Though he’s an incumbent president and the U.S. economy appears to be strong, Donald Trump starts his 2020 campaign for a second term in office as the least popular American head of state since Gerald Ford in 1976.
Ford, you may recall, lost the 1976 election to Jimmy Carter.
Nathaniel Rakich, elections analyst for FiveThirtyEight, notes that Trump’s approval rating stands at 42.6 percent, with 53 percent saying they disapprove of the job he’s doing as president:
“On Jan. 1, 42.6 percent of Americans approved of President Trump’s job performance, according to FiveThirtyEight’s presidential approval tracker (52.9 percent disapproved). That’s a pretty typical number for Trump (although it’s worth noting that, since Jan. 1, the U.S. and Iran have taken actions that could shake Trump’s approval rating loose from that anchor), but ominously for the president, that’s the second-lowest FiveThirtyEight average approval rating of any recent president on the first day of their reelection year.”
There is, however, a glimmer of hope for Trump in the 2020 election:
“Past presidents’ approval ratings have tended to shift over the course of the year — and sometimes by Election Day bear very little resemblance to their Jan. 1 approval.”
But of course Trump’s numbers could actually go lower if the economy starts to turn downward, a war with Iran begins, or other damaging information comes out during the Senate impeachment trial. There’s no way to predict what may happen before ballots are cast in November, and another uncertainty is who will win the Democratic nomination and become Trump’s opponent in the general election.
At the moment, however, the numbers don’t look good for the incumbent president, Rakic concludes:
“Since Dwight D. Eisenhower, presidents with a FiveThirtyEight average approval rating2 of 48.4 percent or higher on Election Day all won their reelection campaigns, and presidents with a FiveThirtyEight average approval rating of 43.6 percent or lower all lost. If, in 10 months, Trump’s approval rating is still in the same range it has occupied for the past two years (roughly, between 39 percent and 43 percent), he would obviously fit into the latter group. And that would not bode well for his chances of being reelected; he’d have to hope for a Harry S. Truman-caliber upset.”
Voters decide elections. Which proves just how crucial it is that those who are sick and tired of Trump show up on November 3, 2020 and vote blue no matter who the Democratic nominee is.
Featured Image Via NBC News