NEW YORK — An otherwise brilliant, engaging, and funny libertarian friend of mine cannot stand Donald J. Trump. Although he agrees with many of the president’s public policies, he has a peanut-allergy-like reaction to the man’s face. Alas, so do many other thinking people. These folks cannot concentrate on the Rose Parade of policy victories that Trump has delivered, both at home and abroad, notwithstanding the China virus, which has spread a cold, wet, infected blanket over the president’s multifarious accomplishments before, during, and after the pandemic’s peak.

My friend e-mailed several people some intriguing and — given the ongoing fallout from the COVID-19 economic lockdown — surprisingly upbeat news: An October 7 Gallup survey found that 56 percent of registered voters consider themselves better off than they were four years ago. Only 32 percent called themselves worse off.

Obama won re-election in 2012 just weeks before 45 percent of respondents said they were better off than four years hence. GW Bush scored a second term in 2004 with a 47 percent better-off response. While W’s father failed to get re-elected with 38 percent better-off, Ronald Reagan, the man who rescued Daddy Bush from oblivion (his greatest mistake), secured a staggering, 49-state landslide with only 44 percent of registered voters saying that they were better off.

Elsewhere, Gallup discovered that 49 percent of registered voters polled from September 14 to 28 believe that Joe Biden “has the personality and leadership qualities a president should have.” Only 44 percent found Trump, in this sense, “presidential.”

More encouraging for President Trump, however, 49 percent of respondents agree with him “on the issues that matter most to you.” Just 46 percent of registered voters mirror Biden on the issues.

This strongly suggests that President Trump should spend the rest of campaign 2020 following the same advice I offer those who bristle at his demeanor:

Focus on public policy.

President Donald J. Trump cuts red tape, December 14, 2017. Photo: Shealah Craighead/The White House

Rather than mock Biden’s claim that he “got his start” at historically black Delaware State University (no, he didn’t) and explain how odious Crooked Hillary truly is (does anyone disagree?), President Trump should remind voters of the record-setting powerhouse that Trumponomics built. From massive, broad-based tax cuts to robust deregulation to energy independence to the lowest black and Hispanic unemployment rates to last year’s record-low poverty figures, Trump, the GOP, and their pro-market ideas created something beautiful before Xi Jinping’s germs trashed the Earth.

Until November 3, excluding nearly all else, Trump and his surrogates relentlessly should ballyhoo these achievements at home, America’s dominant position overseas, and Trump’s total extermination of the ISIS caliphate.

Regardless, my Trump-loathing friend e-mailed these thoughts to others on Saturday afternoon:

If this poll is accurate:

(1) No one should dismiss Trump closing the gap on Biden; but

(2) What does this say about Trump’s despicable personality that even though the majority of people think that things are going well, a majority can’t stand him and (apparently) are prepared to vote for Biden?

When things were going boffo for Trump in 2018, the GOP still got CRUSHED in the mid-term elections — largely because so many people were nauseated by Trump’s persona.

My reply might help fellow Trump Train travelers who encounter this objection to the president from voters seemingly searching for a new friend rather than someone to lead the federal executive branch:

Persona, persona, persona.

Everybody needs to get beyond “I don’t like Trump and wouldn’t have a beer with him” to “If Trump loses, this place becomes Venezuela:”

AOC and The Squad will lead domestic policy as the filibuster goes bust, DC and Puerto Rico become states and permanently add four Dems to the Senate, SCOTUS gets packed, taxes soar $4 trillion, police get defunded, criminals run loose, everything becomes racist, females wield penises, men sport vaginas, the Green New Deal rusts the economy, a resurrected Iran-nuclear deal unshackles the Ayatollahs, rockets rain on Israel, Putin stomps through Eastern Europe, and the East is Red under Xi Jinping.

Persona?

If you want to grab a beer, stop staring at the White House and call your best friend.

Do we want to remain Americans or become Venezuelans?

That’s the choice we face.

It’s that simple.

Full stop.

President Trump and National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien disembark Air Force One. Photo: The White House

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.

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