Many of Trump’s supporters acknowledge that the president is unconventional in his words and use of social media. They voted for him for the policies he promises to implement and to further their own agenda. The majority of Americans agree that Trump is self-centred (80%), and 59% view him as prejudiced. The pandemic and his response to it has brought his unpresidential behaviour to light in a new way. His dismissal of the more than 220,000 Americans who have died from Covid-19 by saying “don’t let it dominate your life” has disenfranchised many voters. They want a leader who will understand their plight and do more to support their families. A true leader’s skills shine in times of crisis, and Trump’s response to the pandemic has given Americans a measure of the competence of their commander-in-chief.
There are other desirable leadership qualities that voters see in Trump. 47% of responders in a survey say he “fights for what they believe in”. The figure raises to 87% in Republican responses, and 71% say he is honest.