Why Has Trump’s Exceptional Corruption Gone Unchecked?
Why Has Trump’s Exceptional Corruption Gone Unchecked?
© Catalyst Images U.S. President Donald Trump answers questions from the news media in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 11, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis
The polls du jour show President Donald Trump trailing basically every Democrat in the 2020 general election, both nationally and in individual states — even in Texas. Democratic voters might rejoice at these signs that Trump will be a one-term president.
We 'll be keeping track of those polls here and trying to work out what they can and can' t tell us about who will win the election. National polls are a good guide as to how popular a candidate is across the country as a whole, but they're not necessarily a good way to predict the result of the election.
The polls du jour show President Donald Trump trailing basically every Democrat in the 2020 general election, both nationally and in individual states — even in Texas.
Democratic voters might rejoice at these signs that Trump will be a one-term president. But they should temper themselves: Hillary Clinton was regularly leading Trump by 10 points or more a year ahead of the 2016 election. Polls taken 14 months before an election are simply not predictive. Too much can happen and sentiments can change when the race becomes one specific Democrat running against one specific Republican.
Trump’s Dorian Brawl Leads to Dispute Within U.S. Weather Agency
As President Donald Trump dragged the brawl over his forecast for Hurricane Dorian into a sixth day, a U.S. agency released a statement bolstering his account -- prompting a scathing response from the leader of an agency union. Trump has repeatedly and defiantly continued to defend his assertion that Alabama was in Dorian’s path. On Wednesday, he showed White House reporters a map that he had personally altered -- by drawing a black line -- to bolster his argument. On Thursday, he tweeted photos of Aug. 29 and Aug. 30 forecasts that showed Alabama within the probability zone of tropical storm-force winds.
Analyst: This tells me Trump ' s dragging down GOP senators. There's no reason to believe Trump . An examination of publicly released internal Republican and conservative group polling reveals they're also showing Trump clearly underperforming his 2016 View 2020 presidential election polling .
The Guardian has been tracking the latest polling in eight states that could decide the election.
We also shouldn’t read too much, pollsters and political handicappers say, into the variations in how different Democrats fare against Trump in these polls. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders might enjoy the biggest margins simply because they have the highest name ID among the 2020 Democratic field. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they would wallop Trump whereas Kamala Harris or Pete Buttigieg would struggle. It might just mean fewer Americans have heard of them.
But we can still learn something from these surveys. Their message is pretty simple: Trump looks weak. The president is lagging in the low 40s in head-to-head polls, consistent with his stubbornly low approval ratings. A lot of Americans seem to be fully committed to or are actively considering voting for somebody else. That’s not where the incumbent, after three years in office, should be if they want a second term.
The Real Donald Trump Is a Character on TV
On Sept. 1, with a Category 5 hurricane off the Atlantic coast, an angry wind was issuing from the direction of President Trump’s Twitter account.
DONALD TRUMP and Joe Biden are now hurtling towards the finish line of the US election this year, with polls exposing a deep chasm between the two candidates ahead of November 3. Who is predicted to win the election, and which candidate is ahead in the polls ?
History signals that the public's final verdict on President Donald Trump ' s possible impeachment won' t be delivered until the 2020 election -- whatever happens next in the House and Senate, and however Americans react to it .
Gallery: Donald Trump's most outrageous quotes (Photo Services)
"Democrats want anarchy, they really do, and they don't know who they're playing with, folks."
During a rally in support of Republican senate nominee Matt Rosendale in Montana, U.S., on July 5, 2018.
On Maxine Waters
"I said it the other day, yes, she is a low-IQ individual, Maxine Waters. I said it the other day. High -- I mean, honestly, she's somewhere in the mid-60s, I believe that."
Questioning the intelligence of the politician during the the rally in Montana on July 5, 2018. In an October 2017 interview with CNN, Waters had remarked, "I don't think this President should be representing our country...he creates controversy, he cannot get along with our members of Congress, and I'm going to continue my efforts to impeach him."
On Elizabeth Warren
"We will take that little kit and say, but we have to do it gently. Because we're in the '#MeToo' generation so I have to be very gentle. And we will very gently take that kit and we will slowly toss it, hoping it doesn't hit her and injure her arm even though it only weighs probably two ounces. And we will say, I will give you a million dollars to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test so that it shows you're an Indian."
