The president was way ahead on the dangers of lockdowns, so he would be right to feel vindicated. “But you look at depression, you look at drugs, you look at alcoholism, you look at all horrible things that were taking place with these — people are just locked in their homes, their apartments, they couldn’t leave. And it’s a terrible thing. And I came up — I think it was me — the cure can’t be worse than the problem itself.”
We discussed the new Gallup poll that finds 56 percent of Americans say they are better off now than they were four years ago — a stunning number considering that we are in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, triggered by the worst pandemic since 1918 and followed by the worst racial unrest since the 1960s. In 2012, when Barack Obama won reelection, only 45 percent of Americans said they were better off; in 2004, when George W. Bush won a second term, only 47 percent said they were better off; even during the 1984 reelection campaign of Ronald Reagan — the man who coined the phrase “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” — only 44 percent answered yes.
So, with 56 percent saying they are better off, Trump should be cruising to reelection. Yet, according to the RealClearPolitics average, only 42.2 percent of voters say they plan to vote for the president. I asked him why so many voters approve of his policies but not of him, and what he can do to win them over in the next three weeks. “Look, all I can do is create the greatest economy ever and we’re doing that,” he says. “We’re doing it at a level that people are shocked. Because, again, I say we’re rounding the turn. … I think people are going to want law and order. I think they’re going to want a great economy.”