Latest Poll Data Suggests Shutdown Hurt Trump, Helped Democrats

Before jumping in, it’s worth noting that polling data has proven less certain over the last few years. Remember, Hillary Clinton seemed to be almost guaranteed to win the 2016 presidential race, at least if you were listening to the pundits and their polls. That being said, the most recent Quinnipiac University Poll suggests the record-breaking government shutdown may have hurt Trump and bolstered Democrats.

In fact, 49 percent of Americans now trust Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi over President Trump. Conversely, 42 percent said they trusted Trump more. Perhaps more daunting for the president, just 36 percent of independents reported that they trusted him more, while 49 percent trusted Pelosi. This is important because independents go a long way in determining who wins the presidential race.

And, mind you, we’re talking about Nancy Pelosi. While many who follow DC politics closely respect Pelosi for her acumen, she’s never been much beloved by the public. Back in August of 2018, nearly three-quarters of voters, including 49 percent of Democrats, felt that Nancy Pelosi should have been replaced as the leader of Democrats in the House. While her numbers have likely improved in recent weeks, it’s not a good sign for the president that he’s matching up poorly with one of the more controversial members of the House. (To be clear, Pelosi isn’t going to run for president, but Trump could match up even more poorly with more beloved Democrats.)

And it’s not just President Trump who’s struggling. Only 30 percent of Americans support the way Republicans in Congress are handling their job while 65 percent disapprove. Just 38 percent approve of Democrats, while 48 percent disapprove. While these numbers may not seem impressive, they’re actually the best Democrats have enjoyed since 2009. Even back then, just 38 percent approved while 50 percent disapproved.

It wasn’t all bad news for President Trump. He was able to match the approval ratings for Democrats, also scoring 38 percent. However, 57 percent of voters disapprove of the job Trump is doing. With 2020 fast approaching, Trump will need to shore up those numbers if he’s going to hang onto the White House.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Brian Brinker

Brian Brinker is a political consultant and has an M.A in Global Affairs from American University.

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