Californians flock to beach amid heatwave, defying state lockdownPosted by Josh Taylor / April 26, 2020
President Trump sent a series of tweets urging citizens to violate Democratic governors’ stay-at-home orders. Jay Inslee has called the tweets “unhinged” and “illegal,” since they’re calling for domestic insurrection. Protestors indeed gathered to call for “Liberation,” per Trump’s tweets, but the numbers were tiny.
Nevertheless, that small number can spread COVID like crazy. The deaths from gatherings like this would, most likely, impact the elderly––who predominately vote for Trump. Should they be unable to vote, the political landscape could shift in favor of Biden, even in pro-Trump states, according to a recent study.
According to a Pew Research survey, the American public thinks Trump did a poor job handling the COVID crisis. 65% of Americans think Trump was too slow in responding to the crisis. Polls also reveal that Americans are more concerned that the country will be “opened for business” too soon, as opposed to too late, explicitly contradicting Trump’s statements. The images from the California beaches remind us that reactions to the lockdown will change overtime, and even those who might have criticized Trump may get tired of being stuck at home.
Overall, the COVID crisis has been bad for Trump. Historically, in times of national crisis, Americans have rallied around the president. During 9/11, for example, George W. Bush’s approval ratings spiked. Unusually, Donald Trump is not seeing the “rally around the flag” effect. His approval ratings briefly rose, but in the past week his ratings have dropped to pre-coronavirus levels, largely as a result of his daily briefings.