Poll Watch
May 22, 2019

President Trump was apparently thinking about his poll numbers on Wednesday morning, and he wasn't happy.

Sixty-five percent isn't out of the realm of possibility for most presidents, but Trump has never risen above 46 percent in Gallup's tracking poll (he's now at 42 percent). It isn't clear what Trump hoped to accomplish with this tweet, which appears to say a quarter of the electorate is either gullible or stupid, and Trump doesn't say which polls he's objecting to, though several fit the bill.

Trump's poll numbers had been improving on good economic news and after the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report, Ed Kilgore notes at New York, but now he's back to the low 40s, "very near where he's usually been, with somewhat more frequent and recent dips into the high 30s." Trump's RealClearPolitics approval average on Wednesday was 42.7 percent, and FiveThirtyEight pegged his approval at 41.2.

A CBS News poll released Wednesday notched Trump's approval rating at a moderately high 41 percent, but a Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday put Trump 19 points under water, with 38 percent of voters approving and 57 percent disapproving. And as Harry Enten pointed out on CNN Wednesday morning, 54 percent of voters in that poll said they would definitely vote against Trump in 2020, putting him in an unwanted league of his own.

In the CBS News poll, 71 percent of Americans say the economy is good, and 50 percent of them approve of Trump's handling of the economy, his highest number. His numbers on everything else — trade, foreign policy, immigration — are considerably worse. It's hard to blame that on the "Witch Hunt." Peter Weber

May 1, 2019

President Trump's job approval rating has ticked up to 43 percent in a CNN/SSRS poll released Wednesday, a 1 percentage point improvement since March and Trump's highest rating since April 2017. Trump's disapproval rating also rose 1 point, to 52 percent. A presidency-high 35 percent of voters strongly approve of Trump's job performance. Other polls have show Trump's approval rating drop significantly after Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report was released two weeks ago. Trump's FiveThirtyEight approval average is 41 percent and RealClearPolitics puts it at 43 percent.

With Mueller's report in, 44 percent of adults in the CNN poll say congressional Democrats are doing too much to investigate Trump, up from 38 percent in March; most of that shift has come from independents, 46 percent of whom say Democrats are going too far. But the same people largely approve of individual aspects of oversight: 66 percent want Trump to release his tax returns, 61 percent favor Congress taking legal action to get the unredacted Mueller report, 58 percent want Congress to investigate if Trump committed obstruction of justice, and 54 percent say Trump isn't doing enough to cooperate with Democratic investigations.

A 48 percent plurality say they already believe Trump obstructed justice during the Mueller investigation, versus 45 percent who say he did not; 50 percent say Trump's public comments on the investigation have been mostly false; and 51 percent disapprove of how Trump has handled the Mueller report's release.

SSRS conducted the poll April 25-28 among 1,007 adults nationwide via phone. The full sample has a margin of error of ±3.8 percentage points. Peter Weber

April 30, 2019

It was "a huge opening weekend for former Vice President Joe Biden — think Avengers: Endgame here," CNN's John Berman said on Tuesday morning's New Day, introducing a new national poll that shows Biden taking a commanding lead in the 2020 Democratic field one day after officially joining the race.

In the CNN/SSRS poll, conducted April 25-29, Biden opened up a commanding lead in the 20-person Democratic field, grabbing 39 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, more than double the support of his next-closest rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), at 15 percent. Next is Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) at 8 percent, followed by South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 7 percent, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke at 6 percent, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) at 5 percent. Biden's support jumped 11 percentage points since the last CNN/SSRS poll, while Buttigieg jumped 6 points and everybody else lost ground.

The top issue for Democrats and leaners was combating climate change, and the most important attribute for a candidate was ability to beat President Trump, the poll found. Biden's early message has focused on beating Trump. He leads the other 19 candidates among all major demographic groups, including half of non-white voters, but two-thirds of voters said they could still change their mind about which candidate they support. Biden's lead in the CNN poll is slightly larger than in Monday's Morning Consult tracking poll, which had Biden leading Sanders 36 percent to 22 percent; that poll was conducted April 22-28.

SSRS polled 1,007 adults nationwide over the phone, but the sample of 411 Democratic and Democratic-leaning independent registered voters has a margin or sampling error of ±5.9 percentage points. Peter Weber

April 25, 2019

Joe Biden kicked off his presidential campaign on Thursday as the clear frontrunner not only in the Democratic field but also the general election, according to Politico/Morning Consult polling. In a head-to-head contest with President Trump, Biden draws 42 percent to Trump's 34 percent, an 8-percentage point lead that puts Trump in a much worse position than former President Barack Obama when he was running for re-election in 2012. Morning Consult conducted the poll April 19-21 among 1992 registered voters; the poll has a ±2-point margin of error.

Biden is ahead of closest Democratic rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), 30 percent to 24 percent, in Morning Consult's weekly tracking polls. Biden and Sanders are followed by South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (9 percent), California Sen. Kamala Harris (8 percent), Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (7 percent), and Beto O'Rourke (6 percent). The tracking poll covers April 15-21, is based on 14,336 interviews with Democratic primary voters, and has a margin of error of ±1 percentage point.

