President Donald Trump's support is waning in Wisconsin, and his growing unpopularity is also firing up voters who stayed home and helped him win in 2016.
The president is losing support among independents and moderate Republicans, but his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and racial issues has motivated many voters who failed to turn out for Hillary Clinton four years ago, reported The Guardian.
“Damn right I’m not happy with Trump," said one of those absent voters, Cleophus Lobley. "To me, he’s really a very prejudiced person. He’s been bad for the Black community."
Lobley was among 40,000 people in Milwaukee who voted for Barack Obama but didn't vote in the last presidential election, and their absence was more than enough to hand Trump a win in Wisconsin -- which he carried by just 23,000 votes.
Trump almost certainly needs to win the state again in November, along with Michigan and Pennsylvania, which he also won by narrow margins four years ago.
A recent survey by the Marquette Law School shows Democrat Joe Biden with an eight-point lead, which was five points better than a month before, in May.
The survey found growing disapproval of Trump's job performance, especially among independents -- whose disapproval jumped from 36 percent in May to 57 percent in June.
“Trump’s in trouble," said Charles Franklin, who directed the Marquette poll. "He’s got a tougher road here – a considerably tougher road than he was facing back in March, when it looked like a very tight race. There seem to be cracks in the nearly unanimous Republican support and a loss of independent support."
Some county GOP chairs are privately wondering whether Trump has already given up hope that he'll win re-election because he keeps doubling down on unpopular statements and actions.
“To the extent that Trump’s reaction to the protest is seen as opposing the valid reasons for the protests, Trump is on the wrong side of public opinion – even here in Wisconsin with our 80-something percent white population,” Franklin said. “That issue of race and Confederate statues and patriotism, as he sees it, is not playing to a strong suit for him right now.”
Those unpopular actions have also motivated infrequent voters to cast ballots to remove him from office.
“I’m not just talking about Covid and George Floyd, but that made things worse," Lobley said. "That’s the kind of president he is. I decided I would vote this time because of him. Maybe my vote might count. I don’t know anyone around here who will vote for him.”