The 2020 presidential race is continuing to heat up, even as the actual general election remains about a year and a half away. President Donald Trump continues to insist that he’ll have a great time cruising to re-election, but available poll numbers tell a different story. In four polls over the past month or so, more than half of respondents said that they either definitely or probably would note vote for Trump in 2020, who continues to define his time in office by lashing out at virtually every interest imaginable.
The trend even emerged in a poll conducted by the long right-wing Fox News, which found that a full 54 percent of those surveyed probably or definitely would not vote for Trump. The numbers correspond roughly to his approval rating, which remains well below 50 percent. As of the middle of this week, only about 43 percent of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing in office, which is hardly an even remotely clearly winning coalition. A full 54 percent or so actively disapprove of the job Trump is doing in office, the same portion who said they wouldn’t vote for Trump in that Fox poll.
In the general election, Trump might very well face former Vice President Joe Biden, who is consistently polling well ahead of the sitting president in hypothetical general election match-ups. In the RealClearPolitics average of national polls over the past couple of months, Biden is about eight percent ahead of Trump, and he spiked to a full 11 percent lead in a recent Fox News poll. In a recent Qunnipiac University poll specifically charting Pennsylvania — a key so-called swing state — Biden also finished a full 11 percent ahead of the president, although to be sure, there are still key blocs of undecided voters to face.
Biden has already begun accumulating the support he’d need to undo Trump’s 2016 victories in industrial midwestern states like Pennsylvania, where the former vice president just recently held a major rally. Even before winning the party’s nomination for president, Biden has scored the endorsement of the International Association of Fire Fighters — which Trump responded to by shredding the union leadership in whiny Twitter posts. He lost union households in the 2016 election, and if he continues down this same path as there’s every indication he will (he hasn’t exactly stopped tweeting), that loss could be magnified.
Trump is clearly conscious of the threat to his political ambitions posed by Biden’s candidacy, repeatedly singling him out for criticism and wishing desperately that his nickname “Sleepy Joe” will stick to the point of recently using it three times in a single tweet.
There’s yet another set of forces wearing down Trump’s re-election chances, too — demographics. Turnout in the 2020 general election could be the highest it’s been in the United States in 100 years, a record that was already set in the recent midterm elections when a full 50 percent of the country voted. Considering that older white people are already close to their “maximum turnout” as Axios puts it, an incoming surge of low income, minority, and young voters could sink the Trump campaign for good.
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