At the time, Trump applauded Abbott.
“Texas is opening up and many places are opening up. And we want to, and I’m not sure we even have a choice. ” Trump said during an Oval Office meeting May 7 with Abbott. “I think we have to do it. You know, this country cannot remain closed and blocked for years. “
Texas soon saw the proportion of coronavirus tests that peaked at nearly 12 percent, plus a record number of hospitalizations. Last week, Abbott said Covid-19 “is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas, and must be cornered.” He ordered bars to close again and restaurants to limit capacity to 50 percent, compared to 75 percent.
Brendan Steinhauser, a Texas political consultant who helped organize the Tea Party protests in 2009, echoed other Republicans and Democrats who think Trump will continue to lead Texas. “But not for long,” he said, because the economy is in bad shape and there is a growing belief that the president failed the response to the coronavirus.
“It is a huge impact and combined with the perception that the president has mismanaged racial issues and criminal justice issues,” said Steinhauser.
Of the three states, only Florida has been a true state of presidential change in recent decades. If Trump loses his 29 votes at the Electoral College, his chances of a second term are close to zero.
Florida’s Real Clear Politics poll average has Biden ahead by almost 7 percentage points.
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, a staunch ally of Trump, has offered mixed messages in response to the coronavirus. He repeatedly bragged about his “data-based” approach, but refused to heed advice from medical experts who say a state order to wear masks would work.
While DeSantis said he was deferring to local governments, Republicans filed a lawsuit last week when Leon County passed a mask-wearing ordinance, where the state Capitol is located.
“Our people are upset. Most of them are upset by the media coverage of the coronavirus and feel it is over the top and part of a strategy to topple the president, “said Evan Power, chairman of the county Republican Party, the plaintiff in the lawsuit.