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There are 94 days to go until the U.S. presidential election, but at this rate, President Donald Trump might want to just get it over with sooner rather than later.
A new ABC News/Ipsos poll found that voters disapprove by large margins of how Trump is handling the COVID-19 pandemic, his response to recent protests in cities like Portland and Seattle, and his administration’s relations with Russia.
The same poll found that just over a third of Americans approve of the job he’s doing overall. Combined with recent polling that shows him falling further behind Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in key swing states, it looks like his uphill battle to reelection is facing an even sharper incline.
In response to the protests, most notably in Portland, Trump has deployed federal agents under the pretense of protecting federal property, a move that’s drawn outrage from top Oregon officials, civil rights groups, and anti-racist protesters, who charge that the administration’s actions are unconstitutional.
Fifty-two percent of Americans polled disapprove of Trump’s handling of the protests, while just 36 percent approve. Even among older Americans, who were most likely to approve of Trump’s response, a clear majority (54 percent) disapproves. (Nineteen percent of respondents overall said the presence of federal agents “doesn’t have much effect one way or the other.”)
Trump gets similarly bad marks on relations with Russia (36 percent approval, 63 percent disapproval) and his handling of the pandemic (34 percent approval, 66 percent disapproval), the issue that’s dominated American life since March and which could decide the election.
On all three topics, the only groups more likely to approve of Trump’s handling of the issue than not is white voters without college degrees and Trump’s fellow Republicans. According to Ipsos, 64 percent of Republicans said the presence of federal troops made the situation better, as did 42 percent of white voters without college degrees.
As the summer has dragged on and a second sustained coronavirus outbreak has swept the country, with particularly grim outcomes in the Sun Belt (which includes the toss-up/lean-Republican states of North Carolina, Florida, Arizona, and Texas), Biden has taken a commanding lead in the polls. Biden is currently up by an average of 8 points in national polling and recent polling has indicated that the former vice president has a lead in at least six swing states that Trump won in 2016, according to RealClearPolitics polling averages.
And as Trump’s approval has sunk, the president has grown more aggressive toward his political enemies, and has turned his attention to undermining the legitimacy of mail-in voting, which many states are using to prevent community spread of COVID-19 and long lines at the polls this year.
Cover: File Photo by: zz/KGC-375/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 6/5/19 President Donald Trump joined world leaders, dignitaries, and military veterans in Portsmouth, England to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion in June of 1944. (Portsmouth, England, UK)