The 2020 election is over a year and a half away, and we’re not even close to knowing who the Democratic nominee may be, but they can find some solace in a new poll conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post, in which more than half of adults – 55% of its respondents – said they would “definitely not vote for [Trump].”
That number consists of not just Democrats but also independent leaning voters, a group that Donald Trump will need in order to secure re-election next year. While 9% of Democrats supported Trump in 2016, 95% of Democrats say they won’t vote for him again. 51% of independents surveyed said they won’t vote for Trump. Independent voters are largely credited with helping to bring about last year’s Blue Wave in the midterm elections.
Trump’s trouble isn’t only winning over the unaffiliated voter. As per the survey, just 63% of Republican voters say they will “definitely” vote to re-elect Trump, while a whole 15% of GOP voters say they definitely won’t support him in 2020, a number not likely to diminish as Trump now faces criticism from a number of conservative pundits on Fox News. Only 7% of Republicans voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. A somewhat larger number of registered Republicans could lean Democrat in 2020 as the nominee is less likely to be someone as heavily demonized by right-wing media as Hillary Clinton had been.
Both Presidents Clinton and Obama suffered brutal midterms but went on to win re-election, as did President Reagan, but all three knew how to pivot successfully and win over moderates. They also won the popular vote, and had a larger base starting out. Donald Trump, having a base of only about 30% of voters, is not exactly good at pivoting or even compromising much at all. When he tries, his base usually turns on him for it, which is how we ended up with the longest government shutdown in history on his watch.
The two key issues where Donald Trump falls out of favor with voters on this poll are healthcare and his cruelty towards immigrants – with 44% turning against him on his immigration policy. Saying he’ll go softer on either issue isn’t likely to bode well for the die-hard fans, and could erode what support he has left.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making