The US presidential election is scheduled to take place on November 3rd and the race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden is getting tighter. The global outbreak of Covid-19 is inevitably going to have a major impact on this election and Canadian betting specialists PowerPlay have been tracking the latest election odds to see what effect the pandemic is already having on approval ratings.
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Trump's Approval Ratings Sky Rockets
Just as Biden was emerging as a potential favourite to occupy the White House, President Trump’s approval ratings are now at an all-time high.
The recent rally in Trump’s approval rating from 44% last week to his current rating of 49%, sees the Republican jump up into joint favourite, alongside Biden, at a price of 2.00 (evens).
There are currently 69,120 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the US, resulting in an ever-rising figure of 1,045 deaths.
Almost half of those cases come from New York, with 33,033 New Yorkers testing positive for the virus thus far.
President Trump had initially been very laid back on the topic, saying that the US had the virus under control and that it wouldn't be such an issue in the States.
Trump stated that American citizens should not worry and that it may even just disappear with the hot weather.
The President's U-Turn
However, on March 11 the President made a significant u-turn on the topic and decided to suspend all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days, in order to stop new cases entering the country and finally labelling it a ‘pandemic’.
Trump’s change in stance on the Coronavirus has coincided with a major shift in his approval ratings, rising from 44% at the beginning of last week to a current rating of 49%.
This is the joint highest rating of his whole presidency, showing that clear and objective leadership is what the people wanted to see.
His rise in popularity over the course of the last nine days has seen his odds shorten to the exact same as main rival candidate Biden, at +100 to retain his place in the White House.
Former Vice President Biden has been calling for Trump to step up and take action over the pandemic, but now it could have happened at the expense of his election chances.
This isn’t the first time approval ratings have taken a turn during a national crisis or emergency.
Previous Surge In Approval Ratings
Every US President from Franklin, Roosevelt all the way to George W. Bush benefitted from a surge in their approval ratings when the country was under threat from someone or something.
Post 9/11, Bush saw his ratings improve by 35 points, a rally effect which is unrivalled in US presidential election history.
To compare Trump to his predecessor, Barack Obama had an approval rating of 46% at this same stage of his Presidency, 3% lower than Trump’s current popularity score.
Obama’s biggest rally came after U.S. Forces killed Osama Bin Laden in May 2011, the former President gained seven points on his approval rating.
Trump could yet see his rating continue to rise throughout the fight against coronavirus, as the country comes together to beat the pandemic.
This crisis could quickly see Trump become the bookies favourite to remain in office for a further four years, ahead of Democrat Joe Biden.