would start his reelection bid with just 33 percent of voters planning to “definitely” or “likely” vote for him, according to a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill.
The poll asked 1,473 voters whether they would either “definitely vote for Trump,” “probably vote for Trump,” “probably vote for the Democratic candidate,” “definitely vote for the Democratic candidate” or “vote for an independent or other candidate” should the president seek reelection in 2020.
Twenty-two percent said they will “definitely” vote for Trump, while 11 percent said they will “probably” vote for the president.
Thirty-three percent said they would “definitely” vote for the Democrat in that race, while 11 percent of respondents said they would “probably” vote for Trump’s eventual Democratic opponent.
Another 11 percent said they plan to vote for another candidate in 2020, while 13 percent remain unsure, according to the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll.
Trump is widely expected to seek another term in the White House. He filed for reelection on Jan. 20, 2017, the same day he was sworn into office.
The latest Harvard CAPS/Harris survey put his approval rating at 44 percent, a higher number than some other polls that show Trump with more anemic ratings.
Republicans lost the House majority in the 2018 midterms in a rebuke to the president, though the GOP gained two seats in the Senate.
While the figures suggest Trump is beatable in 2020, Democrats will have their own challenges.
The party is expected to see a crowded presidential primary field in 2020 and no would-be contender has emerged as a clear front-runner.
Trump, for his part, is hoping to win a comeback victory in 2020 similar to those won by former Presidents Clinton and Obama, who both won reelection after losing the House majority in their first midterm.
“Trump, like Bill Clinton
and Barack Obama
before him, is struggling after their first midterms, and it took a while for them land on their feet,” said Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll. “Trump is stuck in the mid-40s, and against a top-tier Democrat he would lose unless he is able to expand his base from its present size.”
“On the other hand, Clinton and Obama looked beatable at this point and yet they ran smart campaigns to come back from the dead,” he added. “With low reelect numbers, Trump would be headed for a difficult and likely losing campaign if he does not change some of it.”
The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll online survey of 1,473 registered voters was conducted from Dec. 24-26.
The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll. The Hill will be working with Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll throughout 2018.
Full poll results will be posted online later this week. The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.
Poll finds 33 percent would definitely or likely back Trump for reelection