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Q-Poll: Trump Re-Election Campaign Starts 'on Shaky Ground'

May 21, 2019 - 3:00pm
Donald Trump, Joe Biden
Donald Trump, Joe Biden

Good feelings on the economy apparently aren't helping President Donald Trump. According to a Quinnipiac University National Poll released Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden is the only presidential contender in either party getting a positive score from voters.

Nevertheless, the nation's economy is "excellent," 22 percent of American voters say in the poll, the highest "excellent" rating for the economy. Another 49 percent of voters say the economy is "good." The total 71 percent for "excellent" and "good" is the highest total number for American voter attitudes on the economy in almost 18 years. 

Some 52 percent of American voters say they are better off financially today than they were in 2016, while 21 percent say they are worse off and 23 percent say they are the same. 

But American voters give President Trump a negative 38-57 percent approval rating, compared to a negative 41-55 percent approval in a May 2 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University National Poll. 

American voters give Trump mixed grades for his handling of the economy as 48 percent approve and 45 percent disapprove. He gets negative grades for handling other issues:

  • 37-58 percent for handling foreign policy;

  • 39-53 percent for handling trade;

  • 40-50 percent for handling the nation's policy toward China;

  • 37-47 percent for handling the nation's policy toward Iran.

By 48-40 percent, voters say the president's trade policies are bad for the U.S. economy, and say 44-36 percent that these policies are bad for their personal financial situation. 

"The nation's economy is pretty darn good and President Donald Trump's approval numbers are pretty darn awful," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. "So what to make of the good news, bad news mashup and how to correct it? 

"For the moment, the disparity leaves the president on shaky re-election ground." 

President Trump begins his re-election campaign in a deep hole as 54 percent of American voters say they "definitely" will not vote for him, compared to 52 percent in an April 30 Quinnipiac University National Poll. Today, 31 percent say they "definitely" will vote for Trump and 12 percent say they will "consider voting for him." 

Definitely voting for Trump are 76 percent of Republicans, 3 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of independent voters. 

Definitely not voting for Trump are 10 percent of Republicans, 94 percent of Democrats and 54 percent of independent voters. 

American voters give Trump a negative 38-57 percent favorability rating. 

Democratic Candidates 

With a 49-39 percent favorability rating, Biden bests every presidential candidate in the field, in either party. Favorability ratings for other Democrats are negative or mixed:

  • 41-48 percent for Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont;

  • 32-41 percent for Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts;

  • 27 percent favorable for Sen. Kamala Harris of California, with 30 percent unfavorable;

  • 20-32 percent for former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas;

  • 23-31 percent for Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey;

  • 23 percent favorable for South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, to 19 percent unfavorable;

  • 8-45 percent for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

  • For the other Democratic contenders, the score for those who haven't heard enough about them to form an opinion ranges from 56 percent to 88 percent. 

Biden is the top pick for the party nomination among 35 percent of Democrats or voters leaning Democratic. Sanders has 16 percent, with 13 percent for Warren, 8 percent for Harris and 5 percent for Buttigieg. No other Democrat tops 3 percent, with most less than 1 percent. 

"It's former Vice President Joseph Biden and then there's everyone else, descending from Sen. Bernie Sanders to Sen. Elizabeth Warren to Sen. Kamala Harris to a bunch of people most Democrats have never heard of," Malloy said. 

From May 16-20, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,078 voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percentage points, including the design effect. The survey includes 454 Democrats and Democratic leaners with a margin of error of +/- 5.6 percentage points, including the design effect. 

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts gold standard surveys using random digit dialing with live interviewers calling landlines and cell phones. The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts nationwide surveys and polls in more than a dozen states on national and statewide elections, as well as public policy issues. 

To see the complete Q-Poll, visit or 

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