As we know all too well from 2016, national polling is not always the best indicator of who will actually be sworn into the presidency in January 2021. After all, polls are meaningless if people don’t vote. This time, however, the energy seen in early voting across the country signals that people are taking their voices to the poll, and that’s bad news for President Donald Trump and his Republican allies.
With just three weeks left in the 2020 election cycle, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has maintained a consistent national lead over Trump ever since the general election match up was locked in back in April.
The next few days will be filled with constant predictions from political pundits, campaigns staff, and commentators. But voters have already provided the best data predictor of who will serve as the nation’s next Commander-in-Chief: the president’s job approval rating.
Trump’s job approval rating remains markedly and stubbornly underwater. Indeed, if the president is unsuccessful on Nov. 3, he will be the first president in modern history never to crack a majority positive job approval rating during the entire course of his four-year presidency.
In the wake of the president’s COVID-19 diagnoses and first debate performance against Vice President Biden, Gallup has his job approval at 46 percent. The most recent CNN poll has it at just 40 percent. In the CNN poll, 57 percent of respondents disapproved of Trump’s overall job performance, which is the highest disapproval rating for Trump over the last two years of tracking. When it comes to COVID-19, just 37 percent of Americans approve of the president’s handling of the pandemic — and that is extremely problematic for the president.
Voters are already casting their ballots in record numbers, with more than 6 million votes have already been cast in the 27 states that allow for early voting. “Demographic modeling by one prominent Democratic firm, TargetSmart, estimates that almost 3 million of all votes cast have come from Democratic voters, compared to about 2.1 million from Republicans.”
These numbers spell real danger for Trump with just three weeks left in the 2020 election cycle. If history is our guide, Trump’s job approval rating and his standing with the American voter will make him a one-term president. So it’s understandable why he sounds so desperate in interviews, at his rallies, and on Twitter.