By Christopher W. Larimer, University of Northern Iowa Professor of Political Science.
With just 36 days until the election, are there data the president can look to for hope about his reelection prospects in November? What about Joe Biden’s chances? This blog focuses on three pieces of data that should give the president reason to be cautiously optimistic about winning in November. The next blog will do the same for his challenger, Joe Biden.
1.) First, consider those who supported the president in the past. Voters who cast a ballot for Donald Trump in 2016 still support him in 2020, with only a small percentage saying they are going to vote for Joe Biden (or someone else), including voters in “battleground states.”
2.) Despite low marks on his handling of the pandemic, the president is still viewed as stronger than his opponent on the economy (by 12 points in a recent poll), and the economy has historically been the top issue for prospective voters.
3.) The president’s supporters are passionate about his candidacy. Among Trump supporters in battleground states (including Iowa), a vast majority consistently say their vote is “a vote for Donald Trump” rather than “a vote against Joe Biden. By contrast, among Biden supporters, the results are much more evenly balanced between their vote being “a vote for Joe Biden” and “a vote against Donald Trump.”