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 TrumpFormer New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver dead at 77 Biden, Democrats losing ground with independent and suburban voters: poll Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law 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 ClintonPoll: Trump leads 2024 Republican field with DeSantis in distant second The politics of 'mind control' No Hillary — the 'Third Way' is the wrong way 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 CarterWhy our parties can't govern Second gentleman Emhoff acts as public link to White House After the loss of three giants of conservation, Biden must pick up the mantle 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 ErnstUS maintains pressure on Russia amid concerns of potential Ukraine invasion Sunday shows - Russia standoff over Ukraine dominates GOP senator says US should impose sanctions on Russia 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 DainesHillicon Valley: Amazon's Alabama union fight — take two Senate Judiciary Committee to debate key antitrust bill Overnight Defense & National Security — No punishments in botched Kabul drone strike 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 TillisBipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law There is a bipartisan path forward on election and voter protections Overnight Energy & Environment — Starting from 'scratch' on climate, spending bill 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 HaganInfighting grips Nevada Democrats ahead of midterms Democrats, GOP face crowded primaries as party leaders lose control Biden's gun control push poses danger for midterms 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 BullockDark money group spent 0M on voter turnout in 2020 In Montana, a knock-down redistricting fight over a single line 65 former governors, mayors back bipartisan infrastructure deal 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