Last week, we saw Trump score his worst ratings yet in an ABC News/Ipsos poll. This week he’s hit bottom in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal and Quinnipiac University polls.
But perhaps what is most surprising, there are real signs that Trump’s base is leaving him on the issue of the coronavirus.
Trump’s coronavirus approval rating with Republicans is dropping below 80% in the average poll. You see that well in the ABC News/Ipsos poll (78%) and the Quinnipiac poll (79%). Trump’s overall approval rating, as measured by Gallup, regularly has hit 90% since the beginning of 2018 and has never been lower than 85%.
Trump’s numbers look even worse when you examine where he is with groups that make up that base: whites without a college degree and rural voters.
Whites without a college degree and rural voters went for Trump by around a 30-point margin (depending on the survey) as a group in 2016.
Among whites without a college degree, Trump’s approval rating on coronavirus is an average of the ABC News/Ipsos and Quinnipiac polls is just 50%. That matches his disapproval rating. In other words, Trump’s doing no better than even among what is supposed to be a bedrock group.
The numbers are no better for him among rural voters. In an average of the ABC News/Ipsos and Quinnipiac polls, his approval rating is at 48% among rural voters. His disapproval stands at 50%. Again, you want to be running up the score with base groups that voted for you by around 30 points in 2016. Trump’s just running even here.
Now, there was no reason it had to be this way for Trump. Back in early April, Trump was getting strong ratings from all of these groups in his base.
He was averaging a 90% approval rating in the ABC News/Ipsos and Quinnipiac University polls when it came to his coronavirus performance.
He was well into the 60s with both whites without a college degree and rural voters in both polls.
What we’ve seen is that his base is clearly running away with him because they judge his performance over the last few months to be negative.
The big question with an election in the fall is whether these voters are merely saying they disapprove of Trump on the coronavirus but are still going to vote for him.
There are certainly some members of his base who are never going to vote for former Vice President Joe Biden, even though they dislike Trump’s handling of coronavirus.
Still, there are signs that Trump’s coronavirus performance is hurting him even against Biden.
Trump has just a 75-point lead among Republicans against Biden in the Quinnipiac poll. He wants that to be at least 80 to 85 points, as it was in 2016. Biden has an 86-point lead among Democrats in the same poll. This mirrors other national polling showing that Biden is doing better among Democrats than Trump is doing among Republicans.
Trump’s ahead by a mere 13 points among whites without a college degree against Biden in the Quinnipiac poll. An aggregate of other polling doesn’t show quite that same decline, although it has Trump doing about 10 points worse with them.
Likewise, Trump’s up 21 points with rural voters in the Quinnipiac poll. That looks a lot like an average of the polling.
Overall, these may seem like large margins, but they’re not anywhere near as well as Trump did in 2016.
It’s pretty clear Trump’s having issues with his base. It’s another illustration of the fact that Trump likely can’t win if voters don’t trust him on the coronavirus.