Trump 2020 postmortem
Former President Donald Trump's chief pollster, Tony Fabrizio, compiled a 27-page postmortem of the campaign in December and passed it around among Trump's top political advisers right before President Biden's inauguration, Politico reports, and the main takeaways are that Trump "suffered from voter perception that he wasn't honest or trustworthy and that he was crushed by disapproval of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic."
Trump has baselessly blamed his unacknowledged loss on widespread voter fraud, pointing particularly to majority Black cities in states that flipped to Biden. But Trump "suffered his greatest erosion with white voters, particularly white men in both state groups," Fabrizio concluded. Despite "double digit gains with Hispanics in both groups," he added, Trump "lost ground with almost every age group in both state groupings" and suffered "double-digit erosion" among "white college-educated voters across the board."
"Biden had a clear edge over [Trump] on being seen as honest & trustworthy," Fabrizio wrote, but Trump was harmed especially by his COVID-19 response. The coronavirus was the top issue for voters, and Biden won those voters by nearly a 3-to-1 margin. About 75 percent of voters supported mask mandates and a similar share approved of Dr. Anthony Fauci, and most voters prioritized quashing the pandemic over reopening the economy, Fabrizio found. He had advised Trump to take battling the pandemic more seriously in a memo over the summer, Politico notes.
Trump's decision to push through the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett swayed voters, but not in the way Trump hoped, The Washington Post notes. According to Fabrizio's autopsy, "9-in-10 voters in both groups said that SCOTUS was a factor in deciding their vote. Ironically, those who said it was a factor voted for Biden in both state groups while those who said it wasn't a factor voted for [Trump] by large margins." Read more about the Trump postmortem at Politico or read the full 27-page report.