How Trump’s Plan to Secretly Meet With the Taliban Came Together, and Fell Apart
How Trump’s Plan to Secretly Meet With the Taliban Came Together, and Fell Apart
Joe Biden said Wednesday night that he believes if President Donald Trump loses the election and refuses to leave the White House, many of the former generals who used to work for him "will escort him from the White House with great dispatch.".
Whoever wins in 2020 will face a reckoning with a technology sector that has become in many ways more powerful than the government itself. And what can Washington do? Government agencies have been using Big Tech as a workaround to skirt the First and Fourth Amendments for years.
Mocking the #MeToo movement and talking of tossing an ancestry test to the Massachusetts Senator while answering questions about her claims of Native-American heritage, during the rally in Montana on July 5, 2018.
On Robert De Niro
“Robert De Niro, a very Low IQ individual, has received to(o) many shots to the head by real boxers in movies. I watched him last night and truly believe he may be “punch-drunk. I guess he doesn’t realize the economy is the best it’s ever been with employment being at an all time high, and many companies pouring back into our country. Wake up Punchy!”
In a tweet in response to De Niro’s use of the F-word and disapproval of the Trump administration at the Tony Awards held on June 11, 2018.
On trade practices around the world
"I congratulate the leaders of other countries for so crazily being able to make these trade deals that were so good for their country and so bad for the United States."
At a press conference during the Group of 7 summit in Québec, Canada, in June 2018.
‘You’re a prop in the back’: Advisers struggle to obey Trump’s Kafkaesque rules
The rupture with John Bolton is a case study in the president’s management style and his unusual demands and expectations of those who report directly to him.
“We have people coming in to the country, or trying to come in. You wouldn't believe how bad these people are, these aren't people, these are animals and we're taking them out of the country.”
During a charged discussion about law enforcement and the border wall on May 16, 2018.
On other countries
“You do have some countries that are in very bad shape and very tough places to live in.”
During Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's visit to the White House on April 30, 2018.
On Haiti and other African nations
“Why are we having all these people from s******e countries come here?”
In January 2018, Trump exploded during a discussion in the White House over an immigration deal meant to include protection for people from Haiti and some African nations.
On global warming
"In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!"
Trump tweeted this statement on Dec. 28, 2017, after the U.S. East Coast was hit by a cold wave.
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
The Trump administration intensified its focus on Iran Sunday as the likely culprit behind attacks on important Saudi Arabian oil facilities over the weekend, with officials citing intelligence assessments to support the accusation and President Trump warning that he was prepared to take military action.
On Hillary Clinton
"Crooked Hillary Clinton is the worst (and biggest) loser of all time. She just can’t stop, which is so good for the Republican Party. Hillary, get on with your life and give it another try in three years!"
On Nov. 18, 2017, he took to Twitter to hit out at Hillary Clinton.
On Kim Jong Un
"Why would Kim Jong Un insult me by calling me 'old,' when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat?' Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!"
On Nov. 11, 2017, Trump tweeted a reply to North Korea's insults that described him as a "destroyer."
On meeting Hurricane Harvey victims and survivors
"What a crowd, what a turnout."
While addressing the victims and survivors of Hurricane Harvey during his trip to Texas, to survey the damage on Aug. 29, 2017.
On transgender military ban
"After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow...Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming...victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you."
On July 26, 2017, Trump posted a series of tweets on the transgender military ban.
On James Comey
“Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication...and WOW, Comey is a leaker!”
Trump Says Iran Appears Responsible for Saudi Attack but That He Wants to Avoid War
President Trump said Monday that Iran appeared to be responsible for the weekend attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.
“I believe the James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible. Totally illegal? Very 'cowardly!'”
First on June 9, 2017, and then on June 11, Trump took aim at the former FBI Director after his Senate testimony on June 8. Comey revealed he believed he was fired because of the FBI’s Russia investigation. He also said he took extensive memos during his meetings with Trump because he was afraid Trump would lie about the meetings. Comey then asked a friend to give these memos to the press.
On the London Bridge attacks
“Do you notice we are not having a gun debate right now? That's because they used knives and a truck!”
