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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