Biden's coalition is older, more racially diverse, and more moderate than Sanders voters, Morning Consult found. Biden just edges out Sanders in favorability ratings, though his net favorability dropped 5 points from January, a period in which he was accused of inappropriate handsiness. Peter Weber

April 23, 2019

President Trump's job approval rating has dropped 5 points since Special Counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report was released Thursday, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll released Monday evening, and Trump's new 39 percent approval matches the lowest point in his presidency, right after the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. The poll also found that 57 percent of voters disapprove of the job Trump is doing, putting him 18 percentage points underwater.

The poll also found a declining appetite for impeachment — 34 percent favor starting impeachment proceedings while 48 percent say no — even though 41 percent of voters agreed that Trump's campaign worked with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 election and a 47 percent plurality said Trump tried to impede Mueller's investigation; 41 percent said Trump's campaign did not work with Russia and 34 percent said he did not try to hinder Mueller's probe. In a rare bit of bipartisan agreement, 48 percent of Democrats, 46 percent of Republicans, and 43 percent of independents said Mueller's investigation was handled fairly.

Politico/Morning Consult polled 1,992 voters Friday through Sunday, and the survey has a margin of sampling error of ±2 percentage points. Other polls have also found slippage in Trump's approval rating since the report was released; FiveThirtyEight's polling aggregate has Trump's approval at 41.3 percent, from 42 percent on Thursday, while RealClearPolitics puts his aggregate approval rating at 42.9 percent, from 44 percent on Thursday. Peter Weber

April 17, 2019

There's trouble in swing country for President Trump.

Poll results released on Wednesday by Monmouth University show that voters in swing districts — where the margin between Trump and his 2016 presidential election opponent Hillary Clinton was less than 10 percentage points — actually disapprove of Trump's performance in the Oval Office at higher rates than voters in districts who supported Clinton by more than 10 percentage points.

The results appear to back up the Trump re-election campaign team's plan to focus heavily in areas like Michigan and Wisconsin, which were sites of some of the smallest gaps in the 2016 contest. Trump eked out surprising victories in both states.

However, the Monmouth poll doesn't provide polling data from individual districts. That 31 percent approval rating is the aggregate of every district where the race was decided by less than 10 percentage points, some of which Clinton won. The poll also does not stipulate whether the voters who disapprove of Trump also refuse to vote for him in 2020 — the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Still, the results illustrate Trump's potential vulnerability.

The poll was conducted via telephone April 11-15, interviewing 801 U.S. adults. The total margin of error is 3.5 percentage points, though the margin of error in swing counties is 7.8 percentage points. See more results at Monmouth. Tim O'Donnell

March 10, 2019

So far, it seems, Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) early campaigning is paying off.

The latest Iowa caucus poll conducted by the Des Moines Register, CNN, and Mediacom shows former Vice President Joe Biden leading the field of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. Although Biden has yet to announce that he will even run, he earned the support of 27 percent of those polled. But Sanders, who was in Des Moines on Saturday, was close behind at 25 percent.

No other candidate even breached double digits. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) were next in line at 9 and 7 percent, respectively. Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), who like Biden has yet to announce his candidacy, and Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) were the only other names to rise above 1 percent.

Biden and Sanders led in the last caucus poll in December, as well. Though at that time, Biden held a 13-point advantage over Sanders.

Per CNN, the Poll was conducted by Selzer and Co. in Des Moines from last Sunday through Wednesday among a random sample of 401 likely Democratic caucus-goers. The questioning took place over the phone. The margin for error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

March 4, 2019

President Trump is competitive in 2020 but there are flashing yellow lights, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Sunday. Forty-one percent of registered voters said they would definitely or likely vote for Trump next year and 48 percent said they will definitely or likely vote for his Democratic challenger. Trump's approval rating ticked up to 46 percent, from 43 percent in January, however, and he retains a strong 88 percent approval from Republican voters. "It's a 45-55 against the president at this stage of the game," Democratic pollster Peter Hart told NBC News.

Trump won't face a generic Democrat, of course, and Democrats and the general public broadly agree on the qualities they want in the next president. The poll asked about 11 presidential characteristics, and the ones voters were most enthusiastic about or comfortable with were an African American (87 percent), white man (86 percent), woman (84 percent), gay or lesbian (68 percent), and an independent (60 percent). Least popular? A Muslim (49 percent — up from 32 percent in 2015), a person over 75 (37 percent), and a socialist (25 percent). Democrats were a little more enthusiastic about a socialist (45 percent) but not about a candidate over 75 (33 percent).

Republican pollster Bill McInturff told Chuck Todd on Sunday's Meet the Press that economic optimism and rising approval mean "the president's in the ballgame," pointing also to the 38 percent of voters so fed up they think the U.S. needs a third party — a post-1995 high. Democratic pollster Fred Yang said Trump "has to do everything to win it, and it may not be enough," noting that Trump's inability or unwillingness to expand his base of support may prove fatal for a president elected with 46 percent of the vote, especially if 2020 is a two-way race.

The WSJ/NBC News poll was conducted Feb. 24-27 among 900 adults, including 720 registered voters, about half by cellphone. The overall margin of error is ±3.3 percentage points, ±3.7 points for registered voters, ±6.3 points for Democratic primary voters, and ±6.8 points for GOP primary voters. Peter Weber

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