Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Nearly one-fifth of registered Republicans want Donald Trump to drop out of the race for the White House, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday, reflecting the turmoil his candidacy has sown within his party.

Some 19 percent think the New York real estate magnate should drop out, 70 percent think he should stay in and 10 percent say they “don’t know,” according to the Aug. 5-8 poll of 396 registered Republicans. The poll has a confidence interval of six percentage points.

Among all registered voters, some 44 percent want Trump to drop out. That is based on a survey of 1,162 registered voters, with a confidence interval of 3 percentage points. That is 9 points higher than his support for the presidency in the latest Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll registered on Monday.

The figures underscored deep divisions within the Republican Party overTrump‘s candidacy. A number of prominent Republicans have declined to endorse him in the Nov. 8 election against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, citing his fiery rhetoric and policy proposals such as building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border and temporarily banning Muslims from entering the country.

Trump found himself embroiled in yet another controversy on Tuesday after saying at a rally that gun rights activists could act to stop Clinton from nominating liberal U.S. Supreme Court justices – a comment his campaign said was misinterpreted, but that Clinton’s campaign called “dangerous.”

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks,” Trump said at the rally at the University of North Carolina. “Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know,” he continued. The U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment guarantees a right to keep and bear arms.

He had previously stirred criticism for engaging in a spat with the parents of a Muslim U.S. soldier killed in Iraq. Republican Senator Susan Collins said on Monday that dispute led her to announce she would not vote for Trump.

In addition, 50 prominent national security experts signed an open letter saying they would not vote for Trump in the fall, saying he “lacks the character, values, and experience” to be president. Trump dismissed the group as part of the Washington establishment that he blames for many of the United States’ problems.

To be sure, neither Trump nor Clinton enjoys great popularity. Some 53 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of Clinton, who has been accused of mishandling her emails as secretary of state, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling.

Nearly 63 percent have an unfavorable view of Trump.

Clinton led Trump by more than 7 percentage points in a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday, up from a less than 3-percentage-point lead late last week.

(Reporting by Grant Smith in New York; Writing by Richard Valdmanis in Boston; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign rally at Crown Arena in Fayetteville, North Carolina August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

In recent weeks, President Donald Trump has been claiming that COVID-19 has been mostly defeated in the U.S. — which is laughable in light of how much infection rates have been surging, especially in Sun Belt states. But according to Washington Post reporters Yasmeen Abutaleb and Josh Dawsey, Team Trump has found a new coronavirus talking point: claiming that Americans can learn to live with the pandemic and the ever-climbing death count.

According to Abutaleb and Dawsey, the "goal" of Trump's White House and campaign allies "is to convince Americans that they can live with the virus — that schools should reopen, professional sports should return, a vaccine is likely to arrive by the end of the year, and the economy will continue to improve. White House officials also hope Americans will grow numb to the escalating death toll and learn to accept tens of thousands of new cases a day, according to three people familiar with the White House's thinking, who requested anonymity to reveal internal deliberations."

A Trump Administration senior official, quoted anonymously, told the Post that Americans will "live with the virus being a threat." And a former Trump official, according to the Post, said of Trump's allies, "They're of the belief that people will get over it, or if we stop highlighting it, the base will move on — and the public will learn to accept 50,000 to 100,000 new cases a day."



Figures from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore show that the coronavirus pandemic continues to be quite deadly — especially in the United States. As of Monday morning, July 6, Hopkins was reporting a worldwide COVID-19 death count of more than 534,800 — and almost 130,000 of those deaths were in the U.S.

Biden's campaign has been asserting that the former vice president has a much better track record than Trump when it comes to pandemics. Democratic strategist and Biden campaign adviser Ariana Berengaut told the Post, "From really January on, Vice President Biden has been laser focused on the rising risk to the American people presented by this pandemic. You can almost imagine them side by side — Trump's leadership and Biden's leadership…. Trump has no plan for tomorrow, no plan for a week from now; so, there is absolutely no plan for the fall, and that's what encapsulates the whole arc of that contrast."

Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster, told the Post that Trump's coronavirus response has been and continues to be an abysmal failure.

Garin asserted, "Trump is increasingly defined in voters' minds by his failing response to the coronavirus crisis, and virtually every action and position he's taken have been wildly out of sync with where the public is at on what should be done. Biden now has a remarkable opportunity to contrast himself with this failure of leadership that a large majority of voters see so clearly."