Trump pins November election hopes on economic miracle

Ideas

Trump pins November election hopes on economic miracle

ANALYSIS | In the middle of a pandemic and race riots, he’s lagging in polls with less than five months to go

Ben Riley Smith

Four months ago, Donald Trump’s plan to win re-election in November was pretty clear. It was to ask voters the same question Ronald Reagan had asked in his successful second-term campaign in 1984: Are you better off than four years ago?

America at the start of 2020 was enjoying unemployment at record lows and a stock market at record highs. It was the greatest US economy in history, Trump liked to say. One, he believed, that would effectively send him back to the White House. Scroll on to June and the electoral landscape is utterly transformed. Gone is the abundance of jobs, replaced by 40 million Americans filing for unemployment, thanks to coronavirus lockdowns. Businesses are shutting. Recession looms.

Covid-19, which in America has claimed almost 110,000 lives and infected 1.9 million people, has forced the spotlight on Trump’s ability to steer the country through a crisis. And that was all before the streets broke out in violent protest last week...

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