As the United States continues to prepare for the 2020 elections, President Donald Trump has another round of dismal poll numbers heading his way indicating potential major losses to Democratic presidential contenders and even significantly worsening public perceptions of the economy. As it turns out, trying to run a presidency on belligerent Twitter meltdowns isn’t exactly working out. New poll results released by Quinnipiac University have him losing in hypothetical general election match-ups against all five of the leading Democratic presidential primary candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), and Kamala Harris (Calif.), and South Bend, Indiana’s Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
All of the leading margins are substantial, even when factoring in a margin of error. In the poll results, Biden leads Trump by a full 16 percent, with 54 percent of the support to Trump’s 38 percent. Sanders leads by 14 percent, Warren leads by 8 percent, Harris has a 9 percent lead, and rounding out the field, Buttigieg also has a 9 percent lead.
Leading margins, especially at this level, have been fewer and farther between for those outside the top two or three candidates, but these numbers indicate just how widespread that active disapproval of Trump and the search for someone to replace him as president really is. Quinnipiac polling analyst Mary Snow noted that the bottoming out levels of support roughly correspond to the low portions of the public who approve of him in general, outside of an election context, sharing:
‘In hypothetical matchups between President Trump and the top five Democratic presidential candidates, one key number is 40. It’s the ceiling of support for Trump, no matter the candidate. It hovers close to his job approval rating, which has stayed in a tight range since being elected.’
As for the economy, lowering public opinion of the way things are headed could easily be one major driver of Trump’s perpetually — and increasingly — low numbers. Quinnipiac University shares that for the first time in their numbers since Trump took office, more voters think that the economy is getting worse than that it’s getting better, and many of them blame Trump’s behavior. A full 37 percent of respondents say they think the economy is getting worse, while only 31 percent think it’s getting better. A full 41 percent overall of respondents think that Trump’s policies are to blame for the worsening economic conditions.
Lately, there’s been one key, major driver of these conditions — tariffs. Trump has imposed wide-ranging import taxes on goods from a variety of countries, including perhaps most prominently China.
Currently, an essentially full-fledged trade war between the U.S. and China is underway, with tariffs and retaliatory tariffs continuing to emerge. U.S. interests bear the costs of these taxes when they’re the ones trying to do the importing — in June, one study estimates that thanks to effects like that, U.S. businesses lost a full $3.4 billion to the tariffs that they’d have had otherwise. Trump just keeps it up anyway; most recently, he hiked all in-place tariffs against Chinese goods by five percent after they targeted some $75 million worth of American goods.
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