The 2020 election will not be held tomorrow, which is almost certainly good news for President Trump.

A poll released Wednesday by Fox News offers numbers stacking Trump up against leading Democratic candidates in next year’s presidential contest. Trump does not fare well.

He does not fare well in general, trailing the top-polling Democrat, former vice president Joe Biden, by double digits.

He does not fare well broadly, trailing or essentially tied with three other Democrats.

He does not fare well in the details, with several numbers suggesting that he’s doing poorly with some groups with which he needs to do well and that voters who are more likely to oppose him are also more likely to be motivated to cast a ballot.


It’s not a good poll.

Let’s take two sets of numbers by way of explaining how bad the poll is for Trump. Let’s look at the head-to-head preference of a number of demographic groups and compare that with the percentage of that group that said it was “extremely motivated” to vote in 2020. And let’s look at those numbers for a Trump-Biden matchup as well as a matchup between Trump and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

That gives us this:

Now let’s break out some interesting contrasts.


For example, let’s look at party. Democrats and voters who supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 are more likely to say they are extremely motivated to vote in 2020. They are also more strongly supportive of Biden than Republicans and Trump voters are of Trump. In fact, according to this poll, 9 percent of those who voted for Trump in 2016 would pick Biden over him next year.

The overall vote, there in the middle, is relatively low on the motivation scale — because it’s dragged down by independents, who aren’t super excited about voting in the election. Only about a third of independents are extremely motivated to vote. They also like Biden more than Trump but are split in a Trump-Warren contest.

You may have noted in the first graph that the light-blue dots — Warren — are consistently to the right of the dark-blue ones. In other words, while Warren has more support overall than Trump, Biden’s margins against Trump are consistently better. (Fox also polled Democratic primary voters, who are more than twice as likely to say Biden has the best chance of beating Trump as they are to say that of Warren.)

Now let’s look at race and gender. Women are more likely to be extremely motivated than men and more likely to support the Democrats — but whites are more motivated than nonwhites. There are a lot more white voters than nonwhite voters, of course, about a 3-to-1 margin in recent presidential contests. But that’s offset by the split vote among whites and the strong support for the Democratic candidates among nonwhites.

Notice, too, the gap between the light- and dark-blue dots among nonwhites. Nonwhite voters like Biden against Trump more than they do Warren, a dynamic that also appears in primary polling. In Fox’s poll, Biden gets three times as much support as Warren from nonwhite Democratic primary voters.

Diving a level deeper, we break out the white vote by education level. Whites with a college degree lean for the Democratic candidates — and are a lot more likely to be extremely motivated to vote than the more Trump-friendly demographic of whites without a degree.

We broke out two groups specifically. The first is white women without a college degree, a group that backed Trump by 27 points in 2016. In a Biden-Trump contest, they prefer Trump by ... one point.


Suburban women have been a focus of recent political analysis, given polling showing them turning dramatically away from the Republican Party under Trump. In the 2018 midterms, they helped the Democrats take a slew of suburban House districts previously held by a Republican. In this Fox News poll, that group prefers Warren to Trump by 20 points.

They prefer Biden to Trump by 30. No wonder Biden leads Trump by 14 points overall.

So what did Trump do, now that he has access to new survey data from his favorite cable network? He tweeted some poll numbers ... from Rasmussen Reports, a polling outlet that is consistently friendlier to Trump and his party than other pollsters. (Rasmussen estimated a one-point advantage for the GOP in the midterms, for example.) Sure, maybe Fox said Biden was winning a head-to-head contest, but Rasmussen said Trump’s approval was 51 percent (a figure that’s lower than support for Biden in that Fox poll).

He has tweeted basically the same thing, down to the picture, dozens of times.