NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, June 6th, 2019

Poll Watch: Fewer voters think Donald Trump will lose in 2020 compared to last December

This week, CNN released a poll show­ing that a major­i­ty of vot­ers sur­veyed cur­rent­ly believe that Don­ald Trump will win reelec­tion in Novem­ber of next year.

54% of respon­dents to the poll (con­duct­ed for CNN by SSRS) believed Trump would win, while only 41% said he would lose.  

This week’s num­bers are a rever­sal of the fig­ures from Decem­ber, when only 43% believed that Trump would hold onto the White House in 2020.  

At the same point in Barack Obama’s pres­i­den­cy (in the Spring of 2011), only 50% thought the first African-Amer­i­can Pres­i­dent would win re-elec­tion in 2012, despite the fact that Oba­ma had just presided over the killing of Osama Bin Laden. He went on to demol­ish his Repub­li­can oppo­nent, Mitt Rom­ney 18 months lat­er.   

How­ev­er, that is not to say that Trump has become more pop­u­lar in the past six months. Trump’s approval rat­ing has fluc­tu­at­ed over the months, but he has remained thor­ough­ly dis­liked through­out his term in office – he is cur­rent­ly more than 9% under­wa­ter, accord­ing to Real Clear Pol­i­tics’ polling aver­age. 

Peo­ple dis­like Trump pri­mar­i­ly for his char­ac­ter and behav­ior.

The most com­mon rea­sons giv­en for dis­ap­proval of Trump are his lying, racism, incom­pe­tence and pres­i­den­tial behav­ior. 

The change shown by CNN’s recent poll comes from an increase in pes­simism among those who dis­ap­prove of the Pres­i­dent. In Decem­ber, 81% of peo­ple who didn’t like the Pres­i­dent believed he would lose in 2020.

This num­ber has dropped pre­cip­i­tous­ly, with only 67% hold­ing onto that belief. Mean­while, among those who approve of Trump the per­cent­age of those who pre­dict his re-elec­tion has stayed in the high 80s. 

The poll did not explore the rea­sons for the change, but sev­er­al things have changed over the past few months.  

In Decem­ber, the Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial pri­ma­ry had not begun, where­as now there are over twen­ty can­di­dates run­ning. Per­haps a gener­ic Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­date com­pares much more favor­ably than the cur­rent scrum of many dif­fer­ent, inevitably flawed peo­ple argu­ing that they can take on Trump. 

There is also the fact that peo­ple can see that Trump’s approval rate has bare­ly shift­ed over the past few months (hov­er­ing in the low for­ties) despite a gov­ern­ment shut­down, mul­ti­ple res­ig­na­tions and fir­ings from his cab­i­net and the release of Robert Mueller’s report show­ing that Trump obstruct­ed jus­tice.

These are the kind of devel­op­ments hat should tank a president’s approval rat­ing, and yet Trump can ride out any storm at around 40% approval nation­wide, giv­ing jus­ti­fied cause for con­cern to those who dis­ap­prove of the Pres­i­dent. 

(In Wash­ing­ton State, Trump’s approval rat­ing stands at 35%, as mea­sured by two con­sec­u­tive pub­lic opin­ion sur­veys con­duct­ed for NPI by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling.)

The Mueller report may be a rea­son for the drop in those who think Trump will not return to pow­er. The spe­cial coun­sel inves­ti­ga­tion con­clud­ed with­out any charges being brought against Trump or mem­bers of his fam­i­ly, although Mueller empha­sized that Jus­tice Depart­ment pol­i­cy is that the cur­rent Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States can­not be pros­e­cut­ed for any crimes.

How­ev­er, despite the appar­ent pes­simism of some, there is still a huge amount of time between now and the gen­er­al elec­tion. Many fac­tors – such as who the Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee will be, or what new scan­dals will emanate from the regime’s immoral, imhu­mane poli­cies – are still unknown.  

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