News and Commentary

Trump-Biden Poll Turns Heads

A new poll on head-to-head 2020 presidential matchups by Quinnipiac University is generating a lot of buzz, particularly among those hoping to see Donald Trump go down in defeat next year at the hands of the Democratic nominee. Quinnipiac’s “first look” at the various matchups plays like a Trump critics’ fantasy: The current Democratic frontrunner trounces Trump.

Quinnipiac’s national poll of 1,214 votes (503 of which are Democrats and “Democratic leaners”) found Trump trailing former Vice President Joe Biden by 13 points: 53 – 40. The survey also found the president 9 points behind the second leading Democratic candidate, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (51 – 42), 8 points behind California Sen. Kamala Harris (49 – 41), 7 points behind Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (49 – 42), and 5 points behind both South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker (47 – 42).

Quinnipiac provides the breakdown of the Trump-Biden results:

In the Trump-Biden matchup, women back Biden 60 – 34 percent, as men are divided with 47 percent for Biden and 46 percent for Trump. White voters are divided with 47 percent for Trump and 46 percent for Biden. The Democrat leads 85 – 12 percent among black voters and 58 – 33 percent among Hispanic voters. Republicans go to Trump 91 – 6 percent. Biden leads 95 – 3 percent among Democrats and 58 – 28 percent among independent voters.

“It’s a long 17 months to Election Day, but Joe Biden is ahead by landslide proportions,” said the poll’s assistant director Tim Malloy.

As Trump’s victory in 2016 underscores, pollsters sometimes get it wrong, particularly this far out.

Malloy also notes that while Trump is trailing the Democratic frontrunners, his job approval numbers are looking up. “That said, the Trump bump to 42 percent job approval is nothing to sniff at,” he said. “It’s one point shy of the best Quinnipiac University survey number ever for President Trump.”

The poll found Trump with a 42% approval and 53% disapproval. (Rasmussen’s daily presidential tracking poll, which generally gives him higher numbers than most of the other national polls, shows Trump at 51% approval and 47% disapproval among likely U.S. voters.)

Trump’s improved approval numbers in Quinnipiac’s poll may be connected to the strong majority (70%) of people who say the economy is “excellent” or “good,” 41% of whom give Trump the credit; 77% say their personal financial situation is likewise “excellent” or “good,” which Quinnipiac notes is “close to the all-time high of 78 percent recorded April 11, 2018.”

Since he entered the race, Biden has been consistently leading most of the major polls among Democrats. Quinnipiac found that 30% of Democrat voters choose him as their favored candidate. In second is Sanders (19%), followed by Warren (15%), Buttigieg (8%), Harris (7%), and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (3%). The rest of the candidates managed 1% or less.

As The Daily Wire reported, Trump and Biden have been trading barbs in Iowa this week. “[He’s] a loser, Joe never got more than 1%, except Obama took him off the trash heap and now it looks like he’s failing, it looks like his friends from the Left are going to overtake him pretty soon,” Trump told reporters. “His whole campaign is to hit Trump … when a man has to mention my name 76 times in his speech, that means he’s in trouble.”

As he’s done repeatedly, Trump declared that he’d prefer to run against Biden than any of the other candidates. “I’d rather run against Biden than anybody, he’s the weakest mentally,” Trump said.

Biden, meanwhile, has branded Trump an “existential threat” to the country. “I believe Trump is an existential threat to America,” Biden said this week. “Everywhere you turn, Trump is tearing down the guardrails of democracy.”

Related: Limbaugh: Here’s Why Trump Should Start Going To California