Trump Faces Many ‘Uncomfortable’ Voters in 2020 Race
(Bloomberg) -- A majority of Americans say they would be “very uncomfortable” voting for President Donald Trump in 2020, and Joe Biden continues to lead surveys on likely Democratic primary voters -- partly on the feeling that he’s best positioned to beat Trump in a general election.
A flurry of opinion polls on Sunday also showed that a majority of voters think the Trump administration has gone too far on its immigration enforcement efforts, and that economic optimism has slipped from the high levels seen shortly before Trump’s inauguration in 2017.
In an NBC-Wall Street Journal poll, some 52% reported being very uncomfortable about Trump and an additional 10% had some reservations. The combined 62% compared with 37% who said they were enthusiastic or comfortable with a Trump vote. The negative response about Trump was up 3 percentage points from a poll conducted in late April and early May.
Biden fared slightly better, with 40% of voters saying they were enthusiastic or comfortable voting for him. The former vice president’s negatives were lower, although almost a third, 31%, reported being “very uncomfortable” with him, up from 24% in the previous poll.
Elizabeth Warren’s support among Democratic primary voters has grown in the last three months, according to the NBC-Wall Street Journal poll and other surveys out in recent days on a national level and in some early-voting states.
A combined 64% of likely Democratic voters, up from 57% in March, said they were enthusiastic or comfortable about the Massachusetts senator and former Harvard law professor, a favorite among the party’s progressive wing. A combined 27% had reservations or said they were very uncomfortable with Warren, down from 33% in March.
The NBC poll showed Trump’s job approval at 44%, down from 46% in late April and early May, a decline well within the survey’s margin of error. Trump remained highly popular among Republicans, with an 84% approval rating, and was in positive numbers with older voters, men, and white people.
A CBS News/YouGov poll released Sunday showed that likely Democratic primary voters were split on whether the party’s 2020 message should emphasize returning the country to how it was before Trump, or pursue a more progressive vision than under President Barack Obama.
The AOC Factor
Among voters who want a more progressive direction, Biden is in much tighter competition with Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the poll found.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, one of the most influential voices on the Democrats’ left flank, said Sunday she’s not yet endorsing a candidate in the primary race, where some two dozen contenders are running.
A first-term lawmaker with a large social media presence, AOC, as she’s known, could have a outsized impact on the primary race. “I do not see myself endorsing anytime soon,” she said on ABC’s “This Week.” “We haven’t even had our first debates yet.”
Looking ahead to the general election, Democrats think swing voters -- in the abstract -- might be more favorable toward a white, male, moderate candidate, the CBS poll showed.
Trump formally kicks off his re-election campaign Tuesday with a rally in Orlando, Florida. Democratic hopefuls have been flooding early primary states including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. The first Democratic debates, featuring 20 candidates over two nights, will be held June 26-27 in Miami.
The NBC/WSJ poll of 1,000 adults was conducted June 8-11 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. Fox’s poll was taken June 9-12 of 1,001 registered voters, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The “CBS Battleground Tracker” survey looked at the 18 states that will shape the initial 2020 fight among Democrats, from the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3 to the Super Tuesday contests on March 3. That also includes a mix of states from New Hampshire to South Carolina to Texas.
Biden got the most consideration in the battleground poll, with 55% considering supporting him against 49% for Warren, 45% for California Senator Kamala Harris, and 43% for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
When primary voters named their first choice Biden had a bigger lead: 31% against 17% for Warren, with Sanders at 16% and Harris at 10%.
Fully 16 of the Democratic hopefuls -- lawmakers, former governors and others -- had support of 1% or less in the CBS poll, suggesting the field may be quickly winnowed in early 2020 to about a half-dozen names.
The CBS poll was taken May 31 through June 12 and surveyed 16,624 voters. The margin of error was plus or minus about 1.5 percentage points.
--With assistance from Ben Brody.
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