NBC political director Chuck Todd and Washington Post columnist Matt Bai speculated during this week's "Meet the Press" roundtable that the coronavirus outbreak may have a similar effect on President Trump's prospect for re-election as the Iran hostage crisis during the final year of Jimmy Carter's presidency had on his re-election.
It's "not his fault but it’s a test in real-time," Todd suggested.
CHUCK TODD: What the Iran hostage crisis was to the final year of Carter's presidency, not his fault but it’s a test in real-time. This is what this seems to be for Trump.
MATT BAI: It’s one thing when all the Republicans in Washington say, "he says some crazy stuff on tax policy or this or that, but we’ve got it handled." It's a different thing when the President is out there leading publicly in a crisis like this and people are seeing it in real-time, taking their cues from it.
There is even – There is a certain capacity for chaos in American voters. They don't like chaos, they don’t like uncertainty, the markets don't like it, the voters don't like it, we don’t like it in our daily lives. I'm frankly surprised that the exhaustion from that chaos has been as slow in coming as it has in the American public, but this does hold the potential if it goes badly to become a kind of Jimmy Carter-like scenario where the public just says, "can't wake up with this anxiety every day. We’ve got to have some kind of leadership."