The mysterious coronavirus tales are many. It originated from bats. It originated from bat soup. It escaped from some laboratory. It’s been around since last year. It’s hanging around until next year. It’s was engineered to drive President Trump from office. The list of possibilities goes on.
But wait. Now we find that seven-out-of-10 of Americans say they have heard about a conspiracy theory that the coronavirus outbreak was “intentionally planned” by powerful people — including 19% who say they have heard “a lot” about this mystery idea. This is according to the Pew Research Center.
So if you were wondering about the possibility, you’re not alone.
“A sizable portion of Americans who have heard this conspiracy theory say it is likely true. Of those who have heard at least something about it, 36% say it is ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ true — equivalent to a quarter of all U.S. adults,” the pollster says.
A lot more Republicans than Democrats believe this to be true, of course. See more numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.
RESIGN? TRUMP COULD STILL POLL VAULT
News coverage is currently loaded with giddy stories which President Trump’s lousy poll numbers and suggest that he is about to drop out of the presidential race, or that he is “dragging down GOP Senate candidates,” as the New York Times put it. The sources for this claim are unnamed “GOP operatives.”
In the midst of all the chatter comes a tidy reality check, and here it is.
“Trump’s poll numbers are collapsing. But where will they be in November?” asks Nicholas Goldberg, a Los Angeles Times columnist.
“If the election were held tomorrow, Trump would almost certainly lose. But the election is not being held tomorrow. And a whole lot can happen in the next four and a half months,” he says.
And in comes a veteran pollster to back the claim up.
“Early polling was not indicative of what happened in 1976, or of 1968. It was not indicative of 1980 or 1992 or 2016,” said Frank Luntz, a longtime pollster who has worked for Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan, among other clients. “There have been so many cases where the numbers changed in the last days. What early polling does is tell us where we’re headed — but not where we’ll end up.”
‘IT’S ABOUT WESTERN CIVILIZATION’
The 2020 election has mutated into an enormous cultural moment according to Saul Anuzis, former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party and current president of 60 Plus Association, a nonpartisan interest group. It’s not just a bout between President Trump and Joseph R. Biden.
“It doesn’t matter if you like Trump or don’t like Trump. This upcoming election is no longer about Trump vs Biden, it’s about western civilization as we know it versus anarchy, revolution and unbridled radical power,” says Mr. Anuzis.
“Don’t ignore what the left is saying. It usually is exactly what they mean. The Democratic Party is now little more than a tool for far left progressives who want a socialist state. And worse, some are Marxist revolutionaries and proud of it. This is a collection of radical Marxists, Maoist and anti-American anarchists who seek to destroy and divide,” he continues, drawing a parallel to the Taliban and the Islamic State, who he says went after their own national history.
“They successfully destroyed their historic treasures and tried to erase the past and now a group of crazy leftists, empowered by Democratic politicians, are following in their footsteps. In the upcoming election, if you vote for the Democrats, you are empowering the worst of what democracy has to offer. Pay attention,” Mr. Anuzis warns. “Is there a silent majority? I think there is a silent majority that is sick of this crazy [expletive]. I hope they understand their vote matters and empowering the loony left is not the answer. This is not your parent’s Democratic Party.”
LADIES ON THE MARCH
President Trump continues to ramp up his reelection campaign, sidestepping the news media and reaching out to the millions of potential voters who are waiting for insight and information which the news media will not supply.
Strategists are organizing an “Army for Trump,” introduced in an online video featuring Erin Perrine, director of campaign press communications, and Swati Singh, director of strategic initiatives.
“Trump’s victory team has created the largest ground game in history,” said Ms. Singh, noting that the data-driven campaign recently made 10 million calls to voters in one week, which she says is unprecedented.
“There is a place for everyone on Team Trump,” Ms. Perrine notes.
She also is amused, she says, when reporters imply that women do not play leadership roles in the Trump reelection campaign.
“We’re all women on the team. It’s laughable that people don’t get that,” she says.
Fox News completed the second quarter of 2020 with the largest audience in the network’s history, both throughout the day and into the prime-time hours, according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox News was also the most-watched network in the basic cable realm, marking 16 consecutive quarters in the top spot.
As far as the cable news competition, Fox News drew an average of 3.6 million prime-time viewers, compared to 2 million for MSNBC and 1.8 million for CNN. The Fox News audience size is also up by 53%, compared to measurements taken in June 2019.
POLL DU JOUR
•71% of U.S. adults have heard about the theory that “powerful people intentionally planned the coronavirus outbreak”; 72% of Republicans and 70% of Democrats agree.
•36% say the theory is “definitely” or “probably true”; 47% of Republicans and 25% of Democrats agree.
•28% say the theory is probably not true: 29% of Republicans and 28% of Democrats agree.
•23% say it’s definitely not true; 11% of Republicans and 35% of Democrats agree.
•13% are not sure; 13% of Republicans and 12% of Democrats agree.
Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 9,654 U.S. adults conducted June 4-10 and released Monday.
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