According to a report from Bloomberg, Donald Trump's insistence on holding rallies during a deadly pandemic is not only risky for attendees but is also hurting his campaign with undecided voters and sending them into the welcoming arms of Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
On Monday, the cash-strapped Trump campaign held three separate rallies in Pennsylvania where he riffed on a series of topics -- some of which made their way to cable news -- and on Tuesday was slated to hold more rallies in Wisconsin and Michigan.
However, as the Bloomberg report, some campaign consultants think the president is spinning his wheels by catering to his base with red meat attacks at a time when he needs to attract new voters.
While some GOP campaign consultants with an eye on the future love the rallies which allow them to harvest voter information that will be used later for fundraising efforts, others say nothing about them is helpful to the president's re-election efforts with only one week left until election day.
"Republicans say they harvest data from attendees and fire up their base, while Democrats say they get a spike in donations and volunteers, too, and wonder if Trump is merely preaching to the choir," the report from Josh Wingrove explained." Holding rallies in defiance of coronavirus health recommendations has fueled voters’ disapproval of his handling of the pandemic -- feeding Biden’s key argument that Trump has mishandled the first major crisis of his presidency. And pollsters say there’s little evidence of a rally boost."
According to Tim Malloy, a pollster from Quinnipiac University, "The rapid-fire Trump rallies, while clearly well-received by the base, have done nothing to tip the scale in President Trump’s direction.”
Alan Abramowitz of Emory University has studied the effects of the president's rallies going back to the 2016 election and said he finds no evidence that they move the needle in the states where they are held, bluntly stating, "It doesn’t seem like you’re getting any additional benefit."
Adding to the downside, footage of Trump crowds -- most not wearing masks -- is turning off undecided voters who have seen their lives turned upside down due to the COVID-19 pandemic that is currently taking a turn for the worse.
“He needs to win over some folks. And what he’s doing is not only preventing him from winning over folks, it’s potentially pushing people away that might otherwise be with him -- especially with the Covid stuff,” pollster Nancy Zdunkewicz explained. “He’s highlighting this issue which is the place where he is doing the worst.”
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