After the attacks (pictured) where suspects mowed people with a van and then stabbed others, Trump tweeted on June 4, 2017, asking why the administration was not discussing gun control.
On being treated ‘unfairly’
“Look at the way I have been treated lately, especially by the media. No politician in history—and I say this with great surety—has been treated worse or more unfairly.”
During a commencement speech at the Coast Guard Academy on May 17, 2017. People were quick to point towards American presidents like Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, who were assassinated in office, or dissenters in dictatorial regimes who were imprisoned or sent to labor camps.
On the presidency being difficult
"I loved my previous life. I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier."
During an interview with Reuters on April 27, 2017, about his first 100 days in office.
On 'truth and falsehood'
"But I inherited a mess, I inherited a mess in so many ways. I inherited a mess in the Middle East, and a mess with North Korea, I inherited a mess with jobs, despite the statistics, you know, my statistics are even better, but they are not the real statistics because you have millions of people that can’t get a job, ok. And I inherited a mess on trade. I mean we have many, you can go up and down the ladder. But that’s the story. Hey look, in the mean time, I guess, I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not. You know. Say hello to everybody OK?"
Pompeo inadvertently admitted the Iran crisis is a 'direct result' of Trump’s actions
"There is a direct line you can draw from Trump's violation of the Iran deal and the risk of conflict today," one former US official told Insider.
During an interview with TIME Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer on March 22, 2017, for the magazine's cover story about how Trump has dealt with “truth and falsehoods in his career.”
On repealing Obamacare
“I never said I was going to repeal and replace in the first 64 days.”
Discussing the Affordable Care Act on a call with The Washington Post's Robert Costa, on March 24, 2017.
On Feb. 10, 2017, he tweeted: "We will immediately repeal and replace ObamaCare - and nobody can do that like me. We will save $'s and have much better healthcare!"
On alleged wiretapping by the Obama administration
"Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!"
"Is it legal for a sitting President to be "wire tapping" a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!"
"I'd bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!"
"How low has President Obama gone to tapp [sic] my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!"
In a series of four tweets, sent in the early hours of March 4, 2017, Trump accused Obama of wiretapping him in the run-up to the presidential election.
“You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?”
Trump’s comments at a rally in Florida on Feb. 18, 2017, raised eyebrows, since there no terrorist attacks in the Scandinavian country; there were such instances in Germany and France, two countries he named soon after.
The president later took to Twitter to clarify his words: “My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden."
On unfavorable news
"Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election. Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting."
A tweet sent on Feb. 6, 2017, after polls showed a lack of support for his anti-immigration moves.
On Iran's missile test
"Iran is playing with fire - they don't appreciate how 'kind' President Obama was to them. Not me!"
A tweet on Feb. 3, 2017, sent as part of a diplomatic standoff regarding Iran's ballistic missile test. Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted back, "Iran unmoved by threats as we derive security from our people. Will never initiate war, but we can only rely on our own means of defence."
On protests after his inauguration
"Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn't these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly."
Tweeted on Jan. 22, 2017, following a massive turnout for the Women's March on Washington that was held a day after his inauguration.
On 'dishonest media'
"As you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth. They sort of made it sound like I had a 'feud' with the intelligence community. Nonsense, it is exactly the opposite, and they understand that too."
Addressing the press at the CIA headquarters in McLean, Virginia, U.S., on Jan. 21, 2017.
“I’m not going to give you a question. I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news!”
In a Jan. 11, 2017, press conference, the then president-elect refused to take questions from CNN's Jim Acosta (pictured, R), labeling his channel "fake news."
On inauguration excitement
“There will be plenty of movie and entertainment stars. All the dress shops are sold out in Washington. It’s hard to find a great dress for this inauguration.”
Trump spoke to The New York Times on Jan. 9, 2017, about the excitement his approaching inauguration was generating among the American people.
On Meryl Streep's Golden Globe speech
"Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn't know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th time, I never 'mocked' a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him "groveling" when he totally changed a 16 year old story that he had written in order to make me look bad. Just more very dishonest media!"
A tweet sent on Jan. 9, 2017, in response to Streep’s Golden Globe Awards speech. The award-winning actress spoke out against the 2015 mocking of a disabled reporter without naming anyone.
