This Emerson Poll released Feb.16th (from Real Clear Politics Feb.19th, Latest Polls) shows how Trump fares vs. 8 current Democratic contenders.
I know it’s super-early but the point here is just to get a general idea of the national sentiment. It’s good to see all the Democratic candidates ahead but it is important to remember Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2.9 million votes and 2.1 percentage points and lost the Electoral College by losing Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin by a combined total of 77,000 votes.
One takeaway from these numbers is that there is a strong hard-core of Americans for Trump and he will not be easy to beat. In all 8 races his lowest support level is 45% and he averages 47.75% among all 8 of the matchups. Every Democrat in the matchups breaks 50% of the vote (good news), and the average for the 8 Democrats is 52.25%, or just a bit more than 4 points for the matched average against these Democrats. Vice-President Biden runs the best match-up, but if he really entered the primary, attacks on him would increase and support for him would drop (I think). Many of the other Democratic candidates, in fact, do not have broad national exposure and might improve their standing if better known.
Right before the 2016 election, Hillary’s average lead among all the polls was about 3 1/2 points and she won by 2. So this means, with an average lead of 4 1/2 points in this Emerson poll for the Democrats, if these polls are off by a tiny two points they are quite close to the Electoral College break point that resulted in the Trump win.
This one comes from Public Policy Polling (PPP) before the shutdown was over and the State of the Union Address had been made. It was released on Jan.22nd.
The average here in the PPP poll is Dems 48.7 Trump 41.4, or seven points. Trump recovered in the polls somewhat when the shutdown was over and he had given the State of the Union Address, so this poll was taken while corresponding to his low point during the shutdown. Nonetheless, the results are similar to Emerson. Trump’s base is somewhere in the low to mid-forties, and it seems like about 50% of the country doesn’t want him again.
Well, they are just two polls – a year and a half until the Democratic nominee is chosen.
Not so good these poll numbers. Wait until the Republican attack dogs start biting. The Democrats’ problem, I think, is in order to win primaries, the candidates must take left positions, i.e., late term abortion rights, and then swing rightward for the general. That’s not good optics. And, yesterday, I read that Ms. Harris favors reparations for slavery! Give me a break. First, that’s never going to happen legislatively, and second that position will make a lot of undecideds vote against the Democrats. But Ms. Harris thinks she has to take that position in order to capture the large urban vote in the primaries. Pinning the ‘socialist’ label on the Democrats, with positions like I’ve laid out, is the Republicans’ game plan, and it may work.