Trump is energising his opponents in record breaking numbers
With the 2020 election cycle revving into full gear, pollsters are asking voters whether they plan to vote for President Trump. In a Washington Post/ABC News survey, respondents were asked if they would definitely vote for the president, consider voting for him or definitely not vote for him — and 56 percent said they would definitely not vote for him. Morning Consult posed a slightly different form of this question, asking voters if they’d definitely or probably vote for Trump, or if they’d definitely or probably vote for someone else. Eight percent said they would probably vote for someone else, but 47 percent said they would definitely vote for someone else. In total, that’s 55 percent of respondents who seemed unlikely to vote for Trump.
All told, this isn’t that different from the number of Americans who were planning not to back then-President Barack Obama in the early stages of his re-election bid: 51 percent said they “definitely” or “probably” would not vote for the incumbent, according to one poll conducted at a similar point in the 2012 cycle. But there is a key difference: The share of voters who said they would “definitely” oppose Trump is much higher than it ever was for Obama. In fact, the average share of voters who said they would “definitely” oppose Trump is roughly 10 points higher than it was for Obama more than 600 days out from the election, which is where we are now.
We can see from the chart that Obama’s definitely would not vote for figure increased closer as we approached the 2012 election which is probably a result of the primary process as lots of opponents retrashed Obama and his policies on a regular basis for several months. With the Iowa caucus exactly one year away it isn’t hard to see Trump’s definitely would not vote figure increasing as the Democratic Party contenders criticise Trump.
A couple of caveats, this polling coincides with the record breaking shutdown it might explain why so many are opposed to Trump, if there are no further shutdowns then Trump’s figures might improve. Also Trump had some pretty dire polling numbers in the run up to the 2016 Presidential election but that didn’t stop him being elected.
I’m hoping to track this series on a regular basis. My hunch is if these figures don’t improve for Trump then his chances of winning re-election in 2020 are sub-optimal, Mueller permitting of course.