Donald Trump has been in power for over a year, and his big electoral test will be the mid-term elections taking place this year. In November, the entire House of Representatives is up for election as is one third of the senate. The results will give an indication of how well the president is doing.
The next big contest after that is the 2020 presidential election. Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee – although that could change – while the Democrats are yet to pick a candidate. As such, speculation is rife as to who will run and eventually run for president against the Donald.
A new SSRS/CNN poll (14th - 18th January) asked voters who they would pick for president if presented with a choice between Donald Trump and several Democrats.
When voters were asked to choose between former Vice President Joe Biden and Trump, 57% of registered voters picked the former over the 40% backing the latter.
Furthermore, when asked to pick from either the incumbent president or progressive Democrat Bernie Sanders, who lost to Hillary Clinton in 2016’s Democratic primary, 42% chose the former while a striking 55% picked the latter. This is good news for supporters of Sanders who want him to run again.
Registered voters were also asked to choose between Donald Trump and TV sensation Oprah Winfrey, who has recently been touted as a presidential candidate following her Golden Globes speech earlier this month. Once again, Trump lags the hypothetical Democratic candidate, with 42% picking him and 51% picking Oprah, however, here the gap is narrowest.
Polls like this are interesting to examine as they hint at the outcome of possible electoral contests. However, they should be taken with a heavy pinch of salt: the country is not in presidential contest season, so the candidates are currently just in the minds of voters. Once candidates declare and primaries begin, perceptions of different candidates could change over-night. This is especially the case for Oprah, who has no experience in running for public office and lacks a clearr policy platform. Furthermore, Trump’s approval ratings are incredibly low, and have been generally declining since his inauguration last January. The strong showing of the Democratic candidates in this context could be partly a proxy for anti-Trump sentiment.
Nonetheless, the differences between the Democratic candidates is good news for Joe Biden. But would he go for it?
The full results of the poll can be accessed here.