We first added “President” to The Big Line ahead of the 2016 election. We don’t try to predict the outcome of the nationwide race for President — only the outcome in this state — but we might be on to something with our current odds to win Colorado:
As Harry Enten explains for CNN, early polling numbers aren’t looking good for President Trump:
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll out this weekend found that Trump trailed a generic Democratic candidate by 7 points in a hypothetical 2020 matchup. The important statistic here isn’t so much that Trump was losing (it’s still early 2019, after all). It’s why Trump was losing. Trump trailed because among the same voters gave Trump a -6 point net approval rating (approval rating – disapproval rating).
This was not the first NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll to show Trump losing to a generic Democrat. Back in December, Trump trailed a generic Democrat by 14 points. His net approval rating in that poll was -11 points. (The average poll shows Trump is about this popular currently.) Again, the key statistic here is Trump’s margin is directly related to his own popularity.
In limited polling, the well known Democratic candidates seem to doing as well against Trump by what you’d expect given his popularity. In a January Glengariff Group poll of Michigan voters, Trump trailed Joe Biden by 13 points and Bernie Sanders by 11 points. The same poll put Trump’s net approval rating among Michiganders at -9 points. A poll from Quinnipiac University of Texas voters out last week showed something similar: Trump’s position against the most well-known Democrats in Texas (Biden, Beto O’Rourke and Bernie Sanders) matched his approval rating…
…The 2020 polling looks a lot more like what occurred in 2018 than 2016. Last year, Democrats won the national House vote by 9 percentage points. Not surprisingly, Trump’s net approval in the exit poll was -9 points. That is, if you liked Trump, you voted Republican. If you didn’t like Trump, you voted Democratic.
If the 2020 election ends up being a referendum on Donald Trump — which seems fairly likely — things don’t look positive for his re-election hopes at the moment.