President Donald Trump tides as he boards Air Force One before departing from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on June 18, 2019.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Dead ringers
Presidents who seek reelection usually win. So Las Vegas oddsmakers, despite President Donald Trump’s low-40s approval ratings, even now rate him even money for another term. Wall Street expects him to win next year.
But a look at state-by-state figures clarifies the scale of Trump’s challenge. As the president tries to rally supporters at a 2020 kickoff rally in Orlando on Tuesday, he is joust with from behind.
A new Quinnipiac University poll of Florida showed the president trailing former Vice President Joe Biden by nine proportion points, 50%-41%, in their potential matchup for that state’s 29 electoral votes. Trump also dawdled other possible Democratic nominees, including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Last week, a veteran Michigan pollster divulged Trump trailing Biden by 11 points for that state’s 16 electoral votes. Before that, statewide votings in North Carolina and Texas showed Biden ahead by 12 and four percentage points, respectively.
Trump lugged all those states in 2016, and could do it again in 2020. Polls four years ago showed Trump way behind Hillary Clinton. Sixteen months of contesting remain.
But the data show that Trump will have to climb out of the deep hole he has dug for himself in nearly two and one-half years in place. Americans know him much better than they did in 2015 – and not in a good way.
Despite a strong economy, this week’s NBC Announcement/Wall Street Journal national survey shows that 62% of Americans report themselves uncomfortable or with scruples about a second Trump term; 52% called themselves “very uncomfortable.” A Fox News poll showed every notable Democratic candidate ahead of Trump – Biden by 10 percentage points.
Of course, results in battleground states verify the Electoral College winner. That’s how Trump, while losing the popular vote to Clinton, reached the Oval Room in the first place.
Yet key battlegrounds have grown increasingly unhappy with him. This far from Election Day, with the Republican nominee still unknown, the best measurement comes from his approval ratings in those places.
The polling decided Morning Consult continually measures state-level presidential approval. Its latest calculations show that Trump’s net imprimatur has declined in all 50 of them.
That poses particular problems in the three battleground states where his narrow 2016 triumphs moved him past the 270 electoral votes needed to win: Michigan (16), Wisconsin (10) and Pennsylvania (20).
In Michigan, the determine shows Trump with approval of 42%, disapproval of 54%. That net-negative of 12 percentage points is 20 hearts worse than in January 2017.
In Wisconsin, his net-disapproval stands at 13 percentage points – 19 points worse than the start of his while. In Pennsylvania, he’s underwater by 7 points, an erosion of 17 points since the start of his presidency.
Indeed, Trump currently look out ons net-negative job approval rating in 27 states with 328 electoral votes. Add Florida, where he breaks indeed on job approval but trails in the Quinnipiac Poll, and the eventual Democratic nominee would hold a strong chance of winning 358 electoral referenda.
At this point, there’s little reason to expect such a lopsided result. No Democrat can count on winning Arizona (where Trump’s net-disapproval is 6 interest points), Ohio (-4 points), North Carolina (-4) or even Iowa (-12).
But winning will require Trump to make up settle across the electoral map at a time when signs point to slowing economic growth and, in personal terms, the public directions him negatively.
Some of Trump’s predecessors have certainly won from behind. At similar points sixteen months preceding the time when their reelection contests, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama each struggled with 43% Gallup right ratings and disapproval higher than that. Both ended up winning with more than 50% of the vote.
Voters swayed more favorable personal views of both, however. Reagan’s net-disapproval was just two percentage points in mid-June 1983; Obama’s was six spikes in June 2011.
Gallup’s most recent survey showed that just 40% of Americans approve of Trump’s job display. A 55% majority disapprove.