More than 6 in 10 Americans do not trust the information about the coronavirus that they get from President Donald Trump, according to a new CNN national poll.
That’s an absolutely remarkable finding that speaks not just to Trump’s trust deficit in dealing with this global pandemic but the broader impact of his assault on truth during his first 3+ years in office.
(Trump had said more than 18,000 false or misleading things during his first 1,170 days in office – an average of 15 claims a day – according to The Washington Post.)
A significant majority of Americans – including 94% of Democrats, 66% of independents and even 14% of Republicans – do not believe that the leader of the country is shooting them straight on the central issue facing the country and the world, which has to be concerning for the President and his team.
While his GOP allies will note, rightly, that his overall job approval number – 45% – is the highest it has ever been in a CNN poll (by a single point), the level of distrust toward Trump on coronavirus is the sort of thing that you simply can’t ignore.
If you believe that the 2020 election is a referendum on Trump (which you should) and that how he has handled the coronavirus pandemic will be at the center of that referendum (which you also should), the fact that so many people just plain don’t believe what Trump is saying about the virus is a giant problem for him.
The reasons are obvious – we usually don’t vote for people who we don’t trust on the overarching issues of the day. Or trust at all.
But also consider this: Trump was elected in 2016 on a promise of radical change, of doing everything very differently. Change may well look less appealing in 2020 if it means an inability to trust the President of the United States when the country is faced with a challenge as vast as coronavirus.
The Point: When people lose faith and trust in you – whether you are a politician or a regular person – it’s a very hard thing to win back. Trump may be reminded of that basic fact of human nature a lot between now and November 3.