It’s fair to say that the last few months have presented US President Donald Trump with challenges he could never have envisaged when he was inaugurated in January 2017. The coronavirus pandemic has rocked the world and brought life as we know it to a complete standstill. As one of the biggest and highest populated countries in the world, it was always likely that the US would struggle to contain the virus, but an alarming death toll and questionable Covid-related policies have led some to point the finger at Trump.
Indeed, with the 2020 Presidential Election beginning to loom large on the horizon, it’s now looking increasingly uncertain as to whether Trump would win re-election for a second term in office. His popularity has fallen significantly over the last several months, and likely Democratic challenger Joe Biden’s stock has risen, making it incredibly tight in the odds on the next US President.
There have even been rumours afoot that Trump could drop out of the race altogether. It’s been reported that Republican insiders have said that if Trump’s poll numbers don’t improve, the incumbent President might not seek re-election after all. It would be quite the turnaround, as before the coronavirus pandemic shook the world, Trump was in a relatively strong position with the election around the corner. The Democratic candidates had created division among Democratic voters, and Trump was the beneficiary of the uncertainty surrounding who would actually challenge the President.
Now, with Biden the accepted candidate to take Trump on, there has been an increasing shift towards the Democrat in the polls, and Trump’s controversial handling of the coronavirus crisis has certainly not helped his cause, in terms of building trust among the American public and instilling confidence that he has the capacity to lead the country out of this desperate situation.
When one considers things from the President’s point of view, perhaps it is understandable that he may not fancy running for re-election if he thinks a win is unlikely. After all, Trump has now reached the age of 74, and you can imagine the toll a term as President would take on a man of that age, even if it had been a relatively straight forward four years in office – which it has not.
Also, the articles of impeachment which Trump faced before the coronavirus pandemic took hold, will also have damaged his position of power among key demographics in the run-up to the next election. Although Trump remains popular among his core group of supporters, the enmity which has festered towards him among those who oppose his presidency has ultimately led to quite a sour situation developing, and the divisions which have formed in the US in recent years have only grown wider during his term in office.
But then, you would not be surprised if Trump mustered up another effective campaign to win another term. His victory in the 2016 election, which was more resounding than many people expected, proved that he is a man capable of canvassing support and winning votes when his chances of success seem unlikely. The next couple of months will be crucial in dictating Trump’s chances of re-election, and it will be a fascinating battle if he does decide to power on to try and win another four years in the White House.