Despite the assertions from President Donald Trump that the US was “recovering better than any other country” from COVID-19, case numbers in the US are soaring once again. In fact, on Friday, case numbers reached a new daily high and new hospitalizations rose above recent averages.
Meanwhile, a coronavirus outbreak among Vice President Mike Pence’s staff has the White House concerned that another wave could tear through the executive branch.
Last month, a major surge of COVID cases in the White House led to the hospitalization of Donald Trump and his wife, Melania. Numerous other top White House officials tested positive for COVID during this period. Now that Pence’s staff seems to be experiencing a similar wave, Joe Biden’s campaign is hammering the Trump Administration on their handling of the virus.
Joe Biden’s campaign has zeroed in on the pandemic as Trump’s biggest weak point. Polling suggests that a majority of Americans are dissatisfied with the way Trump has handled the coronavirus pandemic.
What’s more, polls also suggest that many states that were once considered a given for Trump are now toss-ups between the candidates. One example of this is Georgia, where the candidates are virtually tied.
With only a week left before the election, Trump is eager for a late surprise like he had in 2016. During that election, the October reveal of a new investigation into Hillary Clinton, coupled with a massive leak of her private emails, helped to give Trump the edge he needed in critical swing states.
He carried Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin each by less than a percentage point, leading him to the slimmest of Electoral College victories. Notably, Trump did not win the popular vote: Clinton beat him by around 3 million.
Of course, nothing is certain until the final votes are cast. Opinion polls aren’t voting polls, and it’s Election Day that matters, not data gathering. That being said, things aren’t looking good for the Trump campaign.
Early voting returns indicate that Democrats are leading in both in-person and mail-in ballots that have been cast early. This suggests historic voter turnout. Typically, high voter turnout is favorable for a Democratic candidate.
Moreover, there doesn’t seem to be a late October surprise waiting in the wings to give Trump a last-minute boost. Attacks against Biden’s son, Hunter, have largely failed to gain any traction. Most of Trump’s attempts to paint Biden as senile or unfit for office have had either no effect or backfired, leaving Trump in an unenviable position going into November.