The Hill's Campaign Report: Bad polling data is piling up for Trump

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail. 




The bad polling data is piling up for President TrumpDonald TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments MORE amid the civil unrest sweeping the nation and uncertainty around the coronavirus.

A Gallup survey released Wednesday found Trump’s job approval rating plunging 10 points to 39 percent, a steep drop from the president’s personal high of 49 percent last month.

That represents a drop of 7 points for Trump among Republicans, bringing him to 85 percent, the lowest point he’s seen within his own party in almost two years.

Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterWeird photo of Carters with Bidens creates major online buzz Feehery: Biden seems intent on repeating the same mistakes of Jimmy Carter Never underestimate Joe Biden MORE are the only other incumbents on record to have approval ratings in the 30 percent range in June of an election year. Both lost their reelection bids.

And new data from the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA finds presumptive Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won't run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE leading Trump in five of the six core battleground states that will determine the outcome of the 2020 election.

The survey from Priorities USA projects Biden as the winner in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Arizona, with Florida remaining too close to call, if the election were held today.


That projection would give 305 Electoral College votes to Biden, more than the 270 needed to win the White House. Trump would receive 204 in that scenario, leaving Florida’s 29 hanging in the balance. 

Priorities USA Chairman Guy Cecil stressed that the projection is based only on the state of the race today, when Trump is near the low point of his presidency.

And the analysis is not a prediction of what will happen in November.

Cecil noted that if white working-class voters and people of color turn out by 3 points less for Democrats than Priorities USA has forecast, Biden would lose Florida and North Carolina, with Pennsylvania and Arizona falling into toss-up territory.

That would put Biden at 259 Electoral College votes and Trump at 248, with 31 up for grabs.

But the data still underscores Trump’s shrinking path to stay in the White House and the expanded map for Democrats with less than five months to go before the election. 

The nation has been consumed by protests since George Floyd died in the custody of Minneapolis police last month.

Trump has called Floyd’s death a “grave tragedy,” but he’s also threatened to send the U.S. military into American cities to quell the protests.

The Trump administration has also been under fire after military personnel clashed with largely peaceful protesters demonstrating in front of the White House. On Tuesday, Trump sparked outrage for sharing a conspiracy theory about an elderly protester who was knocked to the ground by police in Buffalo, N.Y.

The protests come amid ongoing uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic, which has shuttered the U.S. economy and resulted in tens of millions of lost jobs. There was some positive news on the economic front last week, with a much stronger-than-expected May jobs report.

The Gallup poll found that 47 percent of voters approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, down from 63 percent in January. Only 42 percent of voters approve of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, down from 50 percent in April.

-- Jonathan Easley




Trump job approval rating plunges 10 points in a month: Gallup, By Jonathan Easley.

Democratic group's poll finds Biden leading in five of six key battleground states, By Jonathan.



The Republican National Committee has tentatively decided on Jacksonville, Fla., as the site to host the Republican National Convention's main festivities, two sources familiar with the discussions have told The Hill. Marty Johnson and Max Greenwood report.

Trump is testing James Carville's old maxim that voters care most about the economy and their pocketbooks in the midst of twin crises that have put the president well behind his Democratic rival less than five months before Election Day. Reid Wilson reports.

Biden on Wednesday highlighted his proposal for an additional $300 million in community policing funds, after earlier making clear that he does not agree with some liberal activists’ calls to defund police departments. Zach Budryk reports.




Steve IsraelSteven (Steve) J. IsraelOpposition to refugees echoes one of America's most shameful moments White House races clock to beat GOP attacks Overnight Defense: Biden's stalled Pentagon nominee gets major support | Blinken presses China on North Korea ahead of meeting | Army will not return medals to soldier Trump pardoned MORE: Democrats have to get better than ever as Joe Biden leads in the polls.

Matt Schlapp: Five ways America would take a hard left under Joe Biden.

Liz Peek: Trump faces sinking polls but has enthusiasm and the economy on his side.




WHAT HAPPENED IN GEORGIA: Georgia’s primaries broke down into chaos on Tuesday as widespread problems with the state’s new voting system resulted in confusion and long wait times at polling places. 

Poll workers at many precincts saw new voting machines malfunction. In some cases, the machines were reported missing altogether. At the same time, some parts of the state found themselves short on poll workers, many of whom had been scared away by the public health risks posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Even before Tuesday, there were signs of trouble. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had encouraged voters to request and cast mail-in ballots to avoid the potential for crowding at polling sites. But many voters did not receive their ballots in time, forcing them to show up in person. Raffensperger and other election officials in Georgia are now facing scrutiny for their handling of the primaries, with some critics calling on the secretary of state to resign. There are also concerns about what the botched primaries could mean for November, when turnout is expected to be even higher.

“Yesterday was completely avoidable and I now have to wonder if we are all witnesses to a direct attack on our democracy and a trial run of what we expect to see,” said Nse Ufot, the executive director of the New Georgia Project, a group that works on voter registration and engagement among people of color and young people.

