According to a report from Politico, conservative allies of Donald Trump are advising him to move quickly on pushing the re-opening of the country as soon as possible to satisfy his base and, thereby, salvage his re-election prospects.
According to one influential conservative, President Trump has one month to either win or lose the November presidential election.
“Trump aides and allies say they are growing confident that an earlier restart amid the coronavirus pandemic could help the president in his reelection campaign, according to six people close to the White House or Trump campaign. They point to emerging signs around the country. Trump-supported activists are protesting strict stay-at-home orders. Conservative groups’ internal polling in red-leaning and swing states show a significant uptick in Americans who favor reopening the country. A growing chorus of Republican lawmakers across the nation are on board.”
As Adam Brandon, president of FreedomWorks, explained, “If you don’t see something start to happen … you’re going to see a conservative revolt by our base. The worst strategy for him is to keep things shut until August. Trump is basically going to win or lose his election right now, in the next month.”
The report goes on to state that advocating for people to go back to work too soon — resulting in an explosion of new coronavirus cases — could blow up in the president’s face.
“A swift economic restart, however, could backfire politically for Trump if it causes a flare up. Public health experts caution that the country currently lacks the robust testing capacity needed to relax social-distancing guidelines, and cases in many states have yet to peak,” Politico’s Anita Kumar wrote, before adding, “But Trump allies are seizing on positive signs in numerous coronavirus hot spots, including a decrease in death rates in New York and indications that early social distancing flattened the spike of cases in California. And they’re telling the president to kickstart the economy — now.”
“Conservative groups have noticed a change in polling in recent weeks when they ask respondents if they want to go back to work, even if they know the outbreak could continue to cause infections or deaths, and if they would be willing to wear protective gear, such as masks and gloves, in order to reopen the country,” the report continues. “Some polls saw upticks as large as 20 percentage points of people willing to return to work, even with the caveats, according to said Brandon and others familiar with the polls. The FreedomWorks polling was conducted in suburban House districts in battleground states, including Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.”
According to Dan Eberhart, a major Republican donor, “Trump’s electoral future is on the line, so he’s obviously focused on that challenge.”
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