For him, it was a connection with voters to take a pleasure ride in his SUV trailer to wave to about a dozen followers outside the hospital. For the vast majority of Americans, it was utterly ruthless.
It was triumphant for him to go up the White House stairs to pose on the balcony, tear off his mask and greet cameras on his return from Walter Reed. For the vast majority of Americans, it was just pathetically selfish when he gasped for air and put everyone around him in danger.
It was strong for him to tell Americans not to let the coronavirus "dominate" their lives. For the vast majority of Americans, this is insane, especially because they don't have the luxury of having a fully functional medical wing in their home, a helicopter, and access to any number of drugs that the FDA clears or have are otherwise approved.
What we seem to see in the early polls is that Trump has taken and thoroughly devastated the goodwill he received from contracting COVID-19. Between his epic breakdown on last Tuesday's debate and his really unfathomable handling of his own COVID diagnosis instead of becoming more accessible, Trump is getting further removed from the electorate – almost beyond the world and not in a good way.
The CNN / SSRS poll released on Tuesday reflected this in the notable movement in whom voters trust more in dealing with the pandemic. Voters voted Joe Biden by 21 points – a 9-point shift toward Biden since the CNN / SSRS poll last month.
There is also evidence of a post-diagnosis shift towards Biden in the new SurveyUSA poll released on Monday that gave Biden a 10-point lead nationally. When the voter interviews were broken down into time periods, Biden led by 8 points shortly after the debate (before Trump's positive test was released), but then Biden's lead rose to 16 points after Trump was flown to Walter Reed. The average was 10 points.
The Election Bureau writes: "Of the voters likely polled by SurveyUSA after Trump and Biden debated on 09/29/2020 but before Trump revealed his COVID diagnosis, Biden led Trump with 8 points, 51% to 43%. In that tiny window of time between when Trump acknowledged his illness but before he was hospitalized, Trump closed within 4 points, Biden 50%, Trump 46. In interviews that were completed after Trump's helicopter flight to Bethesda, Biden appears to have consolidated support, which is likely at 16 points. The last voters polled were 56% to 40%. "
Obviously this situation is fluid. However, keep an eye out for more of these trends in the upcoming polls. What seems to be happening is that Trump – by completely disconnecting from the real world – convinced the tiny segment of voters who were still on the fence that he is definitely not the man for the job.