Trump’s improving political position is where we begin today.
Today, Trump’s polling position with Americans overall is one of his best, and he remains the front-runner for the 2024 Republican nomination.
The former President’s favorable rating stands at 43% with an unfavorable rating of 52%. That makes for a net favorability rating of -9 points — not particularly high, but then Trump was never particularly popular.
But being barely ahead or tied with Biden would have been a revelation for Trump in 2020. He managed to lead in only about 1% of all national polls taken in 2020 — and in none that met CNN’s standards for publication.
In raw numbers, Trump’s been ahead in more polls against Biden over the past few months than he was for the entirety of 2020.
Trump’s favorable rating with Republicans is at or slightly north of 80%. His “very favorable” rating is in the low 50s. By this measure, Trump is more beloved by Republicans than Biden is by Democrats. There is no Republican active in the political arena who is as well liked at this point by the party faithful as Trump.
Ahead of 2024, Trump continues to post some of the strongest numbers in national primary polls for any nonincumbent in the last 50 years. He laps the field with about 50% of the vote. Previous nonincumbents polling at Trump’s level all went on to win their party’s nomination for president if they decided to run.
Still, Trump is in an enviable position. One that might have been unimaginable when he left office in January 2021.
The question for which the answer is yet unknown is what happens if Trump decides to run for president again? Will the American public’s strong dislike of him from January 2021 return? Or does distance really make the heart grow fonder?
We may just find out.
Democrats get a reminder: Their base is not very liberal
Both results showed the potency of a tough-on-crime message, even in Democratic strongholds, as I discussed earlier this week.
But they also demonstrate that Democrats overall aren’t anywhere near as liberal as many progressives wish they were.
Take a look at a CNN/SSRS poll from earlier this year. Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, 64% identified as moderate or conservative. Just 17% said they were very liberal, with the remainder indicating they were somewhat liberal.
Other polling isn’t nearly as dramatic, though it makes the same point. Summer 2021 data from the Pew Research Center poll for instance showed that 15% of Democrats were very liberal, while 52% were either moderate (45%), conservative (5%) or very conservative (2%). The 2020 general election exit poll showed that just 42% of Biden voters were liberal, while 58% were moderate or conservative.
This doesn’t mean that very progressive politicians can’t win office. Many of them do. Ideology is one of several things that determine whom people vote for, especially in primaries.
The fact is, however, that the Democratic base is not like the Republican base when it comes to the pull of the ideological extremes. The Republican base is far more likely to identify as conservative than moderate, and very conservatives make up a roughly similar share of Republicans as moderates do.
It’s no wonder then that even in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, which Biden won by over 50 points, progressives are far from shoo-ins.
For your brief encounters: It’s Flag Day on Tuesday
Flag Day (June 14) is not a major holiday, but Americans do love their flag. In fact, actions toward the American flag are the top way for US citizens to show their patriotism.
According to a 2018 SSRS poll, 23% said flying, saluting, displaying or respecting the flag in general was the way they showed their American patriotism. That beat out respecting or supporting the troops (15%) for the top spot.
The topic most frequently spoken about in this column (voting) came in at 11% — good for fourth place.