It’s no secret that Donald Trump is one of the least popular figures to come out of American politics- his approval rating has been in the red since the day he stepped into the Oval Office and he doesn’t seem to care. But if we are to believe a new Fox News poll, his path to the White House in 2020 will be much more difficult than the one he took in 2016.
Most presidents staring down those sort of approval numbers and facing a tough re-election campaign would be executing some quick thinking to try to salvage their reputation. But not the Donald. If we are to believe that he is operating with some sort of strategy, we have to know that he is consistently declining the chances to endear himself to American citizens, often taking the path of the most hateful rhetoric and behavior he can find.
While he COULD come up with better ways to address the public or, gasp, delete his atrociously offensive Twitter account, he continuously does NOT. It’s no secret that he repeatedly engages in behavior that increases and ignites the flames of racism and fear mongering. Some wonder if he is incapable of just NOT popping off offensive insults. Either way, since he WON the election last time with low approval ratings, it isn’t hard to see that he thinks his path will end in victory again, thus he goes along proudly.
But regardless of what comforting things Donald Trump likes to tell himself, his win to the White House was fought on a very narrow battleground in 2016. He won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote and there are three key factors that brought him success:
- He faced a ridiculously unpopular opponent in Hillary Clinton.
- His popular vote percentage was even higher than his approval on Election Day. (46.1% vs. 38.6%)
- His win was contingent on voters who disliked BOTH candidates.
A new polling data out from Fox News says that Trump will not exactly be reaping the benefits of those particular factors in 2020. Even though Fox News isn’t as “fair and balanced” as they’d like us to think, they have a well regulated polling system and their latest survey shows that all four top candidates for the Democratic nomination are beating Trump by a very comfortable lead.
Feels like an incumbent who can’t break 40% against any top challenger is in trouble, but we don’t know how many of these voters were polled in rust belt diners. pic.twitter.com/frKnLP3PFo— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) August 15, 2019
The president’s potential rivals are all boasting high approval and popularity ratings. Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris all outweigh the president with only Harris coming within the margin of error and still being higher than Hillary Clinton’s in August 2016.
Obviously, as the 2016 campaign progressed, Clinton’s unpopularity increased as Trump and his allies did everything they could to make sure that happened. And they will do that to the 2020 Dem candidate as well. But the hits are already coming against Warren and Sanders, both turning in debate showings that NY Times columnists deemed complete failures, and they are still polling strong.
Even though there is still some time before predictions can come in solidly, this recent data suggests that the president will have a much more difficult path than he did the last time around.