In a Tuesday opinion piece for The New York Times, conservative columnist Bret Stephens speaks with liberal columnist Gail Collins about Donald Trump‘s reelection prospects, which they both believe are dwindling amid the economic collapse driven by the coronavirus pandemic.
Although Collins noted that Trump will face off against the Democratic nominee with the advantages of social media reach and money — as well as betting odds that are reportedly in his favor — Stephens cautioned that the political landscape is “very different” today than even one month ago.
“Trump managed to screw up this crisis in at least six catastrophic ways,” Stephens said.
The 46-year-old journalist pointed to Trump’s initial dismissal of the COVID-19 threat, his administration’s “fumbling bureaucratic response,” as well as his notorious press conferences, one of which he used to suggest that scientists investigate the benefit of internal disinfectant use.
“He tried to throw money at the problem without effectively administering the funds,” Stephens continued.
“He demonstrated near-zero empathy with the victims of the disease or their families. And he never really articulated a sensible alternative to the lockdown strategy.”
Stephens also noted Trump’s recent polling in the key battleground states of Pennsylvania and North Carolina, where he is currently trailing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. In addition, Stephens noted that a recent Dallas Morning News poll put Trump tied with Biden in the traditionally red state of Texas, which he suggests is a reflection that Trump’s base “may be having some second thoughts.”
The president is also allegedly losing the support of elderly voters — a key demographic Stephens says Trump can’t afford to lose.
While Stephens claims that taking on Trump pre-coronavirus came down to merely offering an alternative to Trump, the columnist says that the new political and economic landscape has upended this narrative.
“The economic collapse we are witnessing now is absolutely terrifying. It’s going to hit nearly every family in the country, hard. And it’s a natural for a blue-collar candidate like Biden to make his own.”
Amid skepticism about his strength in November, Trump recently launched an offensive against Biden in crucial swing states. As The Inquisitr reported, the media blitz will allegedly focus on states in the industrial Midwest, Pennsylvania, and Florida. In regards to the Midwest, Trump is reportedly planning to hit Biden’s record on trade, including his vocal support of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In Pennsylvania, Trump will focus on Biden’s climate change policy, and in Florida, the president will attack his comments on U.S.-Cuba relations.