posted at 10:01 am on February 15, 2017 by Ed Morrissey
Normally I wouldn’t waste my time with a poll about the 2020 presidential election at this stage, because I’m too busy gaming out the 2032 election. Would George P. Bush be able to hold onto Wisconsin and North California (after the Split of 2026) against Chelsea Clinton? Hmmmm. I’d tell you the answer, but today’s Morning Consult/Politico poll actually does have an interesting nugget that reflects on today’s politics. They matched Donald Trump up against Elizabeth Warren, who has muscled her way to the top of the 2020 bench, and got a rather surprising result:
But, in the fourth week of Trump’s presidency, a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows that Democrats could be in trouble — and Trump could triumph — if they continues their lurch to the left.
Despite the public’s increasing misgivings about Trump’s behavior and tactics in the White House, he still beats Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in a hypothetical matchup, 42 percent to 36 percent — a fairly impressive margin for an less-than-popular president against the prominent senator.
The timing of the poll lends even more of an impact to that warning:
The poll results — from a survey conducted Feb. 9 and Feb. 10, just days after Warren was silenced by the GOP-controlled Senate for her criticism of now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions — plainly show peril for both parties.
In other words, the poll took place while Warren was at the apex of sympathetic attention from the media. The “she persisted” hashtag took off, and Warren was feted as an example of assertive female politicians who wouldn’t be silenced. And … she still loses to Trump by six points. It’s not as if the sample is skewed against Democrats, either; the same respondents first pick a generic Democrat by eight points over Trump, 43/35. It’s also a D+7 sample, 36/29/35.
Does this vindicate Mitch McConnell? When he invoked Rule XIX to shut down Warren’s attack on Jeff Sessions, he took a lot of heat on the Right for pulling Warren’s speech out of overnight obscurity and making it headline news. Others defended it as a kind of political jujitsu, with McConnell trying to Akinize Democrats into backing an unlikeable and unelectable option in 2020. This poll lends some credence to that theory, although it’s only Week 4 of the Trump administration. If Trump gets a lot more unpopular, the Akinizing could end up backfiring. Just ask the Clintonistas who suggested that they boost Trump over the rest of the 2016 Republican field.
At the moment, though, that may not be as big a worry as one might think. The MC/Politico poll has Trump’s job approval at 49/45. That’s mainly due to the 88/10 approval among Republicans, but Trump also gets plurality or majority support in every age demo (49/42 among 18-29YOs!) and only a narrowly negative view among women, 44/48. Perhaps shockingly, Trump gets a narrowly positive result from Hispanics, 48/46, even while stepping up deportations. Despite the avalanche of negative media over the last four weeks, Trump’s approval rating seems to be holding up reasonably well, even if it isn’t in “honeymoon” territory.
Perhaps I need to add Ivanka Trump to that 2032 analysis.