Majority of Voters Would Feel 'Uncomfortable' Voting for Trump in 2020

Clay Curtis
June 18, 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden holds a commanding 20-point lead in the 2020 South Carolina Democratic presidential primary, but his post-announcement advantage is shrinking - and he has a surprising new set of top challengers.

Detailed numbers of four of the 17 states the campaign had polled got out.

The new CBS poll, conducted May 31 to June 12, confirms a significant Biden lead in battleground states among Democratic voters, as the crowded race for that party's nomination begins to take shape.

CNN and other outlets first reported the numbers - which showed Trump trailing Joe Biden in states like MI and Wisconsin - weeks ago, but a purge of the polling team was proposed after Trump grew angry about coverage of the numbers in recent days. A 17-state poll conducted in March showed the president trailing former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in 11 states.

Privately, the president was livid that the numbers leaked out, according to White House and campaign officials.

The poll shows Trump neck-and-neck in the Lone Star state with a generic Democratic candidate.

The campaign also fired Adam Geller, who worked for former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and Michael Baselice, a pollster for former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, both of whom were on Trump's 2016 campaign. But even if internal polling is more useful as a snapshot rather than a way to predict results (especially 18 months out from the general election), Trump's internal polling might be more troubling to his team.

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Loyd is president and chief executive of Polling Company/WomanTrend, which was founded by White House counselor Kellyanne Conway. When revealed, the leaked internal polls infuriated Trump. Trump also claimed his own campaign's numbers don't accurately reflect how he thinks he's polling nationwide.

O'Rourke, who continuously trailed Republican Texas Sen.

Sources in the Trump campaign cited by media said the firings were more about cooling down an enraged Trump and less about the polling numbers, whose accuracy remains unquestioned.

And NBC quoted Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale as conferring a positive spin on the latest results, saying "the president's new polling is extraordinary and his numbers have never been better".

The fierce reaction isn't entirely surprising given that Trump is notoriously obsessed with polling data on himself, and his staff has been known to hide polls from him if they show red flags for his approval rating.

The poll, with a 1.5 per cent margin of error, looked at states including Iowa, New Hampshire and SC - which hold primary elections in February, at the top of the electoral calendar - as well as states in the upper Midwest, where Trump eked out narrow but decisive victories in 2016.

And despite the internal poll data, Trump retains the power of incumbency, with Election Day 17 months away and Democrats' first presidential nominating contests in eight months.

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