Donald Trump’s re-election prospects are looking rougher by the day. He’s far from being the most popular incumbent, never even garnering the 50% approval rating that most presidents take for granted when they first enter the Oval Office. We’ve been seeing a record number of Republicans announce their retirement rather than run for re-election, and Trump’s own insane outbursts in public have only gotten worse.
He hasn’t even attempted to win over voters beyond his slowly shrinking base, and early polls show him losing to just about every major Democratic candidate in the running. Of course, the internal pollsters who originally brought this bad news to Trump found themselves fired, and Trump has taken to Twitter to blame this all on the media – saying that if it weren’t for the “Lamestream Media,” his approval rating would be at least 20 points higher. This is hard to believe because even 59% seems low when you consider how Donald Trump sees himself.
Now his daughter-in-law Lara Trump, a pundit and senior adviser on his reelection campaign, has her own theory on why he’s struggling in the polls. It’s because his supporters are afraid to admit they’re Trumpers – the same reason she believes is responsible for why polls didn’t accurately show him winning back in 2016. In fact, she goes so far as to say that voters this time around are likely more embarrassed to admit their support than they were back then.
The phenomenon she describes is known as the Bradley effect, but there’s not a whole lot of evidence it was happening in 2016, where Trump out performed his polls in red states during the Republican primary and underperformed in places like New York and Massachusetts – where people would most likely be afraid to admit they’re Trumpers. There might be some truth to her theory if Trump was trailing by low single digits, but when it comes to top tier candidates, he’s trailing by wide margins – and judging from the number of Trumpers displaying their bigotry either in public or on social media, many of them are anything but shy.
Lara Trump never really elaborated on her theory, but you can expect this to be a Fox News talking point for some time that could leak over into the mainstream media as they try to keep viewers engaged for all their 2020 campaign coverage.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making