Joe Biden is still leading the polls overall but President Trump is standing strong on the economy even though his handling of the pandemic has been heavily criticised by his electoral competitor. Azad Zangana, Senior Economist and Strategist at Schroders, told Express.co.uk that there is still confidence in Mr Trump’s handling of the economy among American voters.
He said: “Up until about the start of the summer the two candidates were neck and neck in the opinion polls which does suggest there is still quite a lot of confidence in President Trump’s handling at least of the economy.”
According to data by Gallup, Mr Trump’s economic approval rating continues to linger at around 50 percent.
This gives Mr Trump a slightly higher rating on economic issues than his predecessor, Barack Obama, when he ran for re-election.
President Obama scored 45 percent in October 2012 and Mr Trump has earned 47 percent between May and June 2020, according to Gallup.
But for President Trump this is a lower figure than he scored in January which stood at 63 percent.
Mr Zangana explained how the impacts caused by the coronavirus crisis may not necessarily harm Mr Trump’s chances of being re-elected.
He added: “I don’t think he will necessarily be blamed for the coronavirus or necessarily his handling of it but at the same time at lot of individuals will vote for change when things are not going well and it doesn’t necessarily matter who is in charge or what they have done.”
Mr Zangana highlighted how polling data suggests that approximately 60 to 70 percent of voters will vote according to their party lines regardless of what has happened in the US or what may happen in the future.
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He added: “It’s more to do with the animosity towards the media.
“When a liberal left wing news or TV channel conducts a poll they tend to receive less responses from Republican supporters.
“And so there is a well-researched view out there that actually the gap is smaller than is currently being reported by the opinion polls.”
Although Mr Trump is scoring high on the economy, Mr Zangana highlighted that there are other issues which are at the forefront of voter’s minds.
He said: “It’s really since the Black Lives Matter movement started in the middle of the summer that the poll ratings diverged and Joe Biden opened up quite a considerable lead over the president so I don’t really think the economy has been the core issue for voters this time round.”
In November, Mr Zangana said the election will depend on voter turnout.
In the last US election, he explained the turnout particularly for black voters fell quite sharply compared to the previous two elections which saw Mr Obama win.
He continued: “The research suggests that had the black community maintained its turnout rate then Hilary Clinton would have won the last election.
“So if we do see an increase in the turnouts there, that could be very powerful and swing the election back towards the Democrats.”
Mr Zangana believes the Black Lives Matter movement could galvanise support and increase turnout ahead of the election in November.