Polling editor says presidents are reelected by getting better in office

Real Clear Politics Washington bureau chief Carl Cannon said on Wednesday that he believes past presidents have been able to win second terms because they became better at their jobs as president. 

"I don't think these guys won their second term because their party got beat in the midterms," Cannon told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking." "I think they won because they got better in office." 

"They learned skills they didn't know they had," he continued. "Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden hits new low in Gallup poll Biden's belated filibuster decision: A pretense of principle at work Obama, Springsteen releasing book based on their podcast MORE was pretty inexperienced when he became president, and he learned in the second half of his first term how you have to make some of these accommodations. You keep the base in line." 

A Gallup poll released last year found that before the first midterm of President TrumpDonald TrumpPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Has Trump beaten the system? MORE's presidency, 37 percent of Americans surveyed said they were planning on voting for Trump in the next presidential election. 

A new Hill-HarrisX survey released on Wednesday found that 24 percent of respondents said they would "definitely vote for Trump" in 2020, while 12 percent said they "probably would vote for Trump." 

Cannon said those numbers are not looking good for the president. 

"Thirty-seven percent just doesn't sound good. It just doesn't. Let's be honest," Cannon said. 

— Julia Manchester