According to many top GOP pollsters and strategists, the upcoming election is in Joe Biden’s court. Incumbent Donald Trump has largely bungled the past few months, according to some pundits. His response to the COVID-19 pandemic was sluggish, and many blame him for America’s current situation. He took a combative tone with protesters fighting for the Black Lives Matter movement, despite those protests’ nationwide popularity.
This has been reflected in national polls: Trump’s approval rating has tanked. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump has slid down to an abysmal 38 percent approval rating. Nationwide, he trails Biden by an average of ten points across several polls. States he carried easily in 2016, like Arizona, are now becoming battleground states.
Trump’s likely opponent is former vice president Joe Biden. Biden has a long history in politics, and is polling well above Trump currently. There’s just one thing he has to do, according to pollster Frank Luntz, to win: shut up. In an interview with Squawk Box, Luntz, a longtime GOP pollster, explained how he sees the race.
“This election is absolutely not over. But it’s Joe Biden’s to lose,” Luntz said. He was quick to add that you should never count anyone out, but that the numbers were rather stark. He pointed out several states that Trump comfortably carried in 2016 were now polling between five and nine points towards Biden’s favor.
Moreover, Luntz pointed out how the less Biden speaks publicly, the higher his approval ratings get. “The quieter [Biden] is, the better he’s doing in the surveys,” Luntz stated. “The more Trump speaks — and I think it’s the message, and I think it’s what he’s saying — the worse he’s showing up.”
2020 has been a truly unpredictable year. At the outset, the Trump Administration ordered the killing of an Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani. This sparked fears of a major conflict, though none developed. Following this incident, the world was faced with the novel coronavirus pandemic. Then, in May, the killing of George Floyd incited widespread participation in Black Lives Matter protests across the world.
All of this has happened a few months short of the November election. For many, 2020 might feel like a referendum on Trump’s past four years in office. Currently, polls are showing the country siding against the Trump Administration. However, only time will tell if these polls are accurate or if there will be another four years of Trump in the White House.