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Joe Biden’s kickoff rally in May 2019 | Wiki­media Commons

Tuesday, March 3, 2020, also known as “Super Tuesday,” brought major wins for Joe Biden in the Democrat pres­i­dential primary. Of the 14 states that voted in the primary that day, Biden won 10. These wins were crucial for Biden to secure the nom­i­nation to run against Pres­ident Donald Trump in the general election this November.

It has been an arduous path for the former vice pres­ident, whose ques­tionable debate per­for­mances and ten­dency to forget basic details — like the name of his former running-mate Barack Obama — raise ques­tions about his mental ability to handle the pres­i­dency. However, his platform of elec­tability and mod­er­ation have made him a favorite among big Democrat names such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton. Sup­porters also point to the fact that 38% of voters identify as inde­pendent and may wish to seek a ‘middle ground’ between the hard-right pol­itics of Trump and the radical leftism of earlier prospective Democrat can­di­dates such as Bernie Sanders.

To compare Trump’s reelection chances to his race four years ago, one must compare his 2016 and 2020 oppo­nents. And while Hillary Clinton was a hard-left can­didate whose email scandals were never out of the ridi­culing eye of Donald Trump, Biden appears to be a mod­erate can­didate that is more humble than Trump — a trait which will cause voters to look more favorably on his overall char­acter. 

According to the Pew Research Center, a 41-year old Biden sup­porter stated, “I think [Biden] has stronger moral for­titude, is kinder, and will think more before he speaks than our current pres­ident.” 

Addi­tionally, many polls indicate that Trump should be getting a little antsy. The Econ­omist puts Biden’s chances of winning the elec­toral college at around 88% and his chances of winning the popular vote at an even higher prob­a­bility of 98%.

Despite all of this, 90% of Trump hopefuls are con­fident that their can­didate will win, which is a huge improvement over the 74% who expressed con­fi­dence in 2016. 

Just four years ago, con­ser­v­ative Amer­icans were in the depths of political despair as they watched Democrat pres­i­dential nominee Hillary Clinton take com­manding leads in every poll, with some pre­dic­tions putting her chances as high as 99%. Now, the message of Mitt Romney and other con­ser­v­a­tives is that Trump won then, and the polls have become too biased to mean any­thing, so he will likely win again. Given the jaw-dropping Repub­lican win in 2016, Trump’s sup­porters may have a point.  

Unfor­tu­nately for the Repub­licans, the stock market has cor­rectly pre­dicted every election since 1984 and it only has eyes for Joe Biden. On Feb­ruary 19 of this year, stock markets reached an all-time high before plum­meting 35% to a depressing state of bare func­tion­ality on March 23. Although this was due to the coro­n­avirus and not the actions of Trump, the events favor Joe Biden because he was not even in office at the time. After all, when Amer­icans vote in November, they do so with their check­books in their hands. 

Moreover, while the liberal media outlets’ con­stant attacks on Trump have not made large dents in Trump’s voter base between 2016 and 2019, the two things that have made the public opinion of Trump swing away from its rather stable position are the Black Lives Matter movement and COVID-19. 

Since March, Trump’s approval rating for his coro­n­avirus response coor­di­nation has dropped by 11 per­centage points over both Democrat and Repub­lican demo­graphics. Moreover, 34% of Inde­pen­dents say they dis­ap­prove of how Trump has handled the recent social justice protests and riots

While Trump has been con­sis­tently out­spoken in his con­dem­nation of leftist policy, both BLM and COVID-19 are dif­ferent than most political issues because they have touched the lives of almost every American citizen. The protests against police bru­tality that often devolve into violent riots startled many Amer­icans, regardless of their political views. Sim­i­larly, the COVID-19 lock­downs had a neg­ative impact on the financial sta­bility of many Amer­icans. 

Pres­ident Trump’s seem­ingly flippant responses to both these issues, coupled with the con­tinual asso­ci­ation between his pres­i­dency and global chaos that is pushed by the liberal media, creates a world in which Amer­icans, and par­tic­u­larly inde­pendent voters, are much less con­fident in their pres­ident.

Although no one can truly know if BLM and the coro­n­avirus will still be as rel­evant to the political scene in November as they are today, one thing is clear: the past few months have been a nightmare for Trump’s reelection chances. As the stock market con­tinues to bounce back at an impressive rate, Trump appears to be recov­ering voters in some areas. However, it may be too little, too late for Pres­ident Trump.

 

Quin Colhour is a sophomore studying Biology.