2020-07-16 16:32:43 UTC
By Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Carrie Dann and Melissa Holzberg
WASHINGTON One figure continually stands out for President Trump in our new
national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll: 50 percent.
And not in a good way for him.
Fifty percent of all registered voters in our poll strongly disapprove of the
Fifty percent say there is no chance at all they will vote for him.
Fifty-two percent in a separate question say theyre very uncomfortable
about his candidacy.
Fifty-one percent are backing Joe Biden in the horserace, versus 40 percent for
One of the old maxims of American politics used to be that an incumbent (for any
office) needs to be at 50 percent to be safe for re-election otherwise theres
a majority of voters who exist that dont support him or her.
But Trump has a different problem at hand: Hes got 50 percent (or more) of the
national electorate saying they strongly oppose him.
And thats something that a new campaign manager alone cant fix. (By the way,
its remarkable that Trump has switched his chief of staff and campaign manager
in an election year, and theyre just blips as stories.)
Meet the voters who are up for grabs
As mentioned above, our NBC News/WSJ poll has 50 percent of registered voters
saying there is no chance at all they will vote for Trump.,
And another 37 percent of voters saying the same about Biden.
That leaves 13 percent who are up for grabs, saying there is a fair/small/slight
chance they might change their minds about either Trump or Biden.
So who are these 13 percent? They have negative impressions of both Trump and
Biden, but Bidens fav/unfav with them is slightly worse (11 percent positive,
45 percent negative) than Trumps (22 percent positive, 43 percent negative).
They prefer Republicans in control of Congress by almost a 2-to-1 margin, 42
percent to 25 percent.
But their 2016 vote was split four different ways: 20 percent of them voted for
Trump, 21 percent for Hillary Clinton, 21 percent voted third party, and 27
percent didnt vote.
And its that last thing that should give us pause about these up-for-grabs
voters: Just 40 percent of them have high interest in the 2020 election, versus
77 percent of all voters in our poll.
Bottom line: Many of them arent likely voters.
Understanding Joe Bidens declining favorability rating
The other major 2020 storyline from our new NBC News/WSJ poll is Joe Bidens
fav/unfav rating falling in one month.
In June, it was 37 percent positive, 38 percent negative (-1).
Now its 34 percent positive, 46 percent negative (-12) only slightly better
than Trumps 39 percent positive, 54 percent negative rating (-15).
So what happened to Biden over the past month? Well, the poll shows that key
parts of the GOP coalition men, whites, self-identified Republicans are more
down on Biden than they have been in previous NBC News/WSJ surveys.
But it also shows part of the Dem coalition especially younger voters are
more negative about Biden.
Remember, however: Many of the young voters who have a negative opinion about
Biden are still voting for him.
Per our poll, 10 percent of all voters have a negative opinion of both Trump and
Biden. And Biden is leading among these voters, 62 percent to 4 percent.