In an interview with Newsweek published on Friday, Jeffrey Jones, a senior editor and analyst at Gallup, said that U.S. President Donald Trump needs a “seismic” event to beat the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Most polls suggest that Biden is a clear favorite to win the White House this November. Per RealClearPolitics‘ average of polling data, the former vice president is 9.3 percentage points ahead of Trump nationwide. Some surveys suggest that the Democrat’s advantage is as large as 12 points.
In recent history, incumbent presidents have usually won a second term in the White House. Late Republican President George H.W. Bush is the last president to lose a reelection campaign.
According to Jones, “Trump is kind of right around where the elder Bush was,” with his approval ratings in the negative territory four months before the election.
In Bush Sr.’s case, the approval ratings “never changed enough to reach a place where [he] could actually win the election,” the polling expert explained.
Crucially, Trump is trailing Biden in a number of key battleground states. As The Inquisitr reported, a CNBC/Change Research poll released earlier this week established that the Democrat is ahead in Florida, Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
But there is one major difference between the upcoming election and the 1992 contest, when Bill Clinton beat Bush. This year, there won’t be a strong third party candidate. In 1992, Independent candidate Ross Perot was considered a serious contender after managing to attract national attention and win the public’s support.
“That’s the one thing that’s a little different now, for Trump, that I think makes his odds longer,” Jones said.
“Even if his approval rating doesn’t improve these next months, there is no third party candidate running as in 1992… which is what everybody invokes if they’re losing. There’s no other candidate to split the vote, so it’s all going to go to Biden.”
The polling expert concluded that “it would take something seismic” in order for Trump to beat Biden.
As Newsweek noted, when former Democratic President Jimmy Carter ran for reelection in 1980, his polling numbers were in the thirties. Republican Ronald Reagan managed to beat both Carter and Independent candidate John Anderson.
Some of Trump’s supporters have publicly expressed concern about his chances of winning in November. Notably, former President George W. Bush’s deputy chief of staff, Karl Rove, said in a recent interview that the commander-in-chief needs to “reset” his campaign in order to beat Biden.