The one consolation Hillary Clinton continues to cling to after her stunning upset at the hands of Donald Trump in November is the fact that she won the popular vote, by about 2 percent (48 - 46), which though ultimately meaningless in the electoral college system, Democrats have attempted to hold up as "proof" that Trump is "not their president." But buried within a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll is the delicious little nugget that if a rematch were to be held today, Clinton would apparently be stripped of even that moral victory.
The new WashPost/ABC News poll found that while 46 percent of those surveyed said they voted for Clinton and 43 percent said they voted for Trump, asked how they would vote if given a second chance, respondents ended up giving Trump the popular vote win in the hypothetical rematch, 43 - 40.
Thus, the survey found that Clinton lost 6 percent of her support, while Trump maintained nearly all of his, and Trump's rematch popular vote victory would surpass Clinton's real world 2-point edge. The Post provides a closer look at the numbers:
While just 4 percent of Trump's supporters say they would back someone else if there was a redo of the election, fully 15 percent of Clinton supporters say they would ditch her. Trump leads in a re-do of the 2016 election 43 percent to 40 percent after losing the popular vote 46-44.
That 15 percent is split between those who say they would vote for Trump (2 percent), Gary Johnson (4 percent), Jill Stein (2 percent), and either other candidates or not vote (7 percent).
Trump, who is infamously imprecise on Twitter, touted the poll on Sunday as proof that he would "still beat Hillary in popular vote."
"New polls out today are very good considering that much of the media is FAKE and almost always negative. Would still beat Hillary in popular vote. ABC News/Washington Post Poll (wrong big on election) said almost all stand by their vote on me & 53% said strong leader," he wrote.
As Trump correctly pointed out, 53% of the survey's respondents described him as a "strong leader" and he continues to maintain nearly unwavering support among his base. The Post notes that only 2 percent of his supporters say he had disappointed them, while a majority say he had performed better than they expected:
Just 2 percent of those who voted for Trump say he has been a worse president than they expected. Only 1 percent say he has been “much worse,” and 1 percent say he has been “somewhat worse.” In contrast, 62 percent say he has been better than expected, with one-third (33 percent) saying he has been “much better.”
However, not all of the poll's results were good for the new president. The Lange Research group underscores that Trump's tepid 42 percent approval is "the lowest approval rating at this point of any president in polls since 1945." The poll found that 53 percent disapprove of Trump's handling of the job thus far, which is consistent with some other recent national polls (in fact, Real Clear Politics' national average is currently exactly 42 - 53).
Graphic below via Washington Post showing Trump underwater and underperforming compared to his predecessors:
This article has been expanded to provide more details from the survey.