Seven GOP operatives not directly associated with the President’s reelection campaign told CNN that Trump’s response to the pandemic and the subsequent economic fallout have significantly damaged his bid for a second term — and that the effects are starting to hurt Republicans more broadly. Some of these operatives asked not to be identified in order to speak more candidly.

Several say that public polls showing Trump trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden mirror what they are finding in their own private polls, and that the trend is bleeding into key Senate races. The GOP already had a difficult task of defending 23 Senate seats in 2020. The job of protecting its slim 3-seat majority has only gotten harder as the pandemic has unfolded. States like Arizona and North Carolina, once thought to be home to winnable Senate races now appear in jeopardy…

“This is the one thing he (Trump) cannot change the subject on,” said a Republican strategist. “This is not a political opponent, this is not going way and he has never had to deal with something like this.”…

“Absent some sort of V-shaped recovery many people think he is dead in the water,” said the Republican strategist.