Poll Watch
June 30, 2020

For most of President Trump's presidency, Pew Research polls have showed Republicans remaining consistently satisfied with the state of the country. As recently as April, the number was at 55 percent, but the latest survey tells a different story, as Republican satisfaction with the U.S. tanked all the way down to 19 percent.

The number is still higher than the 7 percent of Democrats who feel the same way, making the overall satisfaction rate among Americans is just 12 percent, but it's a significant change for GOP voters, either way.

The reasons behind the fall aren't made clear, but the rest of the survey indicates it's probably not entirely directed at Trump, who despite a five-point dip from the previous Pew survey still enjoys 78 percent approval from Republicans and Republican-leaning voters. It's reasonable, then, to assume the coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis it has created have played a large role in the new wave of pessimism.

Pew Research Center surveyed 4,708 U.S. adults online between June 16-22. The margin of error is 1.8 percentage points. Read more survey results here. Tim O'Donnell

June 17, 2020

President Trump was so upset about a CNN/SSRS poll last week that showed him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden by 14 percentage points, he threatened to sue the network if it didn't retract and apologize for the survey. On Wednesday morning, Reuters/Ipsos released a poll with Biden beating Trump among registers voters by 13 points, 48 percent to 35 percent, Biden's widest margin this election cycle. Biden's lead over Trump is 8.1 points, 50.1 percent to 41. 7 percent, in the RealClearPolitics polling average (which does not yet include the Reuters/Ipsos poll).

In both the CNN and Reuters polls, Trump's job approval rating sagged at 38 percent, with 57 percent of U.S. adults disapproving. Trump last hit 38 percent approval in Reuters polling last November, when the House was on the verge of impeaching him. Trump still has the upper hand on the economy: 43 percent of voters said he would be better than Biden to handle the economy, versus 38 percent who picked Biden. But Trump was 15 points underwater on handing of the coronavirus pandemic — 55 percent disapproved, 40 percent approved — and his overall net approval rating has steadily dropped a total of 13 points among Republicans since March.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted June 10-16 among 4,426 U.S. adults, and it has a credibility interval of ± 2 percentage points. Peter Weber

June 8, 2020

A CNN/SSRS poll released Monday morning shows former Vice President Joe Biden crushing President Trump by 14 percentage points, 55 percent to 41 percent, in a head-to-head matchup five months before the election. Those are Biden's highest marks yet and Trump's lowest back to April 2019 in CNN's tracking polls. Worse for Trump, his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, never got close to breaking 50 percent in any polling average from June 2016 to the election, Harry Enten writes at CNN, while Biden's average in live interview polls conducted over the past week is 51 percent.

"If the election were held today," The Associated Press reports, Trump would "likely lose." Trump, his political advisers, and campaign staff "have grown increasingly concerned about his re-election chances as they've watched Trump's standing take a pummeling first on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and now during a nationwide wave of protests against racial injustice," AP says. "Internal campaign surveys and public polling showed a steady erosion in support for Trump among seniors and in battleground states once believed to be leaning decisively in the president's direction."

A source briefed on Trump's internal polls tells Axios' Jonathan Swan they are "brutal," especially his significant drop-off among independents — though, another adviser added, Trump also has a "woman problem." Trump's top political advisers all huddled for the first time last week to try to right Trump's campaign ship, Swan adds. "There's a thought that we need to shift to be much more cohesive in terms of a message of healing, rebuilding, restoring, recovering ... a theme that goes with COVID and the economy and the race stuff," a senior Trump adviser tells Axios. "The messaging that works for the red-MAGA-hat base doesn't resonate with independents."

The CNN/SSRS poll was conducted June 2-5 via live interviews with 1,125 registered voters, and its margin of sampling error is ±3.6 percentage points. Peter Weber

June 8, 2020

There's a partisan split on COVID-19, police violence against black Americans, and President Trump's handling of both issues in a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Sunday, but a remarkable 80 percent of voters agreed the U.S. is "out of control."

"Out of control — that's America in 2020," said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates, who conducted the poll with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. It's "one of the few things Americans can agree upon and the one finding that we can definitively state given the tumult and torment of the past 12 days."

By a 2-to-1 margin, voters also said they found the police killing of George Floyd, a black man asphyxiated under a white officer's knee in Minneapolis, more troubling than the huge wave of protests the killing sparked, even the ones that turned violent. A 59 majority of voters were more troubled by the police actions and Floyd's killing than protests that have turned violent, and that includes 54 percent of white voters, 78 percent of black voters, 65 percent of Hispanic voters, 81 percent of Democrats, 59 percent of independents, and 29 percent of Republicans; 27 percent of voters said the protest violence was more troubling.

Opinions about Trump and his Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, seem pretty calcified. Trump's job approval, 45 percent, is down 1 percentage point from April but well within the narrow 43-47 percent band in 18 WSJ/NBC polls conducted since the 2018 midterms. Biden's 7-point lead over Trump, 49 percent to 42 percent, is the same as two months ago, though Biden's lead grows to 8 points in 11 battleground states. Voters favor Democratic control of Congress over GOP control, 51 percent to 40 percent, a 5-point swing toward Democrats since January.

