The coronavirus pandemic shouldn’t make former Vice President Joe Biden feel easy about November, former President Barack Obama’s former campaign adviser says.
David Plouffe, the mastermind behind Obama’s 2008 campaign, predicted that President Donald Trump’s supporters will turn out in “historical” numbers to support the president, despite the devastation of the coronavirus crisis.
“And I think he’s going to turn out voters almost at a historical level on his behalf, so that makes him very dangerous if you’re Joe Biden,” Plouffe told the “Fox News Rundown” podcast Thursday.
Plouffe: Trump base is “solid”
The coronavirus is threatening to destroy the thing on which Trump premised his re-election — the strength of the economy — as millions of Americans filed for unemployment in the last two weeks alone. The death toll has surged, with over 6,600 reported deaths in a little over a month.
“You look at the economic situation and say, ‘How can an incumbent win in that?’ But, you know, no one’s blaming Trump for the damage,” Plouffe said. ” … I think if you can lay his crisis response at his feet and connect that to the economy, I do think that’s some headwind he’s got to run into.”
But Plouffe speculated that Trump’s base is simply too “solid” for the coronavirus to shatter his grip on states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida.
At the same time, Biden has mostly been out of the public eye, as attention shifted to Trump and his response to the coronavirus, as well as high-profile governors like California’s Gavin Newsom and New York’s Andrew Cuomo.
“There’s nothing [Biden] can do about it. He’s not in office. He’s not a governor. He’s not the president. And truthfully, [New York Governor] Andrew Cuomo, [California Governor] Gavin Newsom … Donald Trump, citizens want to hear from those folks because they’re the folks making decisions,” Plouffe said.
Biden has been relegated to the sidelines — left clamoring for attention on Twitter and in media interviews, Plouffe said. It’s a steep fall from his Super Tuesday surge, which catapulted him to the front of the primary race on March 3 in an unprecedented comeback. That feels like distant history now as the coronavirus has brought life to an unnatural stop for millions of people.
Needless to say, not many are interested in what Biden has to say at the moment, but he’s still trying to attack his opponent. “The evidence is clear: Donald Trump ignored the warnings. He failed to act. And now Americans are paying the price,” Biden tweeted Thursday.
Recent polls show that Trump’s approval ratings are at record highs. A Gallup poll last week found that 60 percent of Americans approve of his handling of the crisis, although more recent polls have given a less sunny picture. Trump came close to Biden in a recent ABC-Washington Post poll as well.
Biden swept swing states like Michigan in the primaries, and there is even speculation that the state’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer (D), is on the shortlist to be his running mate. Whitmer has accused Trump of withholding help to her state, which has suffered some 500 deaths as of 3 p.m. Friday. Meanwhile, other states delayed their primary elections and the Democratic convention has been pushed off until late in August, as speculation brews of mail-in voting for the national federal elections this November.