LUNCHTIME POLITICS: China – Iran, North Korea – Pennsylvania

Your Daily Polling Update for Thursday, May 16, 2019

Down 1 from yesterday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on six polls, ranging from 40% (Reuters) to 46% (Fox News). Without these two extremes, it would still be 43%…. President Trump’s disapproval rating averages 53% today (+1 from yesterday), which is 10 points higher than his approval rating.

Among voters nationwide

If the election for president were held today with Donald Trump as the Republican running against a Democratic Party candidate, who would you vote for? 
Democratic candidate: 50% (+3 since last week)
Trump: 39% (+1 since last week)
It depends: 11%
RON’S COMMENT: The “generic” Democrat was ahead by 9 last week, now it’s up to 11. Trump is getting 85% of Republicans and the Democrat is getting 86% of Democrats. 

Among voters statewide

Among Democratic voters in Pennsylvania
Joe Biden: 39% 
Bernie Sanders: 13%
Kamala Harris: 8%
Elizabeth Warren: 8%
Pete Buttigieg: 6% 
Cory Booker: 5%
Beto O’Rourke: 2%
Amy Klobuchar: 1%
Candidates with less than 1% not listed
RON’S COMMENT: Biden is way ahead of Sanders and the other candidates in Pennsylvania. Interesting that only eight of the 23 Democratic candidates get at least 1% in this poll…. The most liberal wing of the Democratic Party splits 24% for Biden, 23% for Sanders and 17% for Warren. Moderates vote mostly for Biden (44%), followed by Sanders (9%) and Harris (9%)…. Biden wins “best leader” with 45% and “most electable against Trump” with 61%. While the former VP leads on having “the best policy ideas” with 23%, Sanders and Warren are close behind with 18% each. Warren is increasingly seen by Democrats as best on policy.
Among all general election voters in Pennsylvania
Joe Biden (D) over Donald Trump (R): +11 (53-42)
Bernie Sanders (D) over Donald Trump (R): +7 (50-43)
Elizabeth Warren (D) over Donald Trump (R): +3 (47-44)
Pete Buttigieg (D) over Donald Trump (R): +1 (45-44)
Kamala Harris (D) over Pres. Donald Trump (R): even (45-45)
Donald Trump (R) over Beto O’Rourke (D): +2 (46-44)
RON’S COMMENT: Pennsylvania was a critical part of Trump’s 2016 Electoral vote coalition in 2016. This poll shows four of the six Democrats are now beating him there, one ties him (Harris) and one loses to him (O’Rourke). Biden’s strength in Pennsylvania against Trump is a major feather in his cap…. But: This poll also finds that 54% of Pennsylvania voters believe they are better off financially than they were in 2016––which could be a big campaign boost for Trump.

Among voters nationwide

Recently, the United States increased tariffs or fees on imports from China––in the long run, do you think this strategy will help the U.S. economy, hurt the economy, or not make much of a difference either way?
Helping U.S. economy: 34%
Hurting U.S. economy: 45%
Not making much difference: 11%
RON’S COMMENT: These numbers show that Trump’s gambit on trade with China is politically risky. If he clearly succeeds, of course, these numbers would likely turn around. 
As president, who do you think would do a better job protecting America’s interests with China – Joe Biden or Donald Trump?
Biden: 42%
Trump: 38%
Both/neither/don’t know: 19%
RON’S COMMENT: While Biden has an edge over Trump on China policy in this Fox News poll, it’s not a big one. Biden’s statement about China not being “competition” with the U.S. could come back to bite him in upcoming debates.

Among voters nationwide

IRAN: Do you think Donald Trump has been too tough on Iran, not tough enough, or about right?
Trump too tough: 18%
Trump not tough enough: 29%
Trump about right: 33%
Don’t know: 21%
NORTH KOREA: Do you think Donald Trump has been too tough on Iran, not tough enough, or about right?
Trump too tough: 7%
Trump not tough enough: 50%
Trump about right: 31%
Don’t know: 11%

RON’S COMMENTS: Half the electorate thinks Trump has not been tough enough on North Korea, while only 29% think he’s not tough enough on Iran.


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Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
TRUMP VS. GENERIC DEMOCRAT: The Economist/YouGov, May 12-13
PENNSYLVANIA: Quinnipiac, May 9-14
When poll results add up to more than 100%, it is usually due to rounding.
L = Libertarian candidate 
G = Green Party candidate 
Ind = independent candidate
O = Other candidate(s)
D poll = conducted by or for organizations generally associated with Democrats.
R poll = conducted by or for organizations generally associated with Republicans.

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