On friends and enemies
“Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!”
The then president-elect's 2016 New Year's Eve tweet.
On Clinton's possible 'jail' sentence
“If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation. Because there has never been so many lies.”
A reference to the email controversy surrounding Clinton, made during the second presidential debate on Oct. 9, 2016. When Clinton responded it was good Trump wasn't in charge of the law, he retorted, “Because you’d be in jail.”
On Clinton's tax plans during a presidential debate
“Such a nasty woman.”
During he final presidential debate, held on Oct. 19, 2016, Trump interrupted Clinton with this comment while she was speaking about Trump avoiding tax payments.
On 'locker room' talk
“This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course – not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”
An Oct. 7, 2016 statement, in response to a 2005 video released by The Washington Post, in which the U.S. president was seen making objectionable comments about women during a conversation with talk show host Billy Bush.
(Pictured) In this 2005 video capture, Trump prepares for an appearance on the TV show "Days of Our Lives" with actress Arianne Zucker and "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush.
On rigged elections
“The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary — but also at many polling places — SAD.”
A tweet sent on Oct. 16, 2016.
“Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day. Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!”
A tweet on Oct. 17, accusing the Republicans of ignoring the “fraud.”
On Trump Tower during 9/11 attacks
"40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually, before the World Trade Center, was the tallest—and then, when they built the World Trade Center, it became known as the second-tallest. And now it’s the tallest.”
Trump’s response to a question about potential damage to 40, Wall Street, his building, which is located a few blocks from the World Trade Towers site that was attacked in September 2001. He was being interviewed by a radio station on the afternoon of the day of the attack.
On rebutting sexual assault claims
“I didn't even apologize to my wife who is sitting right here because I didn't do anything. I didn't know any of these women. I didn't see these women ... It was all lies and it was fiction.”
His response at the Oct. 19, 2016, debate where he said the sexual assault allegation against him brought on by nine women had been started by the Clinton campaign and were false. He called the women fame-seekers. However, in a Fox News interview, Melania Trump revealed that her husband was indeed sorry and they had agreed to move on.
On Hillary Clinton and ISIS
“See, you’re telling the enemy everything you want to do. No wonder you’ve been fighting – no wonder you’ve been fighting ISIS your entire adult life.”
Trump commented that Clinton told ISIS about her plans to fight them by mentioning it on her campaign website during the first presidential debate on Sept. 26, 2016.
On DNC hack
“I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. She’s (Clinton) saying Russia, Russia, Russia, but I don’t — maybe it was ... it could be Russia, but it could also be China … It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?”
The U.S. government and other Democrats had been accusing Russia of stealing more than 19,000 emails from the Democratic Party’s computers. Trump responded to a question about the hack and cyber security at the Sept. 26, 2016, debate.
On Putin's leadership
"If he says great things about me, I'm gonna say great things about him. I've already said he is really very much of a leader. I mean, the man has very strong control over a country. And that's a very different system and I don't happen to like the system. But certainly in that system he's been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader."
In the campaign season’s first showdown in NBC's "Commander in Chief Forum" on Sept. 7, 2016, Trump was asked how he felt on being complimented by Russian President and former KGB officer Vladimir Putin (pictured).
On his popularity
"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters."
Commenting on his enthusiastic supporters, Trump said the above in Sioux Center, Iowa, U.S., on Jan. 24, 2016.
On banning Muslims
"Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."
The above statement was released on his campaign site on Dec. 7, 2015. It was later removed.
On Ronda Rousey's defeat
"Glad to see that @RondaRousey lost her championship fight last night. Was soundly beaten - not a nice person!"
Taking on MMA fighter Ronda Rousey (pictured) after her historic defeat to Holly Holm, Trump tweeted the above on Nov. 15, 2015. This might have been something to do with Rousey's suggestion that she'd vote for Democrat hopeful Bernie Sanders.
On shutting down mosques
"Well I would hate to do it but it's something you're going to have to strongly consider...some of the absolute hatred is coming from these areas...the hatred is incredible. It's embedded. The hatred is beyond belief. The hatred is greater than anybody understands."
Reacting to the terrorist attacks in Paris by the Islamic State on Nov. 13, 2015, Trump suggested during an interview that he would consider shutting down mosques in the U.S.