The WSJ/NBC News poll was conducted May 28 to June 2 among 1,000 registers voters contacted via phone. It's overall margin of error is ±3.1 percentage points. Peter Weber

June 4, 2020

President Trump is now 7.8 percentage points behind Vice President Joe Biden in RealClearPolitics' polling average, and when you scratch deeper than the national head-to-head polling, his numbers have "turned from mixed to bleak," Axios reports. He and Biden are statistically tied in Texas, per a Quinnipiac Poll released Wednesday, and in Ohio, according to a new Fox News poll. Fox News' pollsters also have Trump losing badly in Wisconsin and modestly in Arizona, both states he needs to win.

Top Republicans say "Trump's handling of the nation's civil unrest, including his hasty photo op at St. John's Church after the violent clearing of Lafayette Park, make them much more worried about his chance of re-election than they were one week ago," Axios reported Thursday morning. And "yesterday, advisers admit, was inarguably brutal," with Defense Secretary Mark Esper dissenting from Trump's use of active-duty troops and Esper's predecessor, James Mattis, excoriating Trump as divisive, immature, and a violator of the Constitution who must be held to account.

Trump is sending a clear, consistent signal "that in the five months remaining between now and Election Day he will be singularly focused on his core supporters — and whatever energizes them most," Gabby Orr writes at Politico. "The base-only strategy is a gamble for Trump, whose campaign spent much of the past year trying to build up good will with suburban swing voters — knowing their disapproval alone could cost him re-election. But the base is also his safe space." And given his slumping poll numbers with independents, senior citizens, suburban woman, and even his core white evangelical base, it may be his best option. Peter Weber

June 2, 2020

President Trump on Monday threatened to call in the United States military in an effort to curtail protests across the United States, and it turns out most Americans — even some of those who think the president is doing a poor job of handling the demonstrations against police brutality — would support such an action, a new Morning Consult poll revealed Tuesday.

Among all registered voters surveyed, 58 percent said they would somewhat or strongly support having the military supplement city police forces compared to only 30 percent who said they somewhat or strongly oppose the measure.

There are some differences among demographics — younger people are a little more likely to oppose the move than older people, and Republicans were far more likely to support it than Democrats. But there was still a plurality of 48 percent of Democrats who would back the decision, compared to 43 who wouldn't, though it's worth noting that when splitting the categories more specifically, "strongly opposed" became the most frequent response among Democratic voters.

The Morning Consult poll was conducted online between May 31-June 1 among 1,624 registered voters. The margin of error is 2 percentage points. See the full results here. Tim O'Donnell

May 22, 2020

It isn't the 11-point blowout registered by Quinnipiac on Wednesday, but former Vice President Joe Biden has taken lead of 8 percentage points over President Trump in a Fox News poll released Thursday night. In the same poll a month ago, the two were tied, but before that Biden held a steady lead over Trump. Biden's 48-40 percent lead "is outside the poll's margin of error," Fox News notes. "However, given that 11 percent are undecided or plan to vote for someone else, neither candidate hits 50 percent support. The race could go either way."

Biden has a national lead of 5.5 points in RealClearPolitics' polling average.

The voters in the Fox News survey have a better opinion of Biden than Trump — Biden's net favorability is +2 points while Trump's is -12 points. But the numbers Fox News focused on are coronavirus versus economy. Biden bested Trump by 9 points (46-37 percent) on trust to handle the coronavirus pandemic and led Trump by 17 points on health care (50-33 percent), while Trump held a 3-point lead on managing the economy (45-42 percent). Overall, 44 percent of respondents approved of Trump's job performance while 54 percent disapproved.

The election is still months away, but a few metrics could spell trouble for Trump. Two groups he won in 2016, senior citizens and independents, currently back Biden by 17 points and 13 points, respectively. Biden also had a 12-point lead among voters who are very motivated to vote this fall, and 69 percent of Biden voters said they are extremely motivated to vote versus 63 percent of Trump voters.

Trump, who complained on Twitter earlier Thursday that "Fox News is doing nothing to help Republicans, and me, get re-elected on November 3rd," tweeted (and retweeted) his own poll Thursday night.

The Fox News poll was conducted May 17-20 among 1,207 registered voters contacted via phone by Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company (R). The poll's margin of sampling error is ±2.5 percentage points for all registered voters. Peter Weber

May 21, 2020

A new poll of likely Michigan voters shows former Vice President Joe Biden beating President Trump in the state by 3 percentage points, 49 percent to 46 percent.

The Crooked Media/Change Research poll shows half of Biden's lead in a hypothetical November showdown comes from those who either didn't vote in 2016, or voted third party. Trump notably won Michigan in 2016, defeating Hillary Clinton 47.5 percent to 47.3 percent.

Voters who were undecided for the 2020 presidential election said they trusted Biden over Trump on nearly all matters, aside from managing economic recovery and helping small businesses recover.

Meanwhile, Trump is headed to Michigan on Thursday to visit a Ford auto plant amid his ongoing feud over his handling of the coronavirus and mail-in voting with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D).

The poll was conducted online between May 11 and May 17 and included 3,070 likely Michigan voters. The margin of error was 1.9 percentage points. See more results at Change Research. Taylor Watson

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