Trump's 'rally around the flag' press conferences are not slowing his slide in the polls: columnist
(AFP / Brendan Smialowski)

According to a column from the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin, Donald Trump cannot be happy with his polling numbers that are continuing to slide just months before the November election and that his re-election is now imperiled.

According to the conservative columnist who is one of the president's harshest critics, his daily "rally around the flag" press conferences don't seem to be working on a public seeking assurances that he is the person to lead the country through the COVID-19 pandemic as well as save a collapsing economy.

"President Trump wants to be a wartime president. However, any rally 'round the flag phenomenon seems short-lived. (Morning Consult, the latest poll to demonstrate this, shows Trump down 13 points in net approval since March 20.)" she wrote. "By contrast, former vice president Joe Biden is holding up well, despite (or is it because of?) the enormous imbalance in coverage between him and the president."

Of major concern for the president, she pointed out, are his numbers in all-important Florida that don't bode well for his holding onto the state come election time.

"In the key swing state of Florida, the University of North Florida poll shows Biden winning by a 46 to 40 percent margin over Trump. What is stunning is not the margin but the percentage for Trump. (Anything under 50 percent traditionally signals trouble for an incumbent)," she explained, before quoting: “'The poll shows 45% strongly or somewhat approve of the job Trump is doing to address the pandemic, with 53% disapproving. … Trust in Trump is notably lagging, with 41% trusting and 58% not trusting his information about the virus.'"

Pointing out that the president's national numbers (47% said they would vote for Biden, while just 41% said they would vote for Trump) are no better, Rubin suggests the public is not buying the president's daily spin that things are looking good and that he is doing a good job, writing, "Once again, an incumbent president who draws only 41 percent in the midst of a national crisis appears rather weak."

Adding the caveat, "We are only in early April, meaning Trump has seven months to convince voters he did not fail to recognize the threat of the pandemic, did not fail to exert presidential leadership, did not mislead the American people and did not abdicate responsibility for the worst domestic disaster in more than 100 years," Rubin suggests that the trendlines don't look good for a Trump second term.

"In short, we are seeing an unprecedented phenomenon — a fleeting bump for the incumbent in the midst of a national crisis and a sustained lead for a challenger who is by and large trapped in his basement," she wrote, before dryly adding, "Maybe Trump’s daily diatribes are not helping him."

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