By BRIAN A. HOWEY

INDIANAPOLIS — In the midst of this pandemic crisis, President Trump has received a polling bump. The latest came Tuesday in a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, 25% of voters surveyed said Trump is doing an “excellent” job handling the virus, and another 17% said he is doing a “good” job. But almost as many, 39%, said he’s doing a “poor” job, and 13% rate his handling of the crisis as “just fair.”

A week ago, an ABC/Ipsos Poll showed that 55% of Americans approve of the president’s management of the crisis, compared to 43% who disapprove. That was up from 43% approval the week before. It probably reflected the shift in tone during Trump’s March 16 White House pandemic briefing, when he said, “It’s bad. It’s bad. We’re going to hopefully be a best case and not a worst case. We have an invisible enemy, we have a problem that a month ago nobody ever thought about.”

Prior to March 16, Trump had downplayed the pandemic, suggesting a “miracle” would make it go away and characterizing it at a MAGA rally as a “hoax.”

In the Real Clear Politics polling composite on Trump’s job approval as of Wednesday, 46.3% approved and 49.9% disapproved. “Presidents tend to get a bump in wartime as Americans rally around the flag, so it would be no surprise that in a time of crisis the president’s approval rating took a turn in a more positive direction,” said Tim Malloy, the polling director for Quinnipiac University.

In 2001, President Geoge W. Bush saw his Gallup approval rocket from 51% to 86% following the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush went from 64% to 82% approval after the Operation Desert Storm liberation of Kuwait. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy went from 61% approval before the Cuban Missile Crisis to 74% afterwards.

“Looking at poll averages, there is no clear impact on Trump’s overall approval rating and that’s what’s most politically relevant,” Mark Mellmann, a Democratic pollster, told Politico. “We aren’t seeing the kind of rally-around-the- president effect, that we see in cases of international crisis. That’s measured by the overall approval rating.”

Another historical polling comparison would be President Jimmy Carter, who went from a 38% Gallup approval after Iran took U.S. hostages to 51% in November 1979. Carter went on to lose to Ronald Reagan a year later.

A NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll had Democrat frontrunner Joe Biden leading President Trump 52% to 43%. An average of all polls this month puts Biden’s advantage at a similar 7 points. Trump is the first incumbent president to be trailing at this point in the general election cycle (i.e. late March in the election year) since Harry Truman in 1948. Truman went on to upset New York Gov. Thomas Dewey.

“The LameStream Media is the dominant force in trying to get me to keep our Country closed as long as possible in the hope that it will be detrimental to my election success,” President Trump tweeted Wednesday.

Trump campaign seeks cease & desist


The Trump campaign on Wednesday demanded that television stations not air a TV ad produced by a political action committee ‘formed by Barack Obama loyalists” were attacking the president with ‘deliberately false and misleading’ political advertisement. “PUSA (Priorities USA Action Fund) stitched together fragments from multiple speeches by President Trump to fraudulently and maliciously imply that President Trump called the coronavirus outbreak a ‘hoax,’” read a cease and desist letter released by the Trump campaign.

Governor

Myers virtual town hall tonight


Presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee Woody Myers will be hosting his second virtual town hall at 6:30 p.m. (ET) tonight to discuss the Myers Map and answer questions from voters about how we can all work together to control the spread of COVID-19, commonly referred to as the coronavirus. Here is the link for Hoosiers to register for tomorrow’s town hall: https://secure.ngpvan.com/1K8zowqUx0et9SP5mPC3mQ2 

Dr. Woody Myers released the first phase of “Myers Map – A New Way” on Wednesday. The plan is meant to help supply health care workers with vital medical protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic in the short-term. In the long-term, it would make Indiana a medical supply hub for the nation and the world. 

“Indiana needs more medical supplies now, and a more dependable supply chain, so we never face a shortage ever again,” said Myers. “This plan is a way to meet the need today and strengthen Indiana’s economy for the future.” Indiana lost 29,000 manufacturing jobs to other countries between 2006 and 2016 and left us dependent on a global supply chain unable to meet Indiana’s medical needs and the medical needs of the nation during this historic health crisis, putting Hoosiers’ lives at risk.

“Indiana should be shouting from the rooftops, ‘Indiana is open for business,’” said Myers. “The state should be working with the federal government to support our manufacturing industry and answer calls for help expressed by governors across the nation. Let’s build on what we already have. Indiana should be demanding its fair share of federal allocations of medical supplies, but this still won’t be enough,” Myers added. 

Congress

5th CD: Dietzen unveils rural plan


Republican candidate Dr. Chuck Dietzen released his Rural Vitality Plan. This plan shows his experience, priorities and his support for Hoosier farmers. “I spent my first days on the campaign with farmers in the 5th District,” said Dietzen. “I listened to their concerns and discussed what they need in a representative in Washington. Today, I’m pleased to share this plan to support and represent them in some of their biggest challenges.” Included Dietzen’s plan is improved healthcare for rural farming communities and working to create a stronger rural economy through legislation that helps cut burdensome regulations, improves infrastructure and provides tax relief. Dr. Dietzen believes in open markets for Indiana agriculture and wants to help Hoosier farmers by eliminating barriers to agricultural trade.