronavirus crisis are probably the source of his approval boost. Trump draws thousands to his campaign rallies around the country, but now commands the eyeballs of millions every day without even leaving the White House. At The Federalist, Mollie Hemingway describes how, as Trump’s press conferences have aired, viewers have increasingly approved of the President while their approval of the press has dropped. Hemingway explains that media outlets have noticed the correlation between Trump’s press conferences and his growing approval, and are moving to cut his airtime.
But Where Is Joe Biden?
Lost amidst the enthusiastic reception for Trump’s briefings is Joe Biden. Where’s Joe?
He’s in what Politico reporter Ryan Lizza calls a “bizarre coronavirus bunker.” Lizza explains that since coronavirus wiped out his ability to campaign face-to-face, “Biden retreated to a makeshift studio in his basement at home in Delaware to broadcast Zoom videos that have had to compete — poorly, so far — with briefings from elected officials like Trump and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who are actually responsible for dealing with the crisis.”
How is “Bunker” Joe Biden supposed to compete with President Trump’s nearly non-stop media coverage? Head-to-head polls taken in early March when Trump had been floundering on a coronavirus response showed strong leads for Biden. Those polls are now rapidly narrowing, with the latest survey from Monmouth showing Biden’s lead within the margin of error.
Draft Andrew Cuomo?
Democrats are panicking that Biden’s campaign will collapse. As a backup, some are trying to draft New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as the party’s nominee. Cuomo has received a lot of air time thanks to his state’s current position as the epicenter of America’s coronavirus outbreak. Beyond his press briefings about the virus, though, one gets the sense few Democrats outside of New York know much about Cuomo’s history.
Cuomo has had a scandal-ridden tenure in New York. Just last year, there were two major corruption convictions in Cuomo’s administration, including that of his close friend and former top aide, Jospeh Percoco. When asked about the corruption, part of Cuomo’s response was, “These things are going to happen.” Those looking to draft Cuomo for higher office may want to keep that in mind.
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