We keep seeing polls that say a slight majority of Americans approve of how Donald Trump is handling the coronavirus crisis. And sure enough, Trump’s overall approval rating ticked up today in the Reuters poll. It’s generated some fear that this could lead to Trump becoming popular enough to get reelected. But here’s the thing.
When a crisis is unfolding, people generally want the President to succeed. Once it becomes painfully clear that the President has blown the crisis and can’t turn it around, people want a new President. So any boost that Trump might be seeing right now is temporary, and will only last if he’s somehow able to end up doing a good overall job, which is unlikely to happen.
Moreover, Donald Trump’s coronavirus approval numbers are actually rather low for what you’d expect during a crisis. Other modern U.S Presidents have gotten much higher crisis approval numbers than what Trump is getting right now. I’m not worried one bit about fluctuations in Donald Trump’s approval rating right now, and you shouldn’t worry about them either. Trump isn’t going to get magically reelected just because we’re in a crisis. Nothing works that way.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report