It’s useful to be reminded that people really don’t like Trump:
As he seeks a second term in the 2020 election, President Trump should be able to lean on his advantage in the Electoral College — in 2016, as you might remember, he lost the national popular vote but won enough states (and the right states) to secure 270 electors and take the presidency.
But new polling of his state-by-state approval ratings suggests the president is unpopular in some of the most important battleground states for 2020, an ill omen if the trends hold until Election Day 2020.
Trump has been unpopular since his first day in office. The question now is whether he’s so unpopular that it overrides his advantage as an incumbent and a pretty strong US economy. The new state polls from Morning Consult don’t bode well for him.
Here are the raw numbers for Trump in the states that are expected to be competitive in the 2020 election:
- New Hampshire: 39 percent approval, 58 percent disapproval
- Wisconsin: 42 percent approval, 55 percent disapproval
- Michigan: 42 percent approval, 54 percent disapproval
- Iowa: 42 percent approval, 54 percent disapproval
- Arizona: 45 percent approval, 51 percent disapproval
- Pennsylvania 45 percent approval, 52 percent disapproval
- Ohio: 46 percent approval, 50 percent disapproval
- North Carolina: 46 percent approval, 50 percent disapproval
- Florida: 48 percent approval, 48 percent disapproval
- Indiana: 49 percent approval, 46 percent disapproval
It’s a grim picture. Wisconsin and Michigan were critical Midwestern pieces of Trump’s Electoral College puzzle and he is now deeply unpopular in both states. Pennsylvania was maybe his most surprising win in 2016, and now he is seven points underwater. Perhaps Trump can take solace in his even job approval rating in Florida, but that is the only swing state where the president looks as strong as he did on Election Day 2016. Everywhere else, his support has deteriorated.
In addition, it’s worth noting that the incumbency advantage of the presidency is less demonstrably robust than it’s generally considered to be, and in a context of high negative polarization whether there’s much of an incumbency advantage at all is a very open question. It’s also worth noting that Trump got significant benefits in 2016 — in terms of both media coverage and FBI ratfucking — from elites treating Hillary Clinton as the de facto president-elect, advantages he won’t get in 2020.
Can Trump win again? Sure. But he’s in a very weak position given the strength of the economy and in yoooge trouble should the economy go south at all (which it why Trump’s proposed trade war with Mexico may be a racism too far for McConnell.)