Pollster says Trump more competitive on issues than personality

Pollster Dritan Nesho told Hill.TV on Wednesday that 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 is more competitive on specific issues in polling than he is on personality ratings. 

"I think we are looking at what one pollster calls a 40, 40, 20 country," Nesho, the CEO of HarrisX, told host Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking." "40 percent are 'Never Trumpers,' 40 percent are with Trump, and the 20 percent in the middle, they tend to be very, very pragmatic in terms of how they vote."

"Trump is a lot more competitive on the issues that he has picked, and the issue mix that he's driving forward then he is on personal likeability, and how people react to him personally," he continued. 

"So he has a lot more traction on the issues than perhaps people give him credit with," he added.

Trump is working to appeal to his base through his hardline rhetoric and policies on immigration and border security. 

The president is likely to use that strategy in 2020, as he did in the 2016 and 2018 elections. 

"Even with immigration, his ratings have been rising interestingly enough since December and since January. So he's a lot more competitive than what you would think if you were to look at purely his approval rating, or purely how people react to his personality or his tweeting. His issues are quite strong. 

A new Hill-HarrisX survey, released on Wednesday found Trump's approval rating at 46 percent. 

— Julia Manchester