A newly released poll measuring public approval and disapproval of President Donald Trump illustrates the uphill battle he has if he wants to win re-election in 2020. In the new Hill-HarrisX numbers, only 45 percent of respondents approve of the job Trump is doing in office, while 55 percent — in other words, a definite majority of Americans — disapprove. Breaking down the numbers by demographic indicators reveals that a significant base of Trump’s support sits with white men from the age of 35 and up, but even with a commanding lead in the votes of mediocre white guys — Trump still can’t exactly win an election with these numbers.
The first debates in the Democratic presidential primary are unfolding this week in Florida, featuring 20 candidates spread across two nights including some definite longshot names — but some of the key figures have established, well-documented advantages against Trump all the same. In a hypothetical general election match-up with former Vice President Joe Biden — who’s part of the second round of debates this Thursday night — Trump loses by 10 percent according to the most recent numbers Fox News and Emerson College and by about nine percent overall across recent polls.
Although some of the more recent numbers have him with considerably smaller leads, Biden is an average of 15 percent ahead of his closest competitor in polls measuring the distribution of support across the Democratic presidential primary field, making him a likely general election challenger for Trump — who seems well set up to lose in such a situation. Remember, Trump’s initial victory was an electoral fluke in the first place made possible by outlandishly thin leading margins in just a few states in the Midwest that gave him an Electoral College lead. He lost the overall popular vote — and his prospects against other leading Democratic presidential contenders are also poor. On average, he loses by about seven percent against U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, for instance.
Like his general election prospects, the new Hill-Harris X numbers square up roughly with already established trends for his approval. On average, FiveThirtyEight shares, only about 42 percent of the American public approves of the job Trump is doing in office recently, while about 53 percent actively disapprove.
Recently, Trump’s time in office has been marked by a range of issues from a story writer E. Jean Carroll brought forward of him raping her to the deplorable conditions in which his administration has kept detained asylum seekers. In a notable recent example, lawyers had to pressure authorities to hospitalize four sick toddlers including at least one that was unresponsive at a McAllen, Texas, facility, and overall, detainees have been kept without consistent access to basic elements like cleanliness. Trump’s best response to these concerning issues has been to lie, claiming things like that he inherited the policy of separating undocumented immigrant families from President Barack Obama, who flatly did not have the systematic policy for that step that Trump has.
These issues are likely to prove continually front and center as the 2020 presidential race drags on alongside the main course of the upcoming just under two years or so of the Trump administration.
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