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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Trump, the GOP, and Survey Data

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 campaign. The 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. The 2020 race, the subject of our next book, is well underway.   

Dan Balz and Scott Clement at WP report on a new poll showing Biden ahead of Trump 55 percent to 40 percent among registered voters
Despite the president’s attempts to shift the electorate’s focus to his criticisms of Biden, both candidates’ supporters are treating the November election as a referendum on Trump. Among Trump voters, 72 percent say what is most important is reelecting the president, including 47 percent who say this is extremely important, while 21 percent say their motivation is to defeat Biden.

Among Biden voters, the results are roughly the opposite, with 67 percent saying what is most important is defeating the president, including 48 percent who say this is extremely important, and 24 percent saying that electing the former vice president is their main motivation.
The current standing between the president and his challenger appears closely tied to overall impressions of how Trump is dealing with the country’s major problems. His job approval rating has dropped sharply in the past two months and stands at 39 percent positive and 57 percent negative among voting-age adults, with 48 percent of Americans saying they strongly disapprove of the way he is doing his job. In a late-March poll, when just two points separated Biden and Trump in a head-to-head test, Trump’s approval rating stood at 48 percent positive and 46 percent negative.
The Post-ABC poll finds Trump’s recent decline in support is concentrated in states that have averaged at least 30 daily coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents over the past week, a group that includes Florida, Texas, Arizona and Georgia. Trump led by double digits among voters in these states in May, but the latest survey shows Biden with a slight advantage. 
Scott Clement and Dan Balz at WP:
Americans’ views of President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic have deteriorated significantly as cases rise across the country and personal fears of becoming infected persist, a Washington Post-ABC News poll finds.

The Post-ABC poll shows 38 percent of Americans approve of his handling of the outbreak, down from 46 percent in May and 51 percent in March. Sixty percent disapprove, up from 53 percent in May and 45 percent in March.

More than half of the public — 52 percent — now disapproves “strongly” of Trump’s handling of the outbreak, roughly double the percentage who say they strongly approve of his efforts and an increase from 36 percent in strong disapproval since March.As Trump’s numbers have declined in recent weeks, our NBC/WSJ poll shows that some of that erosion has come from inside his own party — among the non-Trump wing of the GOP.

Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Carrie Dann and Melissa Holzberg at NBC News:
One figure continually stands out for President Trump in our new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll: 50 percent.
And not in a good way for him.

Fifty percent of all registered voters in our poll “strongly” disapprove of the president.
Fifty percent say there is no chance at all they will vote for him.

And another 37 percent of voters saying the same about Biden.
That leaves 13 percent who are up for grabs, saying there is a fair/small/slight chance they might change their minds about either Trump or Biden.
So who are these 13 percent? They have negative impressions of both Trump and Biden, but Biden’s fav/unfav with them is slightly worse (11 percent positive, 45 percent negative) than Trump’s (22 percent positive, 43 percent negative).
They prefer Republicans in control of Congress by almost a 2-to-1 margin, 42 percent to 25 percent.
But their 2016 vote was split four different ways: 20 percent of them voted for Trump, 21 percent for Hillary Clinton, 21 percent voted third party, and 27 percent didn’t vote.
And it’s that last thing that should give us pause about these up-for-grabs voters: Just 40 percent of them have high interest in the 2020 election, versus 77 percent of all voters in our poll.
Bottom line: Many of them aren’t likely voters.
Jeffrey M. Jones at Gallup:
Since January, Americans' party preferences have shifted dramatically in the Democratic Party's direction. What had been a two-percentage-point Republican advantage in U.S. party identification and leaning has become an 11-point Democratic advantage, with more of that movement reflecting a loss in Republican identification and leaning (down eight points) than a gain in Democratic identification and leaning (up five points).

Line graph. Fifty percent of Americans identify as Democrats or are independents who lean toward the Democratic Party while 39% are Republicans or Republican leaning independents. In January, 47% were Republicans or Republican leaners and 45% were Democrats and Democratic leaners.
\Currently, half of U.S. adults identify as Democrats (32%) or are independents who lean toward the Democratic Party (18%). Meanwhile, 39% identify as Republicans (26%) or are Republican leaners (13%).
These results are based on monthly averages of Gallup U.S. telephone surveys in 2020.
In January and February, the months in which the U.S. Senate tried and acquitted President Donald Trump on impeachment charges brought by the House of Representatives, slightly more Americans preferred the Republican Party to the Democratic Party.
In March, as the nation began to deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Democrats gained a slight two-point advantage, which persisted in April and May.
The greatest movement occurred in June -- likely because of increased attention to racial injustice that followed the death of George Floyd while in police custody on May 25, as well as increased U.S. struggles to contain the coronavirus spread.
In June alone, there was a three-point increase in Democratic identification and leaning, and a corresponding five-point drop in Republican identification and leaning.