By Kyle Rivas/Getty Images. In any other time, with any other president, the remark would have evaporated into the Washington air as just another piece of dime-store punditry. But Senator John Thune ’s admonition last week that Donald Trump is in deep election year doo-doo made waves precisely because it was so obvious. “Trump has a problem with the middle of the electorate, with independents, and they’re the people who are undecided in national elections,” Thune, the Republican Majority Whip, told reporters in the Capitol. “I think he can win those back, but it’ll probably require not only a message that deals with substance and policy but, I think, a message that conveys, perhaps, a different tone.” Ya think? Finally, someone in Washington with a microphone and pulse said out loud what most political leaders, journalists, and pundits have been tiptoeing around for years: Trump is a historically unpopular president with no message, and unpopular presidents without a message lose elections.
This was true even before coronavirus arrived and widened the president’s deficit in the polls. For the duration of his presidency, Trump’s approval ratings have been roughly equivalent to where Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter ended up on Election […]
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