On 'defending' the burqa
"You don't have to put on makeup. Look at how beautiful everyone looks. Wouldn't it be easier?" He waved his hand over his face as though it were a burqa and stated, "I’m ready darling, let’s go."
This was Trump trying to defend a burqa during a campaign event in Atkinson, New Hampshire, U.S., on Oct. 28, 2015.
On refugee crisis
“They could be ISIS. They are all men and they are all strong...If I win, they’re going back.”
On Sept. 30, 2015, during his speech at a campaign rally in Keene, New Hampshire, he said that he would send home all Syrian refugees seeking asylum in the U.S.
On Carly Fiorina's face
"Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president? I mean, she's a woman, and I'm not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?"
Trump said to a reporter of the Rolling Stone magazine in September 2015 as fellow Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina appeared on TV during an interview.
On war heroes
"He's not a war hero. He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured, okay? I hate to tell you."
Trump commented this on U.S. Senator John McCain on July 18, 2015, at the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa.
On the infamous 'wall'
"I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me — and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."
In his Presidential Campaign Announcement Speech on June 16, 2016, Trump proposed to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
On beating China
"Our country is in serious trouble. We don't have victories anymore. We used to have victories, but we don't have them. When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let's say China in a trade deal? I beat China all the time. All the time."
He made the emphatic statement during his June 16 speech.
On not topping TIME magazine list
"I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite. They picked person who is ruining Germany."
Trump tweeted the above in reaction to German Chancellor Angela Merkel being named as TIME magazine's Person of the Year 2015. Trump finished third on the list.
"Stop the EBOLA patients from entering the U.S. Treat them, at the highest level, over there. THE UNITED STATES HAS ENOUGH PROBLEMS!"
In August 2014, a pair of U.S. health workers, physician Kent Brantly and nurse Nancy Writebol, got infected by the Ebola virus while helping at the affected areas in West Africa. They were brought back to U.S. for the treatment, when Trump reached out to twitteratti against it with the above post.
On vaccination vs. Autism debate
"Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn't feel good and changes - AUTISM. Many such cases!"
He tweeted the above on March 28, 2014. On Sept. 3 he tweeted on the issue again, saying, "I am being proven right about massive vaccinations--the doctors lied. Save our children & their future. No more massive injections. Tiny children are not horses--one vaccine at a time, over time."
On being a genius
"Sorry losers and haters, but my IQ is one of the highest—and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault."
On May 8, 2013, Trump tweeted this to his followers.
On climate change
"The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."
This was his take on global warming, as he tweeted on Nov. 7, 2012. He continued in another tweet, "It’s freezing and snowing in New York—we need global warming!"
On Obama playing basketball
"Why is Obama playing basketball today? That is why our country is in trouble!"
On the day of the 2012 U.S. Presidential elections, Trump flooded Twitter with a trail of posts, including the above.
On Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart's break-up
"Robert Pattinson should not take back Kristen Stewart. She cheated on him like a dog & will do it again--just watch. He can do much better!"
When "Twilight" stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart separated, Trump flooded Twitter with seven back-to-back tweets on Oct. 18, 2017. One of his tweets read the above.
On the 'birther' conspiracy
"An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud."
In August 2012, he published a tweet questioning the then-President Barack Obama's birth certificate. For a very long time he was one of the leading proponent of the 'birther movement' that promoted the false notion that Obama was born outside of the U.S.
On Obama's birth certificate
"He may have one but there's something on that, maybe religion, maybe it says he is a Muslim. I don't know. Maybe he doesn't want that. Or he may not have one. I will tell you this: if he wasn't born in this country, it's one of the great scams of all time."
Continuing with his stance on the 'birther' issue, he said the above during an interview on March 30, 2011.
On being rich
"Part of the beauty of me is that I am very rich."
During an interview with ABC’s "Good Morning America" on March 17, 2011, Trump said he may run as an independent in the general election if he fails to win the nomination and that he was prepared to toss in $600 million of his own cash to fund a campaign.
On his sexual dynamic with women
"All the women on 'The Apprentice' flirted with me -- consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected. A sexual dynamic is always present between people, unless you are asexual."
He wrote the above in his 2004-book, "Trump: How to Get Rich."
