Five national polls taken in December matched up four major contenders for the Democratic Presidential nomination against President Trump in the general election. These polls showed Vice-President Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders leading the President by averages of six and four points, while Senator Elizabeth Warren’s lead averaged one point among the five polls and Mayor Pete Buttigieg was in a dead heat in the average of the five. Michael Bloomberg and US Senator Amy Klobuchar were included in only 1-2 of the five polls, but not in all five, so I chose to keep them out of this comparison.
Vice-President Biden, Senator Sanders, and Senator Warren were all matched up against President Trump in October 2019 polls from four of these same pollsters. In general, the three Democrats were doing better against the President two months ago. Trump narrowed the gap. Biden led by an average of nine points in October, compared to six points in December. Sanders led by an average of seven points in October, compared to four in December. Warren led by an average of six points in October, compared to one point in December. Mayor Buttigieg was not included in all four of these polls in October.
Is there an explanation for the President’s slight strengthening in the polls? Most likely, of course, is the economy’s continued improvement. The polls show up to 70% of the voters think the economy is currently good or excellent. Under normal circumstances, an incumbent President with a healthy economy would be the favorite going into the general election. Mr. Trump’s moral depravity is plain to many Americans who say they will never vote for him, which puts a limit of some kind on how many people will vote for him despite the strong economy. But going into the national election, the Democrats will still need to make a strong case they can do better on the economy and make it much fairer for the vast majority of the people at the same time( And keep up the never-ending story of his depravity). In the meantime, the ongoing saga of the impeachment and its move to the Senate may continue to bring surprises for Trump and the Republicans.