The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's job approval erodes among groups that powered his 2016 victory

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.



President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE is struggling to hold on to some of the core groups of people that helped deliver him the White House in 2016.

The latest data from Gallup finds Trump’s overall job approval rating at 38 percent, down from his all-time high of 49 percent, which he reached in early May. 

Even worse for the president — his job approval rating has declined among the key voting blocs that supported him in 2016, including independents, white people, men, voters without a college degree and older people.

Trump’s job approval rating

Independents: 33% (-6)

Men: 46% (-7)

Whites: 48% (-9)


Whites without a college degree: 57% (-9)

Ages 50 to 64: 43% (-9)

Over 65: 47 % (-4)

In 2016, Trump defeated Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Third vaccine candidate with 90% efficacy Biden won — so why did Trump's popularity hit its highest point ever? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Calls mount to start transition as Biden readies Cabinet picks MORE by double-digits among men, white people, white people without a college degree and seniors. Trump and Clinton effectively split the independent vote.

More bad news for Trump: The only other two presidents whose job approval rating was in the 30s at this point in the election cycle — George H.W. Bush and Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterCan Biden vanquish Democrats' old, debilitating ghosts? CNN acquires Joe Biden documentary 'President in Waiting' French radio station mistakenly publishes obituaries of celebrities MORE — both lost their reelection bids.

Gallup had to go back to 1948 to find an instance when a president who won reelection despite having a similar job approval rating to Trump. That year, Harry Truman won a second term despite only 40 percent of voters approving of the job he was doing in July.

Perhaps the only bright spot for Trump in the new poll is that the GOP is sticking by him. Ninety-one percent of Republicans approve of the job Trump is doing, up from 85 percent last month. Only 2 percent of Democrats approve, making it the largest partisan gap Gallup has found for any president in history.


Biden’s campaign is advising its surrogates to call out Trump’s attacks as a “desperate” — and ultimately ineffective — attempt to compete with the former vice president at a time when the president’s polling numbers are eroding. “Despite the breathless coverage each new Trump attack gets, this endless rotation of the same debunked smears isn’t the product of strategic genius, it’s a sign of myopia and desperation as each successive attempt backfires, re-elevating a massive Trump liability while leaving his campaign scrambling to find something new,” Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, wrote in a memo sent to surrogates on Sunday. The Hill’s Rebecca Klar has more.

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that states can prohibit their Electoral College representatives from disregarding voters when casting their ballots in presidential elections. The case stems from the 2016 presidential election, when a handful of electors cast their votes for people who did not win their states' popular votes in a failed attempt to deny Trump the White House. Harper Neidig reports.


Rich Lowry: Media defining patriotism as white supremacy.

Jeet Heer: A shattered nation isn’t buying Trump’s nationalism.

Scott Goodstein: Will Twitter make @RealDonaldTrump a one-term president?


Jessica Tarlov: Biden benefits from an enthusiasm gap, not the other way around

Kim Wehle: Celebrities should steer their star power to get out the youth vote


Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstThe Memo: Trump plows ahead with efforts to overturn election More conservatives break with Trump over election claims Peggy Noonan: 'Bogus dispute' by Trump 'doing real damage' MORE’s (R-Iowa) reelection campaign rolled out her first television ad of the cycle on Monday, highlighting her stances on U.S.-China relations. You can watch the ad, dubbed “All Over” hereMeanwhile, her Democratic opponent Theresa Greenfield’s campaign rolled out ads in a number of rural Iowa newspapers, hitting Ernst over her record on ethanol in the state.

Democrats are within striking distance of retaking the Senate majority in November, while Republicans are facing an increasingly difficult electoral map as Trump’s sagging poll numbers threaten to drag down vulnerable GOP incumbents. With the addition of Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesRick Scott tests positive for coronavirus Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight MORE’s (R-Mont.) seat to the Cook Political Report’s list of tossup races last month, Democrats have another opportunity to pick up a seat that just a few months ago appeared likely to stay in Republican hands. At the same time, Democrats are eyeing a handful of other seats that could come into play later this year. Here’s a look at the Senate seats most likely to flip this year from The Hill’s Max Greenwood.




Approve: 38%


Biden: 53%

Trump: 42%


Gideon: 46%

Collins: 42%



Biden: 48%

Trump: 42.7%


Democrat Cal Cunningham raised $7.4 million in the second quarter of 2020 for his bid to unseat Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisTeam Trump offering 'fire hose' of conspiracy Kool-Aid for supporters Loeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection North Carolina's Mark Walker expected to announce Senate bid MORE (R-N.C.) in North Carolina, setting an all-time quarterly fundraising record for a Senate candidate in the state. The record was previously held by former Sen. Kay HaganKay Ruthven Hagan10 under-the-radar races to watch in November The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic Unity Taskforce unveils party platform recommendations Democrats awash with cash in battle for Senate MORE (D-N.C.) who raised $4.8 million in the third quarter of 2014, the same year that she lost reelection to Tillis in what became the most expensive Senate race in U.S. history up to that point. Max reports.

Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Down ballot races carry environmental implications | US officially exits Paris climate accord  GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte wins Montana governor's race Senate control in flux as counting goes forward in key states MORE (D), who’s challenging Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) for his Senate seat, pulled in $7.7 million in his first full fundraising quarter on the campaign trail, his campaign said on Monday. Bullock launched his Senate bid in early March, rattling Daines’s reelection prospects. His campaign will report a cash reserve of more than $7.4 million when Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings are due later this month.


July 7:

New Jersey primaries

Delaware primaries


July 11:

Louisiana primaries


July 14:

Alabama primary runoffs

Texas primary runoffs

Maine primaries


Aug. 4:

Arizona primaries

Kansas primaries

Michigan primaries

Missouri primaries

Washington primaries


Aug. 11:

Connecticut primaries

Minnesota primaries

Vermont primaries

Wisconsin primaries

Georgia primary runoffs


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