US: Amid tanking poll numbers, Trump renominated presidential candidate at RNC
The Republican National Convention (RNC) on Monday formally renominated US President Donald Trump as the party's presidential candidate for the November 3 election. Trump, 74, who faces a formidable challenge from former Democratic vice president Joe Biden, 77, is scheduled to deliver his acceptance speech from the South Lawn of the White House on August 27. The once in four-year RNC is being held in virtual mode due to the raging coronavirus pandemic. A small part of the official business of the convention is being held at Charlotte in North Carolina. Trump was renominated following a roll call of votes from elected Republican Party delegates from all the 50 states.
Vice President Mike Pence, 61, was also renominated as the running mate of Trump. The general elections will be held on November 3
However, his popularity numbers are far from encouraging. Most Americans think there is not enough being done to help individual Americans, small businesses or public schools as the pandemic stretches on, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Centre for Public Affairs Research.
Overall, just 31 per cent of Americans approve of Trump's leadership on the pandemic, a significant drop from 44 per cent approval in March, when the virus began sweeping through the United States. The US president heads into his four-night nominating convention with an overall approval rating of 35 per cent. That's down from 43 per cent in March but still within range of where Trump has been for much of his presidency. Where he falls within that range as election day nears could make a difference to his reelection prospects.
His support continues to be driven overwhelmingly by Republicans, with 79 per cent approving of his job performance compared with just 5 per cent of Democrats. Trump must also contend with Americans' persistently negative view of the country's direction as he asks voters to stay the course instead of handing the reins over to Biden. The AP-NORC poll finds that just 23 per cent think the country is heading in the right direction, while 75 per cent think it is on the wrong path.
His highest marks continue to come on the economy: 47 per cent of Americans approve of his stewardship of the economy, though that, too, is down from 56 per cent approval in March. Trump is expected to lean hard into his economic credentials during the convention, arguing that when the pandemic subsides, he can again lead the country into a period of sustained growth and job creation.
-Inputs from agencies