The latest hypothetical 2020 general election polling you should know about
Even in Texas, long an electoral pipe dream for Democrats that is suddenly being taken more seriously as a possible target for the challengers, a new survey found Trump polling behind not only Joe Biden (who typically fares the best against Trump in hypothetical head-to-heads) but Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris too.
These were the latest numbers in Texas from Latino Decisions, North Star Opinion Research, and the University of Houston:
© Catalyst Images President Donald Trump speaks during a ceremony honoring the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, at the Pentagon. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
- Joe Biden 47 percent, Donald Trump 43 percent
- Bernie Sanders 48 percent, Donald Trump 42 percent
- Elizabeth Warren 44 percent, Donald Trump 42 percent
- Kamala Harris 45 percent, Donald Trump 44 percent
- Cory Booker 43 percent, Donald Trump 41 percent
- Julián Castro 44 percent, Donald Trump 41 percent
The real story is in the second half of the column, with Donald Trump stuck between 41 and 44 percent in Texas. Head-to-head polling from the Washington Post and ABC News, fresh off the presses, tells a similar story at the national level among registered voters:
- Joe Biden 55 percent, Donald Trump 40 percent
- Bernie Sanders 52 percent, Donald Trump 43 percent
- Elizabeth Warren 51 percent, Donald Trump 44 percent
- Kamala Harris 50 percent, Donald Trump 43 percent
- Pete Buttigieg 47 percent, Donald Trump 43 percent
Once again, the president doesn’t breach even 45 percent against any of his potential Democratic opponents.
It would be tempting to look at this poll and try to parse some meaning from the marginal differences between the Democratic candidates. Are Biden and Sanders the most electable or just the best known? Does Harris have the shakiest case for her one-on-one viability against Trump?
Gallery: The candidates for the 2020 presidential campaign (USA Today)
What these polls actually tell us: Trump is in a weak position
The Democratic primary has been fixated on the idea of electability, but several different pollsters and handicappers — Democratic and unaffiliated — told me not to over-read the differences between how the various candidates fare against Trump in these polls.
“The results tell us a lot more about Trump’s vulnerability than it shows the strength of the different Democratic candidates relative to each other,” one pollster working with a 2020 campaign said.
Trump has time to turn it around, but he doesn’t appear in nearly as good a position for reelection as the last two presidents who won second terms.
There are other warning bells if you look a little deeper than the head-to-head numbers. © Catalyst Images President Donald Trump speaks at the 2019 National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week Conference in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
“Trump sometimes runs a little bit behind his approval rating in some of these polls, which is an ominous sign for a president who was so reliant on voters who disliked both him and Clinton backing him,” Kyle Kondik, managing editor at Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, told me.
Presidential approval ratings have always been strongly linked to voting behavior. Here is the RealClearPolitics average of the president’s approval rating, from the start of his presidency to now: © Real Clear Politics
Trump has been consistently unpopular throughout his first two years. So far, at his best, he was 7 points more unpopular than popular. A recent uptick has swiftly eroded. And as Vox’s Ezra Klein wrote last summer, this has been in defiance of a relatively solid economy:
“Trump’s poll numbers are probably 20 points below where a president would typically be with consumer sentiment as high as it is now,” says John Sides, a political scientist at George Washington University who has done work benchmarking presidential approval to economic indicators.
So here, then, is what we can say: Judged on the economy, which is the traditional driver of presidential approval, Donald Trump’s poll numbers should be much, much higher than they are now. Far from finding a winning strategy, he seems to have found a losing one despite holding a winning hand.
And this is the key for Trump and why his standing with voters seems so perilous. Trump beat Clinton among voters who dislike both candidates by a striking margin: 50 percent of those voters backed Trump versus 39 percent going for Clinton, according to CNN. But he can’t depend on the same luck this time around, when the election is more likely to serve as a referendum on his first term.
If Trump isn’t winning people over then his path to victory becomes incredibly narrow. His low approval rating paired with this poor showing in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups suggest he isn’t.
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Pompeo inadvertently admitted the Iran crisis is a 'direct result' of Trump’s actions.
"There is a direct line you can draw from Trump's violation of the Iran deal and the risk of conflict today," one former US official told Insider.