Donald Trump begins his presidency facing unprecedented polling headwinds: Roughly a quarter of voters think Donald Trump is the worst president in the last century. Forty-three percent of voters are ready to vote for a nameless Democrat in 2020, while just over a third say they’ll vote for Trump.
But, in the fourth week of Trump’s presidency, a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows that Democrats could be in trouble — and Trump could triumph — if they continues their lurch to the left.
Despite the public’s increasing misgivings about Trump’s behavior and tactics in the White House, he still beats Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in a hypothetical matchup, 42 percent to 36 percent — a fairly impressive margin for an less-than-popular president against the prominent senator.
The poll results — from a survey conducted Feb. 9 and Feb. 10, just days after Warren was silenced by the GOP-controlled Senate for her criticism of now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions — plainly show peril for both parties. Trump, for his part, has used the epithet “Pocahontas” to mock Warren, in a reference to her claims of Native American ancestry in her academic career.
“Most presidents experience a honeymoon period in their first few months. It looks like Trump’s is ending,” said Morning Consult Co-Founder and Chief Research Officer Kyle Dropp. “The slate of bad news for the administration is catching up to him, although its important to note that his approval rating remains sky-high among people who voted for him in November.”
The numbers come at the most difficult time in Trump’s young presidency. In the last few days, Trump forced Michael Flynn, his national security adviser, to resign after news reports revealed that he discussed lifting sanctions on Russia with the country’s ambassador — and subsequently misled Vice President Mike Pence. The FBI questioned Flynn in the White House days after Trump took the White House, and in the hours before his resignation, Trump staffers like Kellyanne Conway said Flynn had the full trust of the president.
Outside the palace intrigue, voters are tiring of some of Trump’s tirades. Sixty-one percent of voters say he should avoid criticizing specific companies, while 27 percent say such behavior is acceptable. But, by and large, Trump’s broadsides do not impact peoples’ views of specific companies.
Fifty-five percent of those surveyed say its inappropriate for the president to criticize a judge’s ruling, and 54 percent say its inappropriate to issue an executive order without the support of Congress.
Asked for whom they would vote if the 2020 election were held today, 43 percent say they would likely vote for the Democrat, while only 35 percent say they would support a second Trump term. Twenty-three percent are undecided.
Eighty-seven percent of voters who say they supported Hillary Clinton in last fall’s election would vote for the Democrat, while only 71 percent of Trump voters say they are likely to support him again. Independents break away from the president by 10 percentage points.
Trump is, however, maintaining relatively higher approval numbers in the POLITICO/Morning Consult poll than in other public surveys. Forty-nine percent of voters approve of the job he’s doing as president in the new poll, and 45 percent disapprove.
One man that doesn’t enjoy high approval ratings: Trump’s top adviser Steve Bannon. Twenty-one percent find him favorable, 33 percent find him unfavorable, and 47 percent have either never heard of him, have no opinion of him or never heard of him.
Many voters are skeptical of Trump’s place in history, despite the short time the Republican has spent in office. Twenty-six percent of those surveyed said Trump is the worst president since World War II. That’s roughly equal to the 25 percent who peg Barack Obama is the worst.
The poll of 1,791 registered voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.