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Two Polling Methods, Two Views of Trump?s 2020 Re-election Chances

the Electoral College

Nate CohnThere
George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Joseph R. Biden


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the United States
El Paso
The New Republic

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Positivity     37.00%   
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The New York Times
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This would be good news for his chances in 2020: Many presidents have gone on to win after having approval ratings like Mr. Trump’s today, and many presidents have won after a midterm drubbing. The online polls support the polarization story: They show that the president’s approval rating has been astonishingly steady throughout his presidency, including over the last month.But the telephone polls have been more variable, particularly over the last few months. In June and July, live-interview polls seemed to show the president’s approval rating matching the highest level of his term. Democrats might have been particularly helpful to Mr. Trump if they repelled some persuadable voters by focusing on busing, ending private health insurance, extending health insurance to undocumented immigrants, or decriminalizing unauthorized entry into the United States.Since then, the president’s ratings have dropped by several points, and there is no shortage of potential explanations: his verbal attacks on four congresswomen; mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton; growing concern about the economy and the trade war. For the first time, the online polls were worse for Mr. Trump than live-interview polls, yet a house effect adjustment would have assumed the opposite.Either way, the president’s approval ratings are well under 50 percent, lower than they were heading into the 2018 midterm elections, and probably lower than they were a month ago.

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