The Democrats are getting extremely anxious about their chances of beating Donald Trump in November — and voters seem to be feeling it.
Fully two-thirds of Americans think that Trump will win the 2020 presidential election, according to a new Monmouth University poll.
The Democratic Party has taken hit after hit since a meltdown at the Iowa caucuses shook the party’s confidence last week, as described by Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth Univeristy Polling Institute:
While most voters want to see Trump turned out of office, his steady ratings through the entire impeachment process and memories of how 2016 turned out suggest that few are willing to bet against him. And the Democratic nomination kickoff in Iowa did not exactly inspire confidence in the party’s ability to find someone who can take on the president.
Voters expect Trump win
The poll, which was conducted between Feb. 6 and Feb. 9, seems to register the effect of a recent streak of extraordinarily good luck for Trump, or bad luck for Democrats depending on one’s perspective. The Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses ended inconclusively, depriving Democrats of the chance to coalesce around a clear frontrunner just days before Trump was acquitted in his impeachment trial.
While just 42% of Americans think that Trump deserves to win, two-thirds think that he definitely (27%) or probably (39%) will, according to the poll. 22% of respondents said Trump will probably lose to the Democrat candidate, and just 6% said he definitely would.
There’s also a clear confidence gap in the poll results. Just 11% of Democrats polled thought that their candidate will certainly defeat the president, compared to 59% of Republicans who expressed a belief that Trump will definitely win. Forty-four percent of Democrats think that their party’s candidate will probably win, while 34% of Republicans think Trump will probably win.
Another effect of the Iowa caucuses — killing off the myth of Joe Biden’s electability — was reflected in the poll results. Biden’s frontrunner status has been totally destroyed, with the former VP suffering a sharp drop from 30% support in January to 16% after his fourth-place finish in Iowa, swapping places with Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT), who overtook Biden for the first time in the poll, jumping from 23% support to 26% in the wake of his strong showing in Iowa.
Dem race implodes
The Iowa disaster left Democrats looking to New Hampshire’s primary Tuesday night for some clarity and reassurance. Sanders clearly won, and there is little doubt that he is now the frontrunner.
But there was more bad news for Democrats as Biden, the one-time frontrunner, continued to implode. Biden did not even show up to New Hampshire on Tuesday, fully expecting to lose in a rout. He tied for fourth place with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), with both candidates receiving zero delegates.
Trump seems to be relishing the chaos. In a tweetstorm Tuesday night, the president mocked “Pocahontas” Warren, “Mini Mike” Bloomberg and “Impeachment King” Tom Steyer, and he even dealt a back-handed compliment to Pete Buttigieg for his narrow loss to Sanders, pointedly spelling his name out as “Boot-edge-edge.”
While the Democrats continue to falter, enthusiasm for Trump has been very high. A Gallup poll released last week found that Trump had his highest approval rating ever. Although that survey was taken in January, the result seemed to coincide nicely with Trump’s victory over impeachment.
Another troubling sign for Dems to come out of Iowa was the low voter turnout, which hovered around 2016 levels. By contrast, Trump attracted high turnout there and in New Hampshire, where he received more votes than any presidential incumbent in history.
A combination of strong confidence in Trump and staggering Democratic incompetence is proving to be a massive tailwind for the president.