The odds that President Donald Trump will be re-elected in 2020 are pretty high. That's because 65% of Presidents who run for re-election win. It also becomes the baseline for President Trump entering this cycle. The 65% is based on nearly two-thirds of all incumbent Presidents who’ve run for re-election winning. There are other numbers that come into play, based on a president’s approval ratings as we close in on Election Day. I've tracked President Trump’s reelection odds-based upon history and approval ratings.
As of today, he has 47% based on average polling and 53% based on likely voters. This has consistently been the case, his performance among likely voters is stronger, and that’s reflected with President Trump still being a favorite to win based on likely voters alone, though we’re close to 50-50 territory regardless. To the extent that the challenger can impact the race, that provides the road map for Democrats. Given that the odds are best for President Trump with likely voters, a Democrat who can most successfully appeal to non-likely voters would be the best opportunity for Democrats in the upcoming election.
This week, the current average polling for Democrats stands like this:
- Biden:27% (-2)
- Warren:22% (-1)
- Sanders:17% (+2)
- Buttigieg:7% (+1)
- Harris:5% (flat)
For the second straight week, Joe Biden maintained a lead over Elisabeth Warren. It’s clear that the debate, where Warren was commonly the target of other candidates, put a dent in her momentum and support. Still, she’s solidly in second place and is well-positioned heading into the primary season if she maintains support near these levels. Meanwhile, Bernie’s back and back to the level of support he had prior to the heart attack placing him as essentially a third top-tier candidate. Otherwise, on back of what was generally positioned as a strong debate performance, Buttigieg moved the needle slightly. He still needs a major catalyst if he’s to be a factor in this race. No other candidate is polling above three percent behind Harris.