Trump could win six battleground states in 2020 despite low approval rating, poll finds

USA Today Politics 1 week ago

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump's approval rating may be underwater, and about half of the country may want him impeached, but he still has shot to win in the half-dozen battleground states that could secure his reelection next year, according to a new poll from The New York Times and Siena College

The poll looked at potential matchups between Trump and the leading Democratic primary candidates in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Arizona and North Carolina, the states where Trump held his narrowest wins over Hillary Clinton in 2016. 

Former Vice President Joe Biden beat Trump among likely voters in all of those states but North Carolina in a hypothetical head-to-head contest, but his lead was 2% or less in all of them. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont lost to Trump in every state but Michigan, where he was favored by a three-point margin. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was behind in all six states among likely voters. 

The results were slightly better for the candidates among registered voters, with Sanders besting Trump by 1% in Pennsylvania and 2% Wisconsin, in addition to maintaining a 2% lead in Michigan. Warren finished 2% over Trump in Arizona and tied him in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Biden maintained an edge in most states but Trump tied him among registered voters in Michigan. 

Biden, Warren and Sanders have all performed better against Trump in most national polls, but because of the Electoral College, the Democratic candidate will likely have to win at least half of the above states to defeat Trump in 2020. Clinton led in most national poll ahead of the last presidential election and won the popular vote by about 2% but still lost the election. 

The Times said the results of the poll "suggest that the president’s advantage in the Electoral College relative to the nation as a whole remains intact or has even grown since 2016, raising the possibility that the Republicans could – for the third time in the past six elections – win the presidency while losing the popular vote." 

And the Times said the results showed "little evidence that any Democrat, including Mr. Biden, has made substantial progress toward winning back the white working-class voters who defected to the president in 2016." 

Averages of Trump's average job approval on RealClearPolitics and FiveThirtyEight have been in the low-to-mid 40% range since his first weeks in office, with a disapproval rating about 10 percentage points higher. A Fox News poll published Sunday found his job approval at 42% – his lowest mark in their polling since February 2018 – and his disapproval at 57%. 

And recent polls have consistently found support for his impeachment and removal from office to be around 50%. Forty-Nine percent of registered voters said they thought he should be impeached and convicted in the Senate in Sunday's Fox News poll. 

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