All that said, we do have the results from some contests. 

In Georgia’s 6th District, former Rep. Karen HandelKaren Christine HandelOssoff defeats Perdue in Georgia Senate runoff McBath wins rematch against Handel in Georgia House race House Democrats' campaign arm reserves .6M in ads in competitive districts MORE won the Republican primary, giving her a chance at reclaiming the House seat she lost to Rep. Lucy McBathLucia (Lucy) Kay McBathLawmakers brace for battles with colleagues as redistricting kicks off On The Trail: Census data kicks off the biggest redistricting fight in American history Giffords group unveils gun violence memorial on National Mall MORE (D) in November. And in Georgia’s 7th District, Democrats Carolyn Bourdeaux and Brenda Romero are headed for a runoff in August to decide the nominee for retiring Rep. Rob WoodallWilliam (Rob) Robert WoodallMcCarthy guarantees GOP will take back House in 2022 Rundown of the House seats Democrats, GOP flipped on Election Day Bustos won't seek to chair DCCC again in wake of 2020 results MORE’s (R) seat.

But the closest-watched contest on Tuesday, the Democratic primary to determine who will challenge Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) in November, is still undecided. Investigative journalist Jon OssoffJon OssoffThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden launches blitz for jobs plan with 'thank you, Georgia' Biden marks 100th day plugging jobs plan in Georgia Georgia Republican secretary of state hits Loeffler as 'weak,' 'fake Trumper' MORE, who unsuccessfully ran against Handel in a special election in Georgia’s 7th District in 2017, is within reach of an outright win in the Democratic Senate primary and is well ahead of his two closest opponents, former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and Sarah Riggs Amico. But even with nearly 49 percent of the vote, he hasn’t yet hit the 50 percent threshold he needs to clinch the nomination. There are still tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of votes that have yet to be counted, but if he doesn’t reach a majority, he’ll have to face off against the second-place finisher in an August runoff election.

--Max Greenwood

Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelLawmakers on hot mic joke 'aisle hog' Engel absent from Biden address: 'He'd wait all day' Bowman to deliver progressive response to Biden's speech to Congress Liberal advocacy group stirs debate, discomfort with primary challenges MORE (D-N.Y.) is scrambling to fend off his most serious primary challenge in years, as progressives set their sights on taking out a congressman that has represented parts of New York City and its suburbs for more than three decades. Max and Julia report. The progressive group Working Hero is the latest liberal group to back Jamaal Bowman over Engel.

Democrats are heading to a runoff in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, home of one of the nation’s most closely watched House races. Tal Axelrod reports. Republicans are heading to a runoff in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District in the race to replace retiring Rep. Tom GravesJohn (Tom) Thomas GravesGreene's future on House committees in limbo after GOP meeting McConnell says Taylor Greene's embrace of conspiracy theories a 'cancer' GOP has growing Marjorie Taylor Greene problem MORE (R). There’s another runoff to replace Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsPoll shows tight GOP primary for Georgia governor The Hill's Morning Report - Census winners and losers; House GOP huddles Former Rep. Doug Collins won't enter Georgia Senate race MORE (R), who is running for Senate.

South Carolina Democratic Senate nominee Jaime Harrison challenged incumbent Republican Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHouse to advance appropriations bills in June, July The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  The Memo: The GOP's war is already over — Trump won MORE to a series of four debates on Wednesday after the two won their respective primaries in the Palmetto State. Tal Axelrod reports.

Cindy McCain said Tuesday that she was “disappointed” that Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Amy McGrath used her late husband Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainDOJ: Arizona recount could violate civil rights laws Cheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women Conservative Club for Growth PAC comes out against Stefanik to replace Cheney MORE’s image in a campaign clip. Justine Coleman reports. 



(Keep in mind these dates could change because of the outbreak.)

June 23:

Kentucky primaries

New York primaries

Virginia primaries


June 30:

Colorado primaries

Oklahoma primaries

Utah primaries


July 7:

New Jersey primaries

Delaware primaries


July 11:

Louisiana primaries


July 14:

Alabama Republican Senate primary runoff

Maine primaries


Aug. 4:

Arizona primaries

Kansas primaries

Michigan primaries

Missouri primaries

Washington primaries


Aug. 11:

Connecticut primaries

Minnesota primaries

Vermont primaries

Wisconsin primaries


Aug. 18:

Alaska primaries

Florida primaries

Wyoming primaries


Aug. 17-20:

Democratic National Convention


Aug. 24-27:

Republican National Convention


Sept. 1:

Massachusetts primaries


Sept. 8:

New Hampshire primaries

Rhode Island primaries


Sept. 15:

Delaware primaries


Sept. 29:

First presidential debate


Oct. 7:

Vice presidential debate


Oct. 15:

Second presidential debate


Oct. 22:

Third presidential debate