In recent opinion surveys, including a poll from Reuters/Ipsos this week, it continue to show Trump trailing Democratic challenger Joe Biden significantly with just over four months until the Nov. 3 election.
The temporary fences that separated protesters from the White House have come down. But its occupant, President Donald Trump, appears to be more isolated than ever.
But more revealingly, they show a president increasingly disconnected from American electorate whose views have changed rapidly following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, while in Minneapolis police custody.
According to an analysis of Reuters/Ipsos polling data since March, Trump takes the less-popular side of issues that Americans right now say matter, such as the coronavirus pandemic and police reform. This shows a steadily bleeding support among a broad swath of voters, even ones that have been most loyal to him such as rural Americans and white evangelicals.
Mr Biden now has a 13-point lead over Trump, the biggest recorded by the Reuters/Ipsos poll since Democrats began their state nominating contests earlier this year, powered by substantial gains among suburban residents, independents and high-income earners.
Even traditionally Republican-leaning groups men, white suburban women and those older than 55 – have recently flipped for Biden, the polling analysis shows. Mr Trump led elderly voters until May.
Trump’s supporters said there was plenty of time to turn things around, and a likely economic rebound would bolster his re-election bid just in time for November.
But Trump’s apparent reluctance to try to unite a country convulsed by multiple crises, instead endearing himself further to his base of hardcore supporters, would leave him with the economy as his last saving grace, experts says.
In one silver lining for the president, 43% of registered voters in the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll said they thought Trump would be a better steward of the economy than Biden, while 38% said Biden would be better.
“His continued focus on his base is costing him among a handful of moderate Republicans and independents,” said John Geer, a political science professor at Vanderbilt University who reviewed the polling data. “If this trend continues, this election could end up being very lopsided against the incumbent.”
The Trump campaign did not respond to the poll findings. But Trump has insisted on Twitter he is aligned with the nation’s values, saying his supporters are part of a “silent majority” – a phrase used by Republican President Richard Nixon 50 years ago during a similar period of social unrest.
While polls show nearly two thirds of respondents sympathize with the protesters over police brutality, Trump has openly flirted with deploying the military to “dominate” them. Earlier this month, police in Washington forcibly removed peaceful protesters so that Trump could pose for photographs in front of a church near the White House.
Trump has also ignored growing calls for sweeping police reform proposals in the aftermath of Floyd’s killing. Reuters/Ipsos polling shows 82% of Americans want to ban police from using chokeholds, 83% want to ban racial profiling, 92% want federal police to be required to wear body cameras and 91% support allowing independent investigations of police departments that show patterns of misconduct.
Trump dismissed the threat of the coronavirus pandemic early on, and sparred with state governors as they tried to slow its spread. He will continue his signature rallies on Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as new COVID-19 cases are spiking in the state and 76% of Americans remain concerned about the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll.
A fresh reminder of Trump’s disconnect came on Monday, when his handpicked choice for the Supreme Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch, penned a landmark decision that granted protection against workplace discrimination to gay and transgender workers. Just last week, Trump’s administration moved to strip healthcare protections from transgender patients.
Geer in a statement says, “His presidency has never been in tune with majority opinion in this country”. Trump has always walked the razor’s edge as a candidate.
But Trump was able to position himself in 2016 as an anti-establishment insurgent, stoking the fears of white working-class voters about jobs leaving the country and an influx of immigrants. That helped him win the state-based Electoral College count, which determines the presidency, even though he lost the popular vote.