• Development Intelligence

Could Trump lose?

Gage Skidmore - (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Conventional wisdom has been that Trump is unassailable. A sitting President rarely loses. His campaign team is even better, even sharper than last time. His Twitter takedowns of the Democrats this time, much like his destruction of the Republican contenders in 2016, too brutal for anyone to survive. His wild-eyed, rust bucket base, too fervently loyal to let him down.

But is that now quite so true?

‘Sleepy Joe’ as Trump calls Biden, and he isn’t a great candidate for sure, now has a coronation. Unlike Hilary, he won’t be beaten up by Sanders right up until the nomination. Biden can now train all his effort and money on Trump. Biden has become the ABT candidate (Anyone But Trump). And truthfully, there’s a lot of Republicans repulsed by the Vulgarian-in-Chief who at least might stay at home on polling day even if they don’t put a cross against Biden’s name in the polling booth.

But much like Covid-19 will define Boris’ time in power, so will it decide whether Trump can win his second term. There are just four datapoints that will determine whether Trump wins:

  • The Covid-19 infection rate

  • The Covid-19 death rate

  • The unemployment rate

  • The business failure rate

If Trump has a good ‘Coronavirus war’, then he’s a dead cert on 3 November. But his wider popularity has endured because of the stellar performance of the US economy. (Tax cuts deliver growth – who knew huh, Lefties?). That now looks much trickier ground due to the impact of Covid-19. Where the US economy is in the autumn is what will do for Trump.

Coronavirus, rather than Sleepy Joe, may yet save the Democrats.