The primary season rages on- and it seems like Biden and Bernie will continue to battle it out till it is convention time election in the summer. And even though Bill Weld is pulling a Tulsi Gabbard and staying in the race without even the remotest prospects of winning, Donald Trump will only be up for a vote during the general election in November.
The voters’ perception of how Trump and his administration are dealing with coronavirus could play an essential part in determining his re-election fate. And we can track that through his approval rating in the coming weeks and months.
Trump’s approval rating presents an important data-point to look at when speculating on his re-election prospects. Usually, the incumbent’s approval rating is correlated with their chances of re-election. Even at this point in an election– the presidents’ approval ratings can potentially predict whether they will be re-elected.
As the numbers stand right now, an approval rating of 45% among potential voters on Election Day 2020 will not be good enough to get Trump re-elected. FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver has given the president about a 3 in 10 shot of winning if his approval rating is 45% in November.
Whether Trump’s numbers move because of coronavirus will likely depend on whether Americans think their lives have been impacted, for better or worse, because of Trump’s actions. And now that almost all sports leagues have been suspended, major spring movies’ release dates postponed, amusement parks shut down, and “social distancing” restrictions applying to restaurants as well as bars. It’s not that difficult to imagine a world where voters believe Trump has handled coronavirus response in a way that resulted in inconvenience for them.
However, it is important to note that many voters, especially Republicans, disapprove of a lot of Trump’s actions, but that doesn’t typically change their overall opinion of him or motivate them to change their party alliance.