Trump’s Electoral Problem

Ken AshfordElection 2020, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Trump may have gotten a slight bounce from his SOTU speech (although the only post-SOTU poll is the unreliable Rasmussen), but from a 2020 re-election perspective, he should not be popping any champagne bottles.

According to Morning Consult:

Trump’s base remained fairly solid, with 83 percent of Republicans approving of the president. But that share of support among Republicans was its lowest since September, when Washington was roiled by the Supreme Court confirmation proceedings for Brett Kavanaugh.

The poor national marks were reflected at the state level.

A majority of voters in just 12 states approved of Trump’s job performance, all of which were red enclaves spanning from Wyoming to Alabama. The president retained support from a plurality of voters in five other states he easily carried during the 2016 election: Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Montana and North Dakota. But another state that Trump won, Nebraska, was split.

Trump’s net approval rating was underwater in 32 states, including 15 that experts said were worth keeping an eye on ahead of 2020.

A majority of voters in 27 states disapproved of Trump’s job performance in January, including Pennsylvania (53 percent disapprove), Michigan (55 percent disapprove) and Wisconsin (56 percent disapprove), all of which were pivotal to his Electoral College victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

A plurality of voters disapproved of the president in four states, including perennial swing-state Florida (50 percent disapprove) and Georgia (49 percent disapprove), where Democrats have grown more competitive in recent years amid shifting demographics and the growth of the Atlanta metro area. Without rounding, Trump was 1 point in the red in Texas, another state that has proven kinder to Democrats in the past two election cycles, as well.

The president is also underwater by double digits in Colorado (minus 18 points), Iowa (minus 14 points) and Maine (minus 11 points), states that could prove stiff competition for Trump and Senate Republicans next year.

In all, the January data shows Trump’s net approval declined in 43 states and increased in four: Idaho, Louisiana, Georgia and New Mexico.

The biggest slide came in New Hampshire, the traditional holder of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary. Nearly six in 10 Granite Staters (58 percent) disapproved of Trump in January – up 6 points since December – while 39 percent approved, down 4 points since the prior month.

A chart shows how Trump is doing in key states:

Trump, who did not win the popular vote in 2016, may have some tricks in his bag. He’s proved pretty resistant to unpopularity, perhaps thanks to “outside influence” (Russia). But this shows that, as things stand now, the 2020 election is his to lose.