Support for Donald Trump is continuing to deteriorate in North Carolina. A PPP poll yesterday shows him trailing Joe Biden by four in the state, 50-46. That’s two points more than it was just a few weeks ago and reflects findings from other polls last week that show Biden up by mid-single digits. It also reflects national polling that shows Trump’s handling of the coronavirus is at an all-time low.
The poll also gives credence to recent surveys that show Cal Cunningham starting to pull away from Thom Tillis. PPP shows Cunningham leading by eight. A CNBC poll had him up by 10 last week and the Real Clear Politics average has him leading by 3.7. Cunningham clearly has the momentum in the mid-summer. It’s a good place to be for the Democrat but a long way from the post-Labor Day period when opinions start to harden.
Trump’s numbers may be the result of the spike in coronavirus that we’re seeing. While the number of deaths has been falling, averages this week suggest they are starting to rise as most public health officials believe they will. Trump is finally starting to lose credibility even among the GOP base. He’s telling the country that the virus would disappear, that it will go away during the summer, that the hype is overblown. He also claimed for a long time that we were doing more testing than anybody and then told us that tests, not the virus, are the problem. He clearly has no plan to deal with the virus and he’s sputtering with his misinformation and lies.
As Trump’s numbers begin to tank, Republican will need to figure out what to do. They’ve stuck by him, enabling his worst instincts and covering for his misbehavior for his entire presidency. Now, we’re in a crisis and he clearly doesn’t know how to deal with it. They’ve told the American people to ignore his behavior because his policies are good for them. That fallacy is being exposed. He’s failing at one of his basic responsibilities—keeping us safe.
If Trump’s numbers continue to fall, watch for Congressional and Senate campaigns to switch their messaging away from core Republican policies to, “Vote for us because we’ll be a check on Biden.” Right now, nobody’s abandoning ship, but Thom Tillis is trying mightily to extract himself from Trump’s ass, but he’s climbed way up there. He’s even praising Gov. Roy Cooper for his handling of the pandemic and urging people to wear a mask. In doing so, he may be dragging Trump down. He’s betting that his base will come home, even if they’re not happy with him distancing himself from Trump. He may find that they stay home instead.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >