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National polls have so far suggested that Trump’s main rival, Democrat Joe Biden, is sliding ahead in popularity.
The past year has by no means been easy for Trump, with his administration being forced to tackle a plethora of issues including racial unrest, international tensions and a global pandemic.
The coronavirus crisis has undoubtedly been one of the biggest issues faced by Trump, and his handling of the national outbreak has been divisive – particularly so now, as states across the US are recording record numbers of new infections following lockdown easing.
Indeed, Trump has previously been at odds with the White House’s senior coronavirus task force member Anthony Fauci, who has voiced concerns about the country reopening its economy too quickly.
In May, Fauci warned that ending state lockdown measures too early could cause “suffering and death” in the country due to a resurgence of outbreaks.
Trump, meanwhile, had been vocal about reopening the country’s economy as fast as possible, tweeting a couple of months ago that “the Democrats are moving slowly, all over the USA, for political purposes.”
He continued: “They would wait until November 3 if it were up to them. Don’t play politics. Be safe, move quickly!”
According to US CDC data, the US has recorded a total of 2,624,873 total confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 127,299 deaths.
The president has also raised eyebrows with his unwillingness to wear a mask in public – something that even Republican senators have expressed concerns about.
Tennessee senator Lamar Alexander, for example, has warned in a Senate hearing that “the stakes are too high for this political debate about pro-Trump anti-Trump mask to continue”.
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Sen. Alexander said he had “suggested” to the president that he should wear a mask on occasion to tackle the issue.
Meanwhile, the anti-racism protests that broke out in cities across the US in May following the death of George Floyd after a police officer knelt on his neck are still ongoing.
Trump has reacted aggressively to the protests, at one point suggesting that people involved in looting would be shot.
The president also threatened to deploy active duty US military troops to cities across the country in an effort to quell the widespread demonstrations.
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On this front, Trump was opposed even by his senior defence aides, with Mark Esper, US Defence Secretary, telling journalists at the start of June that “I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act”.
The 1807 Insurrection Act would have allowed Trump to send US troops to city streets even if state and city authorities opposed it.
Trump did not end up deploying active military troops – though he came close. At one point hundreds of troops were flown in to military bases around Washington.
But even now, Trump has continued to mire himself in racial controversy. On Sunday, the president retweeted a video that included one of his supporters shouting “white power”, before this was deleted.
Anonymous Trump allies told Reuters that some people were beginning to wonder whether Trump wants to be re-elected at all.
One said: “People are even actually saying, ‘does he want this anymore?’”
Meanwhile, Joe Biden has claimed that he will not hold any campaign rallies in public while the Covid-19 pandemic continues.
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