‘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…’
“Frustration levels are super high there,” Heilemann said of the Biden campaign.
“The reality is that the former vice president is in a terrible position in the sense that he doesn’t have a platform,” Heilemann continued. “He doesn’t have real standing in this crisis.”
While Biden—whose health and cognitive functions already had registered concern before the pandemic spread—has spent the past several weeks in voluntary quarantine, voters are looking to President Donald Trump more than ever for leadership in the midst of this crisis.
So you look at, obviously, Donald Trump, who has the ability to dominate, for good or bad, has the ability to dominate coverage,” Heilemann explained. “He’s in the middle of the entire thing and will have this big platform and megaphone, bigger than ever.”
This big platform could result in a massive Republican voter turnout in November, said David Plouffe, a former Obama adviser.
“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 told Fox News.
President Barack Obama, likewise, succeeded in his 2012 re-election by leveraging his incumbent bully pulpit to out-message GOP opponent Mitt Romney, despite having presided over a still-sputtering economy with double-digit unemployment.
Even if the Democrats were able to convince voters—as many have attempted—that Trump’s delayed response to the coronavirus was to blame for the crisis, the president will still pull large numbers of voters in important swing states, such as Michigan and Ohio, Plouffe said.
“Almost no matter what happens, [the question is] can Donald Trump win Wisconsin? Can he win Michigan? Can he win Pennsylvania? Can he win Florida?’ Sure, because his base is so solid,” Plouffe continued. “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 added that there’s nothing Biden can do to halt Trump’s momentum right now.
“He’s not a governor. He’s not the president. And truthfully, [New York Gov.] Andrew Cuomo, [California Gov.] Gavin Newsom … Donald Trump — citizens want to hear from those folks because they’re the folks making decisions,” he said.
Some, in fact, have begun clamoring online for Democrat elites to “draft Cuomo” as the nominee by forcing a brokered party convention in defiance of the primary results.
Although his state has been the epicenter of the US pandemic spread, Cuomo has used regular press conferences to effectively rally the left-wing base and provide a much-needed counter-punch to Trump’s daily briefings.
Meanwhile, backing for Biden’s campaign has been lagging as of late. A March 31 survey revealed that 74% of Biden voters support him enthusiastically, while more than 86% of Trump’s supporters say they back the president enthusiastically.
This drop has left many Democrats nervous about Biden’s prospects.
“It’s the perfect cocktail of s**tstorm,” one Democratic strategist told The Hill.
“A pandemic no one expected, a horrible president at the helm, and a repeat of the 2016 primary with a candidate doing damage to his own party—no one wants to be the a**hole that sounds the alarm, but it’s pretty bad,” said the source.
In an attempt to stay in the national spotlight, Biden recently asked to speak with Trump about the federal government’s coronavirus response with the hope that Trump would “learn” a thing or two.
“We’ve been through this in a slightly different way in the past, and I hope they can learn some lessons from what [the Obama administration] did right and maybe what we did wrong,” Biden said during a virtual press briefing this week.