Photo Courtesy of CNBC.com
By Jeremy Perillo
In a new Fox News poll released Wednesday, former Vice President Joe Biden is leading President Donald Trump in two battleground states – Michigan and Pennsylvania. 49% of registered voters in Michigan plan to support Biden, while 41% say they will vote for Trump. Pennsylvania’s polling data shows a similar trend.
Considering Trump won big in both Michigan and Pennsylvania in the 2016 election, if Biden’s lead in the polls can be sustained to the general election, the loss of those states could be potentially devastating for the Trump campaign. Biden also has a four percentage point lead in Florida, a predominantly Republican dominated state, with two Republican Senators and a Republican governor.
The coronavirus pandemic’s effect on the country and the government’s response to the crisis could be either beneficial or damaging to Trump’s incumbency. With daily press briefings and strong handling of the media, exposure for President Trump is not difficult and is an advantage of being a sitting president. For Biden, getting exposure to millions of Americans in a self-isolation or quarantine scenario is difficult, and puts him at an automatic disadvantage to Trump.
Since Trump is in the driver’s seat bringing the country through a pandemic, most moves that he makes are scrutinized intensely. Regardless if that is justified or not, Biden has the opportunity to challenge Trump’s decisions without jeopardizing American lives or causing significant economic loss to the country.
As many have seen, the current coronavirus pandemic has inflicted great pain, hardship, and uncertainty in daily life. Like any crisis, how leaders respond and the public’s interpretation of that response will be seen in polling and elections. In the case of this crisis, COVID-19 will play an important role in how the United States will be choosing its next president.