SAN ANTONIO – The Republican National Convention has spent this week reinforcing why President Donald Trump’s core supporters in 2016 should re-elect him, said Jon Taylor, Ph.D., a longtime political expert.
“Same reasons they should vote for him now,” said Taylor, chair of the University of Texas at San Antonio’s political science and geography department.
He said at stake in November are the Republican Party’s future and the president’s legacy.
Since Trump’s election in 2016, Taylor said the nation is now grappling with a pandemic that has cost tens of thousands of lives and crippled the economy. There’s also widespread unrest protesting racial injustice following a series of police shootings, he said.
The most recent shooting was in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where Jacob Blake, a Black man, was left paralyzed after being shot several times while reportedly running away from police.
Taylor said how the president has handled those crises will likely factor into the decisions voters make.
“The average voter test is to look at presidential competence,” Taylor said. “‘What have you done for me lately? What have you done to succeed in office?’”
Taylor said, as it stands now, Trump does have a chance of winning.
“But does he have a great chance? No,” he said.
If the president’s standing in the polls doesn’t improve in October, Taylor said other Republican candidates will face a tough decision.
“It’ll be interesting to see how many back away from President Trump to save their own election chances,” Taylor said.
With the presidential election just over two months away, Taylor said Trump will use the power of his incumbency in his favor.
An example, Taylor said, is the president’s controversial decision to formally accept his nomination on the White House’s South Lawn.