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Trump’s General Election Troubles

Trump’s campaign is keeping Republican eyeballs trained on online and offline bread and circuses instead of the hard foreboding data. In a Biden-Trump rematch, the former president would lose to the incumbent, writes Pedro L. Gonzalez.

Former President Donald Trump once revealed how he thinks about polling, or rather, how he makes other people think about polling. “If it’s bad, I just say it’s fake,” he said at the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference. “If it’s good, I say, ‘That’s the most accurate poll, perhaps, ever.’”

I think we can expect what Trump will say about a slate of recent polls and surveys that show he is, despite currently leading the race for the GOP presidential nomination, poised to lose to Joe Biden again in the upcoming general election. That’s not to say Trump can’t win, but that although the president’s overall approval ratings are low (the CNBC All-America Economic Survey has it at 39 percent), Americans aren’t sold on a return of The Donald.

A new Yahoo News/YouGov poll found that a statistically identically number of Americans say Trump and Biden are both unfit to serve another term as president. However, Biden still enjoys more overall support than Trump among registered voters, leading the latter 47 to 43 percent.

It might shock Republicans that this survey reported more Americans view Trump as the more corrupt of the two, considering the allegations that Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, scored $10 million from foreign nationals abroad through influence peddling.

But Trump’s ongoing legal troubles seem to overshadow the Biden debacle for most Americans, according to the Yahoo News/YouGov survey.

For example, 70 percent now consider “conspiring to overturn the results of a presidential election” a serious crime. Trump is currently the subject of several investigations in connection to that, such as when, on Jan. 2, 2021, he called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to ask him to “find” the votes needed to win the state in the 2020 election. Just 24 percent of Americans think Trump should be allowed to be president again “if convicted of a serious crime in the coming months.”

It doesn’t help that Trump continues to seemingly issue threats of violence to those investigating him because it confirms the negative image these Americans have in their minds of him.

Although it isn’t great for Biden, the Yahoo News/YouGov survey ultimately contains more bad news for Trump. It shows that despite Trump leading other Republicans in the primary, the number of people open to a hypothetical “someone else” has shot up to 43 percent, the highest number so far this year. Similarly, Trump’s favorable rating among all Americans is now the lowest measured to date, at 38 percent.

The latest Monmouth University Poll published today shows the same bad trend.

Trump’s net negative favorability rating is a whopping 63 percent – the lowest since Monmouth began tracking it – to Biden’s 57 percent.

In a Biden-Trump rematch, 47 percent of American voters say they “definitely or probably” are likely to vote for Biden, compared to 40 percent who say the same about Trump.

Even the RealClearPolitics average poll, so often touted by Trump’s surrogates, shows a shift in Biden’s favor for the general election.

All this might be why Trump’s campaign is keeping Republican eyeballs trained on online and offline bread and circuses instead of the hard foreboding data. Private screenings of “Sound of Freedom,” a good film about an important topic, at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, plays well for Trump on Twitter and among the already convinced in the choir. But it is not moving the needle for anyone else – and move it Republicans must.

Political analyst Ryan Girdusky wrote on Twitter that since 2020, “close to 1 million more Trump supporters than Biden voters have died, 3-4 million Gen Z and recent immigrants will have registered to vote, and hundreds of thousands of blue state voters have migrated to swing states.” If that’s true, any Republican would have a hard time in 2024, but it seems Trump would have the most difficult time of all.

Pedro L. Gonzalez is the politics editor at Chronicles and author of the Contra Substack.