A lot of people will spend a lot of time in the next 15 months trying to figure out who will win the presidential election in November 2020.
So here’s my contribution: I have no idea, though I know ruling out President Donald Trump’s re-election is sheer folly.
That said, the president has some work to do if he wants four more years.
I generally don’t think polling this far out from an election means much, but it’s pretty clear, especially in this economy, that the president should show better.
The RealClearPolitics polling aggregator shows 870 polls measuring presidential job approval among voters since Trump took office in January 2017. In only 13 polls, or 1.5%, has Trump’s job approval rating stood at at least 50 percent.
He peaked at 57% during Jan. 22-24, 2017, days after he took the oath of office. Six of the 13 happened before the end of the following month.
That means only seven of at least 50% since.
Obama had dozens of polls at 50% or better by this time in 2011.
The other thing about the 13 polls: Rasmussen Reports did them all.
In other words, no other pollster has shown Trump at 50% or better.
Only 13 other polls showed Trump as high as 49%, and Rasmussen did 10 of them, too. USA Today/Suffolk University, Reuters/Ipsos and the Economist/YouGov did the others.
Rasmussen has a longstanding reputation as a Republican-leaning pollster and the president is a Republican.
However, Rasmussen’s numbers for Trump are pretty close to where President Barack Obama stood in the August before his re-election year. Beyond that, seven polls through Aug. 6, 2011, showed Obama at 42% to 45%.
Obama, a Democrat, defeated Republican Mitt Romney rather easily.
The five polls through Aug. 5, 2017, showed Trump at 41% to 47%. Rasmussen had the 47% poll with everyone else at 45% or below.
It’s Aug. 12, 2011, poll had Obama at 43%, Trump at 47%, but the economy was in far poorer shape as Obama approached re-election.
These are national polls, of course. They serve as a guide. Remember, national polls accurately showed Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote, but national polls don’t account for the electoral college, which Trump won.
In June, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale predicted his boss would win re-election with more electoral votes than against Democrat Hillary Clinton.