Republicans in dynamic states would like to see the president focus on a message of economic recovery in the closing days of the campaign, a strategy that requires discipline Mr. Trump has never been able to demonstrate.
A recent poll shows Mr. Trump is on the back burner on all pressing election issues. Voters are now evenly split on who they trust to run the economy, according to a nationwide poll of likely voters conducted this month by the New York Times and Siena College.
Kellyanne Conway, former White House official and head of Mr Trump’s campaign in 2016, argued that the president had in fact articulated a second-term agenda, based on economic recovery and vaccine development. In contrast, she said, Mr. Biden’s whole “raison d’être” seems to be, “I’m not Trump.”
“That’s a big question for voters – is the antidote to uncertainty more uncertain, or a ‘don’t rock the boat’ stance that keeps big-ticket items like oil and gas jobs intact? hydraulic fracturing, energy and manufacturing jobs and trade deals? Mrs. Conway said.
Some supporters say they just want more of what the president has already delivered.
“It makes sure Americans, not illegal immigrants, get what they deserve,” said Diana Converse, 55, a janitor from Westerville, Ohio. “He’s going to keep doing what he’s doing: his job.”
Democratic voters have filled Mr. Trump’s political blanks with their own theories about his plans.
“His agenda, in my mind, can be based on what will be his best financial interest, whether it’s appealing to Putin or someone else,” said John Tanoury, 69, lawyer. from Upper Arlington, Ohio, which supports Mr. Biden. “How that shows up in the programs, I’m not sure.”
Patty Jordan, a retired social worker from Westerville, said she didn’t expect to see a change from the president.