100 Days Out: Trump looks for game change as Biden makes gains

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100 Days Out: Trump looks for game change as Biden makes gains
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100 Days Out: Trump looks for game change as Biden makes gains
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It was a dramatically different approach for a president who’s been accused of downplaying the severity of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better,” President Trump said this past week – as he returned to the White House press briefing room to give his first coronavirus news conference since April.

And putting aside his long-time reluctance to wear a mask or urge Americans to mask up to prevent the spread of the virus, the president stressed “whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact.” He later acknowledged, “I’m getting used to the mask.”

The president’s change of course comes as new COVID-19 cases soar and many states reverse or pause moves to lift coronavirus restrictions. And it comes with just three-and-a-half months to go until Election Day, with public opinion polling that indicates Trump’s increasingly falling behind Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

Sunday marks exactly 100 days until the election. With the clock ticking for the incumbent to shake up his political fortunes, the past two weeks have witnessed the president making other dramatic U-turns. First was Trump’s ouster of Brad Parscale as his reelection campaign manager.

Then, the president abruptly scrapped the large celebratory aspects of the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville as the coronavirus surged in Florida. The move was shocking, as Trump moved the convention to Jacksonville from Charlotte just a month ago after North Carolina’s Democratic governor wouldn’t guarantee a full-fledged convention with an arena packed full of party officials and activists.

But while the Trump campaign has long scoffed at polls that failed to predict his victory four years ago, the consistency of their message in recent weeks appears to have had an impact. An average of the latest national polls compiled by Real Clear Politics shows the president trailing the presumptive Democratic nominee by nearly 9 points.

More importantly – the latest surveys in the key battleground states also put Biden ahead. Real Clear Politics averages indicate the president down 7 points in Florida, 6.7 points in Pennsylvania, 8.2 points in Michigan and 6.4 points in Wisconsin. Trump narrowly won all four states in 2016, flipping them from blue to red as he won the White House. Polling also suggests Biden with the slight edge in Ohio, North Carolina and Arizona, three other important swing states this cycle. And surveys indicate that once reliably red states such as Texas and Georgia are all knotted up between Trump and the former vice president.

Regardless, the president’s new campaign manager publicly remains very optimistic. And Democrats, laden with the searing memory of 2016’s upset, are cautious about overconfidence no matter what the polls show.

You can read the rest of Paul Steinhauser’s article at FoxNews.com

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