Democrats convinced Trump's latest COVID-19 campaign will 'backfire' and cripple his re-election hopes: report

According to a report from the Washington Post, senior Democrats are holding their fire on Donald Trump's campaign to quickly re-open the country while the coronavirus pandemic continues to infect Americans, convinced it will “backfire” because the public strongly disagrees with him.

The report states that Trump has been taunting Democrats with tweets such as “REOPEN THE COUNTRY!” and “TRANSITION TO GREATNESS,” in the hopes of baiting his political foes into contradicting him so he can paint them as anti-business and -- in the case of transitioning to "greatness" -- as anti-American.

For their part, the Democratic Party is holding back letting the president paint himself into a corner should COVID-19 infections sharply spike in what is expected to be second coronavirus wave.

As the Post reports, "The exhortations [from Trump] follow a political strategy his advisers hope can help frame the coming election season: A president who had hoped to run on his economic record as a job creator might still be able to reclaim the brand despite the historic economic collapse by painting Democrats as opponents of an economic resurrection."

"But for the moment, Democrats say they are not worried about the offensive — and convinced instead that it will backfire. From the campaign of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden down to local House races, operatives and lawmakers point to new public and private polling to argue that Trump is out of step with a nation worried about a new wave of coronavirus outbreaks and a second economic freeze," the report continues. 

"The contrast can be seen daily on what passes for the campaign trail these days. Trump has returned to traveling the country on Air Force One, while refusing to wear a mask, as Biden claims to be quite content with campaigning from his Delaware home, where he has been spotted wearing a mask even inside. And as Trump demands that his party move forward with a grand nominating convention of thousands in North Carolina, Democrats are increasingly suggesting that a virtual meeting would be better than an arena show in Wisconsin," the report continues with Rep. Conor Lamb (R-PA) offering, "There is no doubt that people are anxious to get back to work, but what you see from Vice President Biden’s campaign is just much more realistic."

Noting that "a recent Quinnipiac University national poll found that 75 percent of voters say the country 'should reopen slowly, even if it makes the economy worse,' rather than 'reopen quickly, even if it makes the spread of the coronavirus worse,'" Democrats see the president bucking popular opinion in a "Hail Mary" attempt to get the economy up and going and salvage his re-election hopes.

"The Democratic confidence that this will fail is anchored in extensive surveys that suggest the fight over opening more quickly is largely taking place within the Republican base, with Democrats and independents largely united in their conviction that the only way to recover economically is to focus first on preventing more outbreaks of disease," the report states.

“The idea that we can achieve economic development without a science-based approach is a fantasy,” explained Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI). “Everybody understands we can’t stay closed forever. The question is, can we do it based on the whims of a president who doesn’t know what he’s talking about or based on the guidance from the people who know what they’re talking about?”

According to Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, the Democrats may be right.

“If leaders appear overeager to go back to normal operations before Americans feel confident that we can do so safely, those groups who are at particular risk of the health consequences — seniors — may be none too thrilled with that direction,” Anderson wrote in an email.

You can read more here.