Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich predicted President Trump will “probably” lose the election if states reenact shutdowns amid the coronavirus.
As coronavirus cases spike in places across the country, prompting some states to halt their plans to reopen, Gingrich told Just The News on Friday that another economic blow could be fatal to Trump’s political prospects in November.
“If Trump is right and we can reopen safely with reasonable precautions, he’ll probably get reelected. If Trump is wrong, and as a result states have to shut down again and the economy goes back in the tank, then he probably won’t get reelected, no matter what the consequence is, because at that point, people will say, ‘Well, that didn’t work,'” Gingrich said.
Earlier, Gingrich said the president believes people seek a return to normalcy and is willing to take a short-term political hit if it means benefit in the long run.
“For some people, they prefer safety to risk-taking. It is very clear Trump is a risk-taker. And it is very clear that between the virus and the economy and the Chinese, etc., we got a lot of risk out there right now. It’s conceivable that Biden, by hiding, looks passive and looks non-threatening. And that may be reassuring to people,” he said.
On Thursday night, the Wall Street Journal editorial board published a critical review of Trump’s chances of winning reelection amid the coronavirus pandemic and the civil unrest following George Floyd’s death on Memorial Day in Minneapolis, attributing the assessment to an unclear political platform.
According to a survey released by Fox News on Thursday, former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, leads Trump by 45%-44% in Texas and 47%-45% in Georgia. Texas last backed a Democratic presidential nominee in 1976 and Georgia in 1992.
Both states are within the poll’s 3-point margin of error. But the fact that they are even competitive shows the challenges Trump faces as he seeks reelection in November amid the pandemic and double-digit unemployment.
The poll also found Biden leading Trump in Florida by 9 points and North Carolina by 2 points. Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, holds similar leads in other polls taken over the past week.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board emphasized how the Trump campaign is dismissing the political environment as similar to the 2016 election but noted that failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s popularity was lower than Biden’s approval.
“Mr. Trump has little time to recover. The President’s advisers say that he trailed Hillary Clinton by this much at this point in 2016, that they haven’t had a chance to define Mr. Biden, and that as the election nears voters will understand the binary choice. Perhaps. But in 2016 Mrs. Clinton was as unpopular as Mr. Trump, while Mr. Biden is not,” the board wrote.