Wednesday, May 20, 2020


The headline to this Politico story is "Anti-China Sentiment Is on the Rise," but the numbers suggest that it's not a rise to a very high level.
Since January, the percentage of U.S. voters who say China is an “enemy” has risen 11 percentage points to 31 percent, while the percentage of voters who say China is either an ally or friend has fallen 9 points to a combined 23 percent, a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows. The 30 percent who say China is unfriendly but not an enemy has held about constant in the past five months.

For all the negativity, U.S. voters, by a 28-point margin, favor working with China to respond to the coronavirus instead of confronting the country aggressively.
So after all the coronavirus scapegoating by President Trump and Secretary Pompeo, all the supposedly devastating Trump ads linking Joe Biden to China, all the conspiracy talk on in the fever swamps, this line of attack works on ... less than a third of the country? Most of whom are Republicans who were already certain to vote for Trump?
Republicans are the most critical of China, with 55 percent saying the U.S. should hold China accountable even at the expense of cooperation on the coronavirus. Only 25 percent of independents and 12 percent of Democrats agree with this view....

The 31 percent of voters who see China as an enemy includes 47 percent of Republicans, 28 percent of independents and 20 percent of Democrats.
In fact, Trump doesn't even have a polling advantage on the issue of China.
According to the Morning Consult poll, the two [presidential] candidates are essentially tied on the question of who is trusted more to handle relations with China: 40 percent favored Biden and 38 percent favored Trump, a result well within the error margin.
The political press often reports on Trump campaign tactics as if they're surefire winners. This one hasn't been effective.

The coronavirus is here. Obsessing now over the role of China in spreading the virus is like refusing to fight the fire at a burning house until you've caught an arson suspect who might not even be guilty. What the virus is doing to us now is the problem. It looks as if Americans understand that.

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