In a Friday piece for CNN, Stephen Collinson argued that President Donald Trump’s “supernatural political aura” has made analysts hesitant to write him off in November. Collinson notes that this hesitation comes amid “one of the most disastrous political streaks” of any modern president.
Collinson points to his perception that Trump is in denial of the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to surge in many states across the country, as well as a history of perceived racist rhetoric that he claims has left the president at odds with the “generational racial awakening” sweeping the nation. Not only that, but the conservative-majority Supreme Court shot Trump down twice in the last week, his former national security adviser, John Bolton, has threatened his presidential image, and he continues to trail Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the polls.
“But every conventional political indicator has always been flashing red for Trump — and he’s never been defeated,” Collinson wrote.
Although Collinson noted that Trump’s recent blunders could ultimately sink him in November, he claimed that there are many who worry this won’t be the case.
“Yet among Democrats and those who don’t support the President, the fear that he will win a second term anyway is palpable. The man who said he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue, shoot someone and get away with it, has created a supernatural political aura exactly five years after he descended his golden escalator in Trump Tower and turned American politics on its head.”
In addition to Trump’s political resilience, Collinson notes that the uncertainty around the president’s reelection odds also stems from uncertainty related to the coronavirus pandemic. The CNN reporter also pointed to the real possibility that people will still not feel safe voting in November, and may choose to prioritize their health instead of heading to the ballot box.
With all of these unpredictable variables, Collinson suggests it is difficult to target the likely outcome of November’s election. However, Collinson later noted that Trump’s recent decision to hold a rally amid a pandemic could be the “starkest signal yet” that his administration is worried about his chances of securing a second term.
Journalist David Cay Johnston previously warned against underestimating Trump, who he met in 1988 and has studied for the following 32 years. According to Johnston, Trump’s ability to win reelection hinges on his ability to divert blame for the pandemic, get a grip on the social unrest that has swept the country, and improve the economy.