“I don’t know if you’ve seen, the polls have been going up like a rocket ship. George Washington would have had a hard time beating me before the plague came in, before the China plague. And then, you know, like every other nation, like other countries, when you get hit, it affects you, and we went down a little bit,” Mr Trump said in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.
The president has blamed several factors for his decline in the polls this summer against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who has led him by a nearly double-digit margin at times during the pandemic.
The former vice president led Mr Trump by 7.2 percentage points in an average of polls between the dates of 24 July and 10 August, RealClearPolitics found.
Mr Biden is also leading Mr Trump in nearly every key swing state — North Carolina, Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, and others — according to FiveThirtyEight‘s aggregate of polling.
For his slide in the polls, Mr Trump has blamed China for allowing the coronavirus to spread around the world by covering up the seriousness of the initial outbreak. He has blamed Democrats, alleging they advocated lockdowns to cripple the Trump economy. And he has blamed a compliant media for going too easy on Mr Biden while being overly critical of the Trump administration.
“If [Mr Biden] goes and debates, if he said, ‘Yes, ‘I had a wonderful breakfast, thank you for asking the question,’ they’ll give him [praise] — they’ll say it was one of the greatest answers in history,” Mr Trump said in his interview with Mr Hewitt.
“So, you know, I know what I’m up against, and I had a smaller dose of it with Hillary. But Hillary was smart. Joe was never smart. Joe wasn’t smart in prime time,” the president said, alluding to his belief that Mr Biden no longer has the cognitive function to serve as president.
The Biden campaign has denied any allegations he is senile.
In fact, more voters think Mr Trump is mentally unable to perform the office of the presidency than Mr Biden, poll data from July reveals.
In a new poll from Monmouth University Polling Institute released on Tuesday, Mr Biden maintained his advantage against the president, capturing 51 per cent support from registered voters compared to 41 per cent for Mr Trump.
“Trump has stopped his slide in the poll, but Biden maintains a lead among all registered voters nationally,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth poll.