Two years in, Trump's re-elect ratings are quite similar to predecessors who won second terms

Just 36 percent of registered voters in a new Hill-HarrisX poll say they would "definitely" or "probably" vote for President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Illinois House passes bill that would mandate Asian-American history lessons in schools Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he MORE's reelection — an anemic number but one that is line with surveys about his immediate predecessors, Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden can make history on nuclear arms reductions Biden has nearly 90-point approval gap between Democrats, Republicans: poll The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring MORE, George W. Bush, and Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonBiden must compel China and Russia to act on climate A leadership menagerie of metaphorical scapegoats How Democrats can defy the odds in 2022 MORE at about this point in their presidencies. 

Two years into Clinton's administration, just 38 percent of voters in a January 1995 poll by NBC and the Wall Street Journal said they intended to vote for him in the 1996 election.

In January of 2003, 41 percent of voters contacted for the Journal/NBC survey said they were likely to back Bush in the 2004 election, the exact same percentage who said the same to the poll about Trump last month.

Forty-five percent of voters in a February 2011 poll from NBC and the Journal said they would vote for Obama's reelection.

In Gallup's polling, 38 percent of registered voters said they'd re-elect Clinton two years after he became chief executive while 37 percent said the same at a similar point in Obama's term about him.

Despite low re-elect numbers, both Clinton and Obama won second terms relatively handily even after seeing their party lose power in Congress. While his victory was by a smaller margin, Bush also overcame midterm congressional losses to win again.

Trump will be trying to follow in their footsteps next fall. 

The Hill-HarrisX survey suggests that Trump will have his work cut out for him. 

More registered voters — 45 percent — say they plan to vote for the Democratic nominee for president. 

At the same time, Trump's overall job approval rating in Hill-HarrisX polling suggests his re-elect number has room to grow. Forty-five percent of registered voters contacted March 18 and 19 said they approved of the president's job performance, suggesting that he has some soft support that could return during a heated general election campaign.

That conclusion is bolstered by the fact that 95 percent of respondents in the March 23-24 Hill-HarrisX survey who said they had voted for Trump in 2016 could think of a reason to back him again.

But past presidents' victories don't necessarily mean that Trump will be able to overcome midterm losses to win re-election, Carl Cannon, Washington bureau chief of RealClearPolitics told Hill.TV on Wednesday.

"I don't think that [Clinton and Obama] won the second term because their party got beat in midterms, I think they won because they got better in office," Cannon said on Wednesday's broadcast of "What America's Thinking."

"They learn skills that they don't know they have," he added.

The new Hill-HarrisX survey found that Trump is continuing to enjoy strong support from Republican voters.

Seventy-eight percent of GOP respondents said they would vote for his re-election. Just 9 percent said they are likely to join with the future Democratic presidential candidate. Another 12 percent said they would opt for a third-party candidate or not vote at all.

While Trump receives overwhelming support from his party members, Democratic-leaning respondents were even more strongly inclined toward voting for their party's eventual nominee, with 81 percent saying they'll go for the Democratic presidential candidate and only 6 percent saying they would back Trump. Thirteen percent said they would stay home on Election Day or go for a third-party candidate.

More than a year before the 2020 general election, 39 percent of independent voters said they intend to support the future Democratic nominee, 28 percent said they are likely to back Trump, while 33 percent say they would go for a third-party candidate or not vote at all.

—Matthew Sheffield