But make no mistake: Unless something changes dramatically, whichever candidate is trusted more to handle the virus will win the election. Trump li
But make no mistake: Unless something changes dramatically, whichever candidate is trusted more to handle the virus will win the election.
Trump likely wants to switch topics because he realizes how poorly he is currently polling on the issue.
You’ll notice each of those percentages lined up nearly perfectly with the share of voters who would vote for each candidate. Biden earned 54% in the horse race to Trump’s 44%. The pattern of vote choice being tied to feelings about the virus has been consistent for months.
Biden gets all the voters he needs and more to beat Trump simply from the portion of the electorate that prefers him to Trump on coronavirus.
To give you an idea of how strong this relationship is, it’s actually more predictive of voting for Biden than disapproval of Trump’s job performance. Biden won 92% of those who disapprove of Trump’s overall job performance. Trump won 3% of those voters.
Now, there was a drop in the percentage who said coronavirus was the most important problem from May to early June.
All of them had a consistent message: An incumbent who wins on the top non-economic issue is reelected. An incumbent who is not trusted on the issue either loses or drops out of the race.
For Trump, the data is clear. Either he has to convince voters he’s the man they want over Biden to handle coronavirus, or he’ll likely be defeated no matter how much he tries to shift the country’s attention.