- The Washington Times
Monday, June 15, 2020

Out in the heartland, Republican officials are not buying into the Democratic Party’s claim that President Trump’s chances of reelection no longer exist. Some ambitious and very telling research by Politico reveals as much.

“By most conventional indicators, Donald Trump is in danger of becoming a one-term president. The economy is a wreck, the coronavirus persists, and his poll numbers have deteriorated. But throughout the Republican Party’s vast organization in the states, the operational approach to Trump’s reelection campaign is hardening around a fundamentally different view,” writes analyst David Siders.


“Interviews with more than 50 state, district and county Republican Party chairs depict a version of the electoral landscape that is no worse for Trump than six months ago — and possibly even slightly better. According to this view, the coronavirus is on its way out and the economy is coming back. Polls are unreliable, Joe Biden is too frail to last, and the media still doesn’t get it,” says Mr. Siders.

“The more bad things happen in the country, it just solidifies support for Trump. We’re calling him ‘Teflon Trump.’ Nothing’s going to stick, because if anything, it’s getting more exciting than it was in 2016. We’re thinking landslide,” Phillip Stephens — GOP chairman in Robeson County, North Carolina — told Politico.

A similar pattern has emerged elsewhere in grassroots America.

DTN, a Minnesota-based research group, recently polled the nation’s farmers to find that 90% of then continue to back Mr. Trump, up 15 percentage points from a similar poll the group conducted six months ago. A survey from the Kansas-based Farm Journal of 1,296 U.S. farmers released in late January also found that 83% of the respondents approve of Mr. Trump, — his highest approval rating so far compared to the pollster’s previous polls.

YOU CAN’T RALLY BUT ‘WE CAN RIOT’

President Trump is catching blame for yet another crisis, part of an ongoing effort by political rivals and the hostile news media to undermine his reelection campaign — which continues to enjoy record-breaking campaign donations and enthusiasm among GOP voters. Mr. Trump’s foes have previously attempted to shift blame for the coronavirus pandemic from China to the White House. Now comes an attempt to blame him for a second wave of the illness.

“As the country braces itself for an inevitable repeat surge in COVID-19 infections, we’re told red-state governors ‘opened too soon’. The next outbreak, we can be sure, will be something to do with the fact the president decided to resume his political rallies,” reports Stephen L. Miller, a contributor to Spectator USA.

“What nobody says is that individual or social behavior is the cause. It can’t possibly be the thousands of people closely together marching down city streets yelling and chanting, some with masks, some not. The guidelines fell completely by the wayside for the Democrats and much of network cable news,” says Mr. Miller, who deems this a “staggering hypocrisy.”

He also says the message from Democrats to Trump fans is this: “You can’t rally. We can riot.”

The trend has warranted other examination.

“If Americans across the country turned on their televisions in recent weeks, they saw virtually every major city awash in protesters, many of whom didn’t bother to wear masks or had them pulled down. Those protesters were allowed to move about freely, and in many cases encouraged to do so by ‘public health experts.’ All of a sudden, the neighborhood barbecue or pool party didn’t seem so dangerous,” writes Jack Crowe, news editor for National Review.

“It remains to be seen whether these spikes will register with the public after 115,000 people have already died. If they don’t, we could be in for a long, hot summer — even without further rioting,” observes Mr. Crowe.

THE TRUCKERS SAY NO

The nation’s truckers are not eager to visit those cities with troubled police departments.

“Truck drivers have spent the last year on the front line of a global pandemic and protests. Now many are fearful of what might happen if police departments disband or are defunded,” advises CDL Life, an online site centered on trucking industry news.

The site recently polled 1,283 truckers to reveal that, as of Friday, 79% say they will “refuse loads to cities with disbanded or defunded police departments,”

SCIENCE CORNER

“If you felt like time slowed down during the early days of the pandemic, you weren’t alone. In April, we asked 1,000 Americans how time seemed to be passing during March. About half said they felt time dragged and a quarter indicated that time passed more quickly than normal. The remaining quarter reported that they didn’t experience a change in the passage of time,” reports Philip Gable, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Delaware.

“Whether time slowed or sped up was most closely related to people’s emotions. Those who reported that they were most nervous or stressed also indicated that time passed more slowly, while those who felt happy or glad tended to experience time passing more quickly. Our findings also revealed that people who tended to experience the slowing of time practiced social distancing more often. So while time slowing down might be an unpleasant side effect of anxiety and avoidance, the behaviors did end up benefiting society,” Mr. Gable said.

POLL DU JOUR

57% of U.S. adults do not know anyone who has participated in a peaceful protest or march; 72% of Republicans, 56% of independents and 47% of Democrats agree.

23% overall have a close friend who has participated; 14% of Republicans, 23% of independents and 31% of Democrats agree.

14% overall have a family member who has participated; 8% of Republicans, 15% of independents and 16% of Democrats agree.

11% overall have personally participated; 6% of Republicans, 11% of independents and 16% of Democrats agree.

3% overall prefer not to say; 3% of Republicans, 6% of independents and 0% of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted June 7-9.

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