CNN polling expert Harry Enten has done a rundown of some recent data, and has found an “ominous pattern” that should make President Donald Trump nervous about his 2020 reelection chances.
The trouble for Trump, Enten writes, is that he benefited greatly in 2016 from voters who didn’t like either him or Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. This meant that he had a lot of people who voted for him despite disliking him, as well as people who might have voted for Clinton but who stayed home because they didn’t like her.
In 2018, however, voting patterns showed that people who disapproved of Trump’s presidency did not hold their noses and vote for Republicans — rather, they backed Democrats almost all the way across the board.
“To win in 2020, Trump can’t have the election be a referendum on him if his approval rating is this low. He needs to win a substantial share of those who disapprove of him,” he argues. “So far, that’s not happening.”
According to FiveThirtyEight’s average of all polls, Trump’s current approval rating stands at 42 percent, while his disapproval rating is 53 percent. If 95 percent of the people who disapprove of Trump vote for a Democrat, as they did during the 2018 midterms, then Enten forecasts that the president would easily lose.
“That spells potential disaster for Trump,” Enten said.