- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Multiple news organizations continue to peddle the convenient narrative that the public is turning against President Trump as the stock market plummets. A major pollster says otherwise.

“Coronavirus pandemic has yet to impact views on Trump’s handling of economy as half of voters back Trump’s economic performance, matching precrisis numbers from January,” reports Eli Yokely, a political analyst for Morning Consult. “Last week’s turmoil in the stock market and growing concerns about the long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the U.S. economy have not shaken voters’ views on President Trump’s chief selling point as he faces reelection this fall.”

And the numbers: “a new Morning Consult/Politico poll, conducted March 13-16, found that half of voters approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, statistically similar to findings from polls conducted in the first two months of the year. The figure exceeds his overall approval rating by 7 percentage points and is driven by positive sentiment among nearly 9 in 10 Republicans and a plurality of independents,” Mr. Yokely said.

The survey also found Mr. Trump enjoying a 6-point advantage over his presumptive challenger, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden on jobs and the economy — priority issues for large majority of voters.

HERE’S WHY TRUMP SAYS ‘CHINESE VIRUS’



Some timely observations from former U.S. Attorney Andrew C. McCarthy, who cites the “manufactured controversy” over President Trump’s use of the terms “Wuhan” or “Chinese” virus. Journalists and other critics who object to the terms are overlooking an important legal aspect of the matter, he says — and the phrase does not suggest a racist attitude.

“Congress has vested the president with this authority when a threat to the security and public health of any part of the United States is sufficiently grave to warrant a federal response. In our constitutional system, there are certain situations and categories of activity that automatically trigger federal authority. Most prominent among these are foreign relations, foreign incursions, border security, and matters related to foreign commerce, as well as commerce between the states — which, obviously, may be impacted by foreign commerce,” writes Mr. McCarthy in The Hill.

“Consequently, the origination of the virus in China and its transcontinental spread across the globe are highly relevant. They rationalize the president’s authority to address the emergency with Washington’s awesome resources,” Mr. McCarthy says.

“Not only did history and common sense justify the administration (among others) in noting the origin of the Wuhan coronavirus. Doing so was a legal necessity if the imperative of federal support for beleaguered state governments was to be fulfilled,” he advises.

HABITUAL: NEWS MEDIA REMAINS RELENTLESS

And so it continues. Some members of the press — including CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash — have offered guarded praise of President Trump’s response to the coronavirus. Most news organizations, however, continue to criticize the president, even at such a pivotal time. A few scant headlines from the last 24 hours:

“Trump’s instincts undermine U.S. response to COVID-19” (The Atlantic); “Trump’s new pandemic drumbeat: ‘Chinese virus’” (Politico); “This is the biggest blunder in presidential history” (The Washington Post); “Trump’s ‘Chinese virus’ tweets echo his Mexico insults — with similar results” (NBC News); and “David Plouffe on potential second Trump term: We may not survive it” (MSNBC).

THANK A TRUCKER

Not overlooked: #ThankaTrucker — A new hashtag has emerged to praise American truck drivers who remain on the roads during the coronavirus crisis.

“Truckers are an important link keeping hospitals, grocery stores and everything in between supplied in spite of the virus. They are moms and dads, husbands and wives. They are some of the hardest working, patriotic people in the country moving virtually all of the goods,” tweeted Sen. Mike Enzi, Wyoming Republican.

‘Next time you see a trucker, thank her or him,” the lawmaker said.

The American Trucking Association in a statement: “We urge shippers and receivers to treat them with the courtesy, dignity and respect they deserve. We call on government officials to provide them with the flexibility and resources they need to get the job done,” the organization said. “But there’s one thing all Americans can do right now: Thank a trucker. Especially during trying times like these. Because without them, the disruptions we’re experiencing would be something much, much worse.”

POLLSTERS STEP UP

Even pollsters are rising to the coronavirus challenge. Ipsos, a major global polling firm, has partnered with news organization Axios to produce a “COVID-19 pandemic weekly tracking poll” to offer some insight.

“We expect next week’s poll will reflect the drastic changes in behavior, as the reality of the virus modifies our day-to-day life,” the poll analysis noted.

The debut survey found that 49% of Americans don’t have very much trust — or no trust at all — in cable news to provide accurate information on COVID-19. Another 74% feel the same way about social media. Another 53%, however, trust the federal government for accurate information.

In addition, 64% of respondents have stopped shaking hands with others, 51% have not visited friends or relatives and 43% skipped going out to eat. The Axios/Ipsos poll of 1,092 U.S. adults was conducted March 13-16.

POLL DU JOUR

• 48% of U.S. voters think Sen. Bernard Sanders and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden should “cancel upcoming campaign events for the Democratic presidential nomination”; 48% of Republicans, 45% of independents, 50% of Democrats agree.

• 27% of voters overall think Mr. Sanders and Mr. Biden “should continue campaigning for the presidential nomination”; 27% of Republicans, 26% of independents and 29% of Democrats agree.

• 25% overall don’t know or have no opinion; 26% of Republicans, 30% of independents and 21% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Morning Consult/Politico poll of 1,986 registered U.S. voters conducted March 13-16.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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