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2 words that explain why Donald Trump is losing

As Election Day nears, President Donald Trump took time out from attacking Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and journalists Lesley Stahl and Kristen Welker to reflect on his response to the Covid-19 pandemic during a taped town hall with Sinclair Broadcasting Group's Eric Bolling. CNN's Jim Acosta reports.

Posted: Oct 22, 2020 4:01 PM
Updated: Oct 22, 2020 4:01 PM

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump taped a town hall with Sinclair Broadcasting Group's Eric Bolling. In it, Bolling asked the President a simple question -- and the answer Trump gave is hugely revealing.

Here's the exchange:

Bolling: "With Covid, is there anything that you think you could have done differently, if you had a mulligan or a do-over on one aspect of the way you handled it, what would it be?"

Trump: "Not much."

The President of the United States, faced with a still-raging virus that has sickened 8.2 million Americans and killed 221,000, says that there is "not much" that he would have done differently if he could do things all over.

Really? REALLY?!!?

How about not making mask-wearing a political issue? Or letting the scientists lead our response to the pandemic? Or not playing down the threat of the virus when he knew how communicable it was as far back as February? Or fixing the testing process in America in the early days of the virus? Or showing any sort of empathy for the Americans who have lost their lives? ("It is what it is," Trump said in September when confronted with the death toll from Covid-19.)

It's not clear whether Trump's "not much" answer is driven by pure tone-deafness or his obsession with always being right and never admitting a mistake. To that latter point, Trump was asked in July 2019 what his one "do-over" as president would be and responded: "It would be personnel. I would say if I had one do-over, it would be, I would not have appointed Jeff Sessions to be attorney general. That would be my one ... that was the biggest mistake."

Riiiight.

The truth is it really doesn't matter why Trump doesn't get that he hasn't handled the pandemic perfectly (or even close). It just matters that he finds himself on the wrong side of the majority of the country on that question.

In a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll released over the weekend, just 4 in 10 voters (41%) said they approved of the way Trump is handling Covid-19 while 57% disapproved. in CNN's latest national poll, conducted earlier this month, just 37% approved of the job Trump was doing on Covid-19.

Poll after poll shows the same thing: A clear majority of voters disapprove of how Trump has handled the pandemic. And that disapproval is directly connected to his flagging poll numbers nationally and in swing states against former Vice President Joe Biden.

Seeing those numbers, a normal politician would have spent the last few months working to change voters' perceptions about his handling of the issue.

They might acknowledge that this was an unprecedented challenge to the country and the world -- and that, while their administration tried to always make the right decisions, some of their choices didn't work out as they had hoped.

They might make a call to our better angels, arguing that the only way we can get through this virus is to put aside partisanship and recognize our common humanity. They might do any one of a number of things -- all aimed at making clear to the public that they understands American's doubts and worries and are going to do everything they can to prove they're the right choice to lead the country out of this virus and into a brighter future.

Trump isn't a normal politician. (Breaking news!) And he hasn't done anything even close to what I suggested in the last paragraph. Instead, he has continued to insist that he saved millions -- MILLIONS -- of lives and without him things would have been much worse. And that we are "rounding the corner" on Covid-19 -- despite all of the data to the contrary.

"People are tired of Covid," Trump told campaign staff on a call earlier this week. "I have the biggest rallies I've ever had, and we have Covid. People are saying whatever. Just leave us alone. They're tired of it. People are tired of hearing [Dr. Anthony] Fauci and all these idiots."

What does this wild disconnect between how people feel about Trump's handling of the virus and Trump's own assessment of how he has done mean for his chances of winning?

"Not much" good.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 749532

Reported Deaths: 13746
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1030911775
Lake554681006
Allen41636691
St. Joseph36947564
Hamilton36527416
Elkhart29363459
Tippecanoe22862225
Vanderburgh22542400
Porter19331325
Johnson18405388
Hendricks17588317
Clark13200193
Madison13120344
Vigo12604253
LaPorte12394221
Monroe12163175
Delaware10947198
Howard10263225
Kosciusko9614119
Hancock8549144
Bartholomew8162157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7772180
Grant7229179
Wayne7155201
Boone6917103
Morgan6736141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6206116
Cass5991108
Henry5894108
Dearborn588978
Noble580186
Jackson508674
Shelby500897
Lawrence4732121
Gibson444093
Harrison440773
Clinton440055
DeKalb438785
Montgomery434690
Whitley406042
Huntington402281
Steuben399259
Miami392768
Jasper386954
Knox375790
Putnam372160
Wabash360583
Ripley346570
Adams344955
Jefferson335685
White330253
Daviess3031100
Wells295181
Decatur289992
Greene286385
Fayette284864
Posey273735
LaGrange272872
Scott269955
Clay265848
Washington244934
Randolph244683
Jennings235149
Spencer234231
Starke227558
Fountain218647
Sullivan213943
Owen211058
Fulton201542
Jay200932
Carroll193420
Orange188055
Perry186937
Rush175726
Vermillion173644
Franklin170235
Tipton165846
Parke149016
Pike138034
Blackford136132
Pulaski120247
Newton112736
Brown103943
Crawford102316
Benton101014
Martin91515
Warren83615
Switzerland8098
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0420

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1107225

Reported Deaths: 20091
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1285061459
Cuyahoga1156322204
Hamilton812991245
Montgomery524951040
Summit48356999
Lucas43309817
Butler38903603
Stark33297929
Lorain25641502
Warren24558303
Mahoning22332601
Lake21139385
Clermont20098252
Delaware18819135
Licking16649222
Fairfield16564204
Trumbull16527479
Medina15597270
Greene15256246
Clark14223306
Wood13281197
Portage13229214
Allen11903239
Richland11598211
Miami10837223
Wayne9116222
Columbiana9023230
Muskingum8889135
Pickaway8652122
Tuscarawas8639247
Marion8635138
Erie8052164
Ashtabula7139179
Hancock6996131
Ross6934161
Geauga6832150
Scioto6530104
Belmont6149174
Union583849
Lawrence5723102
Jefferson5669158
Huron5539122
Sandusky5437125
Darke5415129
Seneca5344126
Washington5308109
Athens523360
Auglaize501687
Mercer487285
Shelby476295
Knox4568112
Madison443765
Ashland435197
Putnam4334103
Fulton431871
Defiance431798
Crawford4033110
Brown401961
Logan387377
Preble3847103
Clinton378566
Ottawa372781
Highland359465
Williams347878
Champaign343858
Guernsey324253
Jackson317554
Perry297150
Morrow291340
Fayette285350
Hardin274865
Henry273267
Holmes2699101
Coshocton268459
Van Wert247264
Adams242956
Pike242735
Gallia240550
Wyandot234556
Hocking220162
Carroll196948
Paulding176342
Meigs148240
Monroe136144
Noble135839
Harrison113738
Morgan109624
Vinton85417
Unassigned03
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