When this year began, Donald Trump and his 2020 reelection team had their campaign strategy all mapped out: No matter who the Democrats nominated, they’d run on a strong economy, domestic tranquility, and the old Ronald Reagan “Morning in America” feel-good playbook that always seems to pay dividends when the American people are feeling good about themselves and the country.
Then the novel coronavirus arrived and blew all of those gauzy, warm MAGA dreams to hell, leaving over 120,000 Americans dead and 40 million unemployed.
Now the Trump 2020 team is looking at trying to sell badly damaged goods to a skeptical, shell-shocked populace that tells pollsters they’re sick and tired of Trump’s insults, conspiracy theories, and endless attempts to blame others for his own incompetence. They’ve seen the “real Trump” and they’re not impressed.
Even Republicans admit they’re scared of what voters will decide when they go to the polls in November, according to The Washington Post:
“Some Republicans acknowledge that the political landscape has changed since 2016, making Trump’s pathway to reelection less certain. Mark Jefferson, executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party, said Trump’s support is stronger with rural voters than it was in 2016, but ‘we’ve still got work to do in suburban parts of the state.’
“The campaign has not had discussions with the state party about having rallies in Wisconsin, Jefferson said, a sign that such events might be a ways off. He said the prospect of not having rallies would be ‘disappointing’ but pointed to the effort by Trump’s team to mount a virtual campaign.”
Others in the GOP lament the fact that Trump fumbled his response to the pandemic so badly, initially downplaying it before being forced to take action late in the game, which led to a greatly increased human toll. And they’re fearful the virus may well begin claiming tens of thousands of lives once again in the fall, right before voters cast their ballots.
Trump seems to believe he can use the same strategy he employed in 2016 against Hillary Clinton, but much has changed in four years, and that, according to some political experts, could well render Trump’s 2020 campaign “impotent”:
“Their tactics and strategies haven’t evolved. They’ve been static.”
Voters are saying they want competence, experience, and a steady hand to guide the country. Trump can’t offer any of those.
No wonder Republicans are so worried. They’re trying to sell a candidate who is roundly disliked by a majority of the American populace and now has the twin albatrosses of death and economic depression hanging around his neck. Not exactly a winning equation for a man who has shown what a bitter and petty little tyrant he is.