President Donald Trump over the weekend has been ramping up attacks on former President Barack Obama, despite the fact that Obama will not be on the ballot in 2020.
FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver, however, thinks that Trump is making a historic blunder if he really tries to turn the 2020 election into a popularity contest between Obama and himself.
"Turning the election into a referendum on Obama vs. Trump would seem to be one of the dumbest possible moves for Trump given Obama's popularity, which was pretty good when he left office and has improved since," Silver writes on Twitter, and then links to a 2018 analysis written by Perry Bacon, Jr. showing that Obama's favorability numbers positively dwarf Trump's.
"Obama’s 19-point advantage over Trump is huge," Bacon wrote at the time. "Obama is not some hypothetical figure: He ran for president twice, and 46 percent (2008) and then 47 percent (2012) of the country voted for the other candidate."
According to polling averages at Real Clear Politics, 59 percent of Americans view Obama favorably, while just 36 percent have an unfavorable view of him.
Trump, in contrast, currently has a favorable rating of 42 percent, with an unfavorable rating of 52 percent.