Poor handling of virus cost Trump his reelection, campaign autopsy finds – The Washington Post

The internal report cuts against Trump’s claims that the election was stolen from him and that Biden could not have fairly beaten him — and mirrors what many Trump campaign officials said privately for months.

The analysis by Fabrizio, a Florida pollster who has worked for Trump for years, was shared among campaign advisers late last year and was provided to The Washington Post on Monday night. Politico first reported on the existence of the document.

The states studied were Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas.

Voters in the states overwhelmingly supported a mask mandate — 75 percent — and Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s top infectious-disease specialist, secured an approval rating almost as high. Trump did not support a mask mandate — sometimes mocking the wearing of masks — and regularly criticized Fauci, threatening to fire him at times.

Advisers repeatedly encouraged Trump to wear a mask, stop attacking Fauci and signal to the public that he was taking the coronavirus more seriously, particularly after he was hospitalized and given an experimental drug. Trump was largely resistant and mocked the virus down the stretch, sarcastically saying “Covid, covid, covid” at his rallies and falsely predicting the virus would leave the news after the election. More than 400,000 people have died of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

The report, which groups states into ones Trump held versus ones that were flipped, says that voters found Biden more competent to deal with the coronavirus crisis and in both groups gave him higher marks on being honest.

Although Trump “dominated” among voters focused on the economy, according to the analysis, “Biden won Coronavirus voters, which was a bigger share.”

It outlines in specific detail how Trump lost key demographic groups that he needed to win, while lauding some of his gains among minority groups.

“POTUS suffered his greatest erosion with White voters, particularly White Men in both state groups. However, he made double digit gains with Hispanics in both groups, while his performance among Blacks was virtually the same as 2016. POTUS lost ground with almost every age group in both state groupings,” the autopsy reads, adding that the worst loss was among White college-educated voters.

“In 2016, Trump won Independents by double digits in both the Flipped and Held groupings. They shifted against him significantly in 2020,” the analysis reads.

Voters over 65 also shifted away from Trump, the report says.

There were several other findings that hurt him, too. Voters who made up their minds in the final month of the campaign narrowly went for Biden over Trump, the report says, even though Trump hoped to gain steam after his final debate performance.

And while Trump spent much of the final days pushing through Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination, it may have backfired politically, Fabrizio writes.

“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 POTUS by large margins.”

The analysis says that voters gave former vice president Mike Pence slightly higher marks over Vice President Harris, but it wasn’t a determinative factor.