Has Trump reached the end of the line in his presidency?
To see the US President Donald Trump floundering in TV interviews is nothing new, but as we count down towards the next presidential election, there is a strong sense that Trump is feeling the heat, and that the odds on the next US President are stacked against him. Of course, the role of underdog is nothing new to Trump, but you feel as though this time the challenge of retaining the White House may just be beyond him.
In terms of his popularity and approval rating, Trump has sunk like a stone in recent months, mainly due to his at-times controversial handling of the coronavirus crisis. The president’s laissez-faire attitude towards the virus has upset many, and while his hardcore demographic of voters will still be on his side through all of it, there’s a good chance that Trump will have lost the trust of those who might be on the fence.
The situation in America regarding case numbers and death tolls is still a worrying one. Given the US’ large population and densely-populated cities, it was always likely that the country would be one of the hardest hit by the virus. But Trump has not helped his case by not treating the virus with the same amount of respect that some of his fellow world leaders have shown. The fact that he revealed he was taking the unproven drug hydroxychloroquine showed that, while he may have been keen to reassure Americans that the virus was under control, he was not treating it with the seriousness many expected of him.
Putting the issues surrounding the coronavirus to one side, it has not been plain sailing for Trump throughout his term in office. Indeed, it was never likely to be. The divisive nature of the 2016 presidential election, where Trump upset the odds to defeat Hillary Clinton, sowed seeds of hostility throughout the nation that have festered during his time in the White House. These divisions have come to the fore through the Black Lives Matter protests, particularly in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
The lingering threat of impeachment has also followed Trump around like a bad odour, creating a bitter sense of disharmony within both main political parties. While Trump survived the process, the whole ordeal will have left a bad taste in the mouths of many Americans, and this may affect Trump’s chances when the election rolls around. It may be that much of the public – even Trump voters – feel it is time for a change at the top.
Democratic candidate Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris will provide stiff competition for the incumbent president. After all, Biden has eight years of experience as previous president Barack Obama’s vice-president, and he has proven that he is a man the American public can trust.
At this stage, it’s hard to gauge just how well Trump will do in the upcoming election. He stunned the world to win the presidency back in 2016, and you wouldn’t put it past him to deliver another strong campaign and earn another four years. But it’s hard to ignore the sense that the tide has gradually turned against the president.