A majority of registered voters in a new poll say they would consider voting President Trump into a second term.
Fifty-four percent in the Hill-HarrisX survey released Monday said they would think about voting for Trump, though 46 percent of registered voters said they would not even consider casting a ballot for the president.
The polling was conducted before a summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusions was released on Sunday by Attorney General William Barr. That summary reported that Mueller did not find evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia, a huge win for the president.
People who said they backed Trump in 2016 are likely to back him again.
Ninety-five percent of respondents who said they had picked Trump in his first run for office said they could find a reason vote for him again in 2020.
The vast majority of respondents who cast ballots for Trump’s former Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, said they would not vote to re-elect him, though a somewhat sizable minority is at least open to the idea.
Seventy-six percent of former Clinton voters said they would “never” vote for Trump but 24 percent said they would at least consider it.
Among people who did not vote in 2016, 65 percent said they would never vote for Trump while 35 percent said they could do so.
The economy was the most popular reason for those willing to vote for Trump. Twenty-two percent of those saying they could vote for Trump cited the economy as their primary reason.
“Clearly the economy is always the issue in every presidential election,” Republican pollster Ed Goeas said on Hill.TV’s “What America’s Thinking” on Monday. “Because that’s what it always is. Jobs, the economy, taxes. Basically, do people feel their lives are doing better economically than when that president went in?”
A March 18 CNN-SSRS poll found that 71 percent of Americans believe the country’s economy is in good shape. The country’s economic state of affairs is the central factor for many election prediction models. Based on current conditions and the fact that presidents usually get re-elected, Trump ought to be a lock in 2020 according to these predictions.
But Trump’s highly volatile presidency and his propensity to say things that are unpopular with a majority of Americans could break from the pattern.
“What you really have here is a tossup here, you have basically a statistical tie between the people — the Never Trumpers I’ll call them — and the people who say ‘yeah, I could find a reason to entertain,'” Mallory Newall, research director at Ipsos Public Affairs, told “What America’s Thinking” host Jamal Simmons.
“The economy and employment and jobs is really the only issue right now where the president is still receiving positive marks,” she added.
Twenty percent of respondents willing to vote Trump in 2020 said they believed that the current crop of Democratic presidential candidates were too liberal for them. The majority of this group were Republicans, however. Ten percent of Trump-considering respondents said that none of the Democratic candidates were exciting to them.
The president’s hard-line immigration positions were cited by 18 percent of respondents open to voting for Trump as their primary reason for thinking about casting a ballot for him.
The latest Hill-HarrisX survey was conducted March 23 and 24 among a statistically representative sample of 1,000 registered voters. It has a sampling margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.