Columnist explains why Trump's attempt to ‘frighten’ seniors into voting for him isn't working
Senior citizens have been prominently featured in some of President Donald Trump’s attack ads against former Vice President Joe Biden, who — the ads claim — will do nothing to protect them from gangs of vicious criminals. But according to liberal Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent, Trump’s effort to win back older voters by terrifying them isn’t working.
“Here’s President Trump’s new reelection strategy in a nutshell: convince vulnerable seniors who rightly fear getting killed by the pandemic that Trump let rampage out of control that they should instead fear getting killed by criminals who would supposedly rampage out of control in a future post-police dystopia that is entirely invented,” Sargent explains in a column this week. “Trump just announced a plan to dispatch more federal law enforcement into Democratic cities without the assent of local officials — while offering numerous lurid exaggerations about urban crime and the supposed ‘radical movement’ to ‘dissolve’ police departments.”
Sargent goes on to describe how extreme and over-the-top of Trump’s recent anti-Biden ads have been. Trump, the columnist observes, “is running a new spot that depicts an elderly woman calling the police in terror as a marauder circles her house like a vulture, only to find that in ‘Joe Biden’s America,’ the police are no longer there. In recent weeks, Trump’s campaign has spent $20 million on the ad and others like it. But that ad is based on a lie: it falsely claims Biden would defund the police.”
The Post columnist continues,: “The fear of death hovers over that ad. It’s no accident that this comes as Trump is bleeding support among seniors, very likely due to his catastrophic mishandling of the virus, because they have the most to fear from it…. But here’s a funny thing: recent polling suggests Trump may be losing the argument over both coronavirus and law and order — even among elderly people.”
Sargent cites some recent polls showing what U.S. seniors are thinking about Trump —for example, a Washington Post/ABC News poll showing that seniors “trust Biden more on the coronavirus, 52% to 39%, and they trust Biden more on crime and safety, by 51% to 44%.” And a Yahoo News/YouGov poll, Sargent notes, “finds that seniors think Biden will do a better job than Trump on the coronavirus by 44% to 39%.”
“Trump is trying to frighten them even more with images of a fictional police-free future, but older Americans grant no presumption to Trump nonetheless,” Sargent writes. “Meanwhile, Biden is winning the debate over the coronavirus, the clear and present danger in the real world.”