If the 2020 presidential election were held today, Donald Trump would not stand a chance — if he were matched up against Vice President Joe Biden, the former Delaware Senator who served two terms in the nation's second-highest office under President Barack Obama. That prediction comes from a new poll released Wednesday by the Washington D.C news site Politico and research firm Morning Consult, which found Biden defeating Trump in a head-to-head race that would not even be close, according to the poll results which may be read in full at this link.
But the same poll also found that voters would prefer, literally, any Democratic candidate over Trump in 2020. In fact, a generic, unnamed Democratic candidate defeats Trump in the poll by an even wider margin than Biden would, spelling especially bad news for Trump's reelection prospects.
According to the poll results, Biden would outpace Trump by 11 percentage points in a hypothetical 2020 general election matchup, winning 46 percent of the vote to just 35 percent for Trump. Even though 20 percent of the poll respondents said that they don't know who they would vote for in 2020, the results mean that more than half of those undecided voters would have to break Trump's way in order to overtake Biden and win a second term.
While Biden has left the door open for a 2020 run, so has independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders who ran against eventual nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary. But the Politico/Morning Consult poll did not ask respondents to state their preference in a 2020 Sanders vs. Trump race.
A poll released last week by Zogby Analytics, however, showed Sanders defeating Trump with 51 percent of the vote to 40 for Trump. In that poll, Biden defeated Trump by approximately the same numbers, 50-41.
But the Politico/Morning Consult poll also asked voters whether they would vote for any "Democratic candidate" against Trump — and 48 percent said that they would, compared to just 34 percent who said they would vote for Trump, a 14 point victory for a generic Democratic presidential contender matched against Trump, with 18 percent saying they did not know who they would vote for in the generic Democrat vs. Trump election.
Each of those three candidates would qualify as the oldest ever to be elected president in 2020. Trump will turn 76 in June of 2020. Biden will be 77 but will turn 78 on November 20, about two weeks after the election. Sanders would be the most elderly of the bunch, turning 79-years-old on September 8, 2020. When Trump won the 2016 presidential election, he became the oldest president at the time he took office in United States history, at age 70.
The Democratic party has a number of other possible candidates who could fill the "generic Democrat" role, as well, including at least three women in Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Kamala Harris of California.
Trump's dismal results in the new poll when matched against Biden or any Democrat appear to reflect his continued, underwater approval ratings. After 300 days in office, Trump on Wednesday was tagged with an anemic approval rating of 37.8 percent, according to the weighted average of all polls calculated by the data site FiveThirtyEight.com. By comparison, Obama sported a 51.4 percent average approval rating after 300 days as president.
If Biden were to run for president in 2020, it would mark his third try to capture the nation's highest office. He has had disastrous results on both prior attempts. A 1988 run ended well before the calendar even turned to 1988. Biden was forced to end his campaign over a plagiarism scandal in September of 1987.
Biden ran again in 2008, and this time he at least made it three days into the actual campaign year — dropping out on January 3, 1988 after a dismal performance in the Iowa caucus.
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