According to a report from Politico, Donald Trump's fumbling of the coronavirus pandemic that has led to over 140,000 deaths and rising so far will not only cost him the critical suburban votes he needs in November, but the legacy of his mismanagement will also haunt Republicans for years.
With polling from Trump-friendly Fox News showing the president trailing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden by 11 points in the suburbs, the report notes that Trump beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton there by four points in 2016.
What has changed, Politico reports, is the president's handling of the COVID-19 crisis and his response to Black Lives Matter protesters that have turned off college-educated women and young adults just entering the voter rolls.
As the report notes, "That polling reflects a dramatic swing from 2016, when Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the suburbs by 4 percentage points. Trump’s erosion in the suburbs is a major reason the electoral map this year has expanded for Democrats in recent weeks — with Trump in danger not only of losing, but of taking the Senate down with him. And demographic shifts are only becoming more favorable to Democrats. The suburbs are rapidly growing, and by 2018, according to Pew, people of color made up nearly a third of suburban population."
Charles Hellwig, a former chair of the Republican Party in Wake County, N.C. painted a darker future for the GOP.
“We can’t give up more ground in the suburbs nationally without having a real problem for our party,” he explained before adding the political landscape in what was once fertile Republican territory is getting "bluer."
"Trump’s damage in the suburbs has come primarily, as it has elsewhere, from his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. But Trump’s response to the George Floyd protests also appears to have hurt him in the suburbs — his militant reaction crashing into an electorate that is less white and insular than it was half a century ago," the report continued. "Comparing new voter registration in 17 states from immediately before the Floyd protests began to the week after, the Democratic data firm TargetSmart found that young people and people of color were registering at higher rates than before — with years to cast ballots for Democrats still ahead of them.'
According to former Republican Rep. Ryan Costello (PA), the president blew his handling of the George Floyd protests and Republicans have been saddled with the damage he created.
“There was an opportunity in the riots and defund police-type stuff," he explained before adding, "I just think these things happen so fast that ultimately Trump becomes the story again."
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