After his debacle in Tulsa, a huge failure with an abysmal turnout and what may still have been a super-spreader event for a deadly virus, Donald Trump needs to set low expectations. Instead, he is back out on the campaign trail Tuesday, making his third trip in five months to Arizona — a state that on Monday reported another record day for COVID-19 hospitalizations — to tout what he calls a major milestone on the long road to achieve his No. 1 campaign promise, building a “big, beautiful wall” on the U.S.-Mexico border. Despite what Trump celebrated as the “212th plus mile of completion” in a Monday tweet complaining about Fox News’ coverage of his failed border wall, what the president won’t admit on his premature victory lap is that there has still only been three miles of new border construction since he took office.Trump’s latest trip to Arizona succinctly illustrates the current state of his failed presidency. His biggest campaign promise is a bust and the coronavirus keeps spreading in a state that seems to have bungled the pandemic nearly as badly as the federal government.
A solid majority of polled Americans still do not support the president’s effort to build a border wall, even as support for allowing refugees from Central America — a group Trump has repeatedly demonized as violent criminals — to enter the country has ticked up among all voter groups, including Republicans and independents. Additionally, the number of people supporting increased immigration has grown from 21% to a record-high of 30% since Trump took office. That increase also includes Republican voters, who have gone from 11% in favor of increasing immigration in 2016 to 16% as of late last year.
Rejected by even his most ardent voters in a deeply red state and the conservative-leaning highest court of the land on several major cases in recent days, Trump’s only refuge outside the White House bunker and Mar-a-Lago appears to be with Republican sycophants like Arizona Sen. Martha McSally, who faces a bleak election battle this fall against former astronaut Mark Kelly — husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was critically injured in a 2011 assassination attempt — after fully hitching her wagon to the derailed Trump train.
Trump won Arizona by just three points in 2016, the closest margin of victory in the state since Bill Clinton became the last Democratic presidential candidate to win it in 1992. Only 73% of Arizona Republicans backed McSally in a Fox News poll released earlier this month. Indeed, McSally may accomplish the rare feat of losing two Senate elections two years apart; after being narrowly defeated by Democrat Kyrsten Sinema in 2018, she was appointed by Ducey to the seat previously held by the late Sen. John McCain. Trump would like to rescue her, but his magic appears to be fading.