After Brief Bump, Trump Goes Down In Polls

Ken AshfordElection 2020, Polls, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment


After rising to 46% in April, President Donald Trump’s job approval rating skidded in May, first dipping to 42% and now to 40%. His latest rating, from a May 15-30 Gallup poll, is similar to the 39% he received in March and matches his average since taking office.

Trump’s back-to-back ratings at the 45%-46% level in April represent his longest stretch to date at that level of approval from the American public. This occurred in the first few weeks after the release of the special counsel report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, which found insufficient evidence that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russian operatives. A stronger-than-expected jobs report in April may have helped keep Trump’s rating elevated that month.

Since then, as more details about the report have emerged and special counsel Robert Mueller himself has clarified that it was not within his legal purview to bring criminal charges against a sitting president, Democratic calls for Trump’s impeachment have mounted. At the same time, renewed talk about possible trade wars with China rattled Wall Street, sending stock markets down in May even as employment indicators remained strong.

Trump’s approval rating fell by an average of four percentage points between April and May, from 45% to 41%, based on combined data for the two polls conducted each month. The drop was fairly even across most demographic subgroups but showed more variation by party.

Here’s the graphic:

What is notable, and bad news for Trump, is that the dip comes largely from independents:

Trump’s stranglehold over Republicans remains strong, as does the hatred from Democrats. But if he is going to win re-election, he needs independents who are less anchored politically. He seems to be losing them.

Of course, Trump NEVER had a majority of Americans, even in the 2016 election, but he had enough independents — and in KEY STATES — to win the electoral college. Those states — Pennsylvania and midwestern states — are going to be a real hotsopt in 2020.

But if Michigan is any bellwether, Trump needs to be concerned:

While most Michigan voters don’t want Congress to impeach President Donald Trump, a majority said they would vote against him if the election were held today, according to a new statewide poll.

Both former Vice President Joe Biden of Delaware and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont showed 12-point margins over the first-term Republican incumbent in a Glengariff Group public opinion survey of 600 likely voters released to The Detroit News and WDIV-TV (Local 4). Three other Democrats included in the poll were preferred over Trump by less substantial margins.

Three years after he became the first Republican to win the state since 1988, fewer than 36% percent of Michigan voters say they would vote to re-elect Trump, compared with more than 51% who said they plan to vote for someone new.

Michigan’s 16 electoral college votes went to Trump by 10,704 votes in 2016, the thinnest margin of any state. Two Democratic presidential candidates visited Michigan on Tuesday, a sign of its critical role in the 2020 election.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (6 points), U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (4 points) and Kamala Harris of California (3 points) polled ahead of the president in the Glengariff poll, but the advantages of Warren and Harris were within the 4-percentage-point margin of error.

The only downside, according to the Michigan poll, is the “enthusiasm gap”. Republican voters are “all in” for Trump, and that cannot be said for the Democratic candidates. On the other hand, as the nationwide Gallup survey suggests, Dems seem to have the upper hand when it comes to swaying independents.