Four years ago, Mr. Trump ran on his own agenda. No, he didn’t release a 288-page book outlining his vision for the country, as Mrs. Clinton did. But there was little doubt as to what he stood for: build the wall, bring jobs back from China and drain the swamp.
Now, as president, Mr. Trump presides over the swamp. And he doesn’t seem to have any concrete plans for his second term beyond, perhaps, personal vindication. As his poll numbers slump, Mr. Trump has become more enmeshed in the kind of personal vendettas and self-inflicted wounds he cannot seem to resist. (He spent nearly 15 minutes at his Tulsa rally ranting about the coverage of him walking down a ramp, for example.)
None of that is a problem for his die-hard supporters, who are willing to subscribe to Mr. Trump’s version of reality.
Mr. Gutierrez, who works in a hospital billing department, said the virus is a “hype” and a “hoax.” On Tuesday, both California, his home state, and Arizona, where he plans to spend a week, reported their highest single-day increases in coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.
“Just don’t touch your eyes,” Mr. Gutierrez said. “Be clean.”
The problem for Mr. Trump is that there are fewer and fewer voters like Mr. Gutierrez.
Our first national survey of this general election season, released today by The New York Times and Siena College, shows how Mr. Trump’s ratings have fallen among a striking cross-section of voters. Mr. Biden is either leading or running even with the president in nearly every major demographic group, and he has opened up a wide advantage among various groups of voters that were more evenly split in 2016, including independents and college-educated white women.
With 132 days to go until the election, the dynamics of the race could certainly change. Mr. Trump retains a measure of support on economic issues, according to the poll. So, if the virus fades and the election becomes a referendum over how to restore prosperity, Mr. Trump could pick up support.