You know things are bad for the president when his Administration's mouthpiece says Republican operatives think he may drop out of the race.
"It's too early, but if the polls continue to worsen, you can see a scenario where he drops out," one GOP operative who asked to remain anonymous told Fox News.
Another GOP source cited in the story says "I've heard the talk but I doubt it's true. My bet is, he drops if he believes there's no way to win."
Trump's polling numbers have been on the steep decline over the past few weeks due to his lackluster handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the White House's response to the protests following the death of George Floyd.
not convinced yet; he’s got time and he’s running against an opponent who is literally hiding in his basement. Plus… https://t.co/g5D9inXypU— Charles Gasparino (@Charles Gasparino)1593362456.0
"The poll numbers are definitely concerning," Dan Eberhart, a major donor and bundler for the president and other Republicans, told Fox News.
Eberhart said that since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, "what's really cause for concern for me is the slipping with the poll numbers with seniors. That's something that I'm personally watching."
A recent poll by the New York Times and Siena College shows Trump running two points behind Joe Biden among voters 65 and older. For some perspective, Trump beat Hillary Clinton with the same demographic by seven points.
A big reason for his loss of popularity among older Americans is his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic which has killed tens of thousands of seniors.
On a national level, pollster Nate Silver has Biden leading Trump by 9.6 points, 51.1% to 41.5%.
Two weeks ago, the New York Times ran a story saying that Trump's advisors are concerned he's lost his enthusiasm for the job and the upcoming election.
"But for now, they said, the president is acting trapped and defensive, and his self-destructive behavior has been so out of step for an incumbent in an election year that many advisers wonder if he is truly interested in serving a second term," the story reads.
Trump has also faced criticism over his lack of vision for a second term, especially as America sits on the verge of an economic meltdown and people are protesting in the streets.
His advisors say that he has little interest in the responsibility that comes with being president. He's in the race because he's afraid of being known as a "loser" or a "one-term president."
"The president has told me [on multiple occasions] that he is determined to not be a one-termer, and says that history forever remembers them as 'losers,'" said a former senior Trump administration official, told The Daily Beast.
"A lot of it is about legacy for him and how he will be remembered. And if he loses, I don't think he'll take a defeat [at the hands of] Biden, of all possible people, lightly," the former advisor added.
So, if Trump reaches the point where he's sure he's going to lose, would it be less humiliating for him to quit the race and be a one-term president of his own volition or by losing at the ballot box and being forever considering himself a "loser"?
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