The Washington Post’s Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey’s latest story on the continuing political fallout from President Donald Trump’s diagnosis with and subsequent handling of COVID-19 contains ominous below-the-fold news for Colorado Republicans, already bracing for another Democratic wave election:
A GOP group working to elect Senate Republicans conducted polling over the weekend in four states — Colorado, Georgia, Montana and North Carolina — as Trump was hospitalized. The president’s numbers dropped “significantly” in every state, falling by about five points in all four. [Pols emphasis]
“The president is in real trouble,” said one of the group’s operatives, who is also close to the White House.
Many of Trump’s allies and advisers see his response to his own illness as a missed opportunity. Some had hoped that he would emerge from his hospital stay slightly humbled, with a newfound display of seriousness and empathy, and would receive a boost of public sympathy.
But so far, that has not happened. Internal Republican polling has consistently shown that the coronavirus — and not taking it seriously enough — remains the president’s electoral albatross. They believe it has caused the president to lose support among senior citizens and suburban women, both key voting blocs.
President Trump’s bout with COVID-19, undergoing sudden intensive treatment at Walter Reed Hospital amid conflicting reports of the severity of his illness and a widening outbreak among Washington, D.C. Republicans, appears to have shaken the faith of some number of voters who were previously intending to vote to re-elect the president. It’s possible that Trump personally becoming infected with a virus he promised would “disappear” with warm weather back in the spring is simply too much irony to rationally withstand, or at least an aggregate tipping point for yet-reachable Trump supporters. Either way, there are so few undecided voters left in any poll that a five-point slide for Trump would have to be the result of erosion within Trump’s base of support.
If your job prospects in 2021 are riding on Trump’s coattails in 2020, your bad year just got five points worse.
That alone is enough in theory to seal downballot fates.