The new Post-ABC News poll paints an ugly picture for Trump. His approval rating now sits at 38 percent, a drop of 6 points since June. 56% say they disapprove of his performance in office. Approval of his handling of the economy has slipped 5 points, to 46 percent, with 47 percent disapproving.
And while 56 percent rate the economy positively, 60 percent expect a recession in the next year. An abysmal 35 percent approve of Trump’s handling of trade relations with China, vs. 56 percent who disapprove — even as 60 percent are concerned that Trump’s trade war will hike prices for them.
Among both independents and college-educated whites, Trump’s approval is an abysmal 36 percent, and large majorities of both groups expect a recession and disapprove of Trump’s handling of China and trade. Remarkably, only 42 percent of college-educated whites approve of Trump on the economy, vs. 53 percent who disapprove.
A new CNN poll finds 60% of Americans say President Trump does not deserve to be reelected.
“Overall, the poll paints a picture of a President who has done little to improve negative impressions of him or his work during his time in office. Across several questions asked early in Trump’s time in office and asked again now, the poll finds little positive change and deep partisan polarization.”
“The President’s approval rating remains about where it was in mid-August, with 39% approving of the job he’s doing and 55% disapproving.”
“Joe Biden plans to argue at this week’s debate that all presidential candidates — including the incumbent — must be transparent about their finances and any business dealings in their past,” Bloomberg reports.
“The approach, described by a Biden adviser on condition of anonymity, could be seen as a veiled attack on Elizabeth Warren, who the Democratic front-runner is sharing a debate stage with for the first time on Thursday in Houston.”
Meanwhile, CNN reports Biden is expected to use this week’s debate to argue Democrats should select a nominee who is able to offer “more than plans,” previewing a potential line of attack against Warren, whose campaign mantra is “I’ve got a plan for that.”
Walter Shapiro: “I have never understand the logic of telegraphing your debate strategy by leaking to reporters before the event. If a campaign is smart, I assume that all such leaks are calculated disinformation.”
“Ahead of the third Democratic presidential primary debate in Houston this week, candidates are being instructed to clean up their language,” CNN reports.
In an email to campaigns: “We will not be broadcasting on any delay, so there will be no opportunity to edit out foul language. Candidates should therefore avoid cursing or expletives in accordance with federal law and FCC guidelines.”
A new Emerson poll in New Hampshire finds Joe Biden leading the Democratic presidential race with 24%, followed by Elizabeth Warren at 21%, Bernie Sanders at 13%, Pete Buttigieg at 11%, Kamala Harris at 8%, Tulsi Gabbard at 6%, Cory Booker at 4%, Andrew Yang at 3% and John Delaney at 3%.
In February, Sanders led the race with 27%.
A new Univision poll finds Joe Biden leading the Democratic field among Latino voters with 22%, followed by Bernie Sanders at 20%, Julian Castro at 12%, Elizabeth Warren at 11%, Kamala Harris at 8% and Beto O’Rourke at 6%. No other candidates scored above 2% with Latinos.
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) told the Wall Street Journal that he thinks Joe Biden could beat President Trump in Michigan in 2020, should he win the Democratic nomination. Said Upton: “Today he would.”
Nate Silver: “Yesterday, I wrote about the middle and upper echelons of the Democratic field: those candidates who are polling in the mid-single-digits or higher. You can certainly posit a rough order of which of these candidates are more likely to win the nomination. I’d much rather wager a few shekels on Joe Biden than Pete Buttigieg, for instance. But I don’t think there’s any hard-and-fast distinction between the top tier and the next-runners-up.”
“For candidates outside of that group — those polling in the low single digits, or worse — I have less welcome news. I don’t really care which order you place them in, because unless they turn it around soon, they’re probably toast.”
In a Facebook post that generated speculation she would run for president, Carly Fiorina objected to being called “disloyal” because she is critical of President Trump.
She added: “I am not alone. Many others have been intimidated into silence or compelled to defend the indefensible… It is not a citizen’s job to ‘be loyal’; it is the official’s job to earn our loyalty. And when they cannot, we vote them out of office. As citizens it is both our responsibility and our right to hold elected officials accountable: for their words, their actions and the consequences of both.”
However, a source close to Fiorina told National Review that she’s not running.
Former congressional candidate Jon Ossoff (D) told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he will challenge Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and “mount a ruthless assault on corruption in our political system” that’s prevented Congress from addressing urgent issues.
Republican leadership lowered expectations for the outcome in Tuesday’s North Carolina’s 9th District special election, calling it a “swing district,” Roll Call reports. Said GOP Whip Steve Scalise: “You know, the Bishop district is a very tough swing district.” President Trump carried this district by 12 points in 2016.
Playbook: “Tonight, Republican Dan Bishop and Democrat Dan McCready will finally face off in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. Nearly $20 million has been spent on this race — McCready has spent $4.7 million, Bishop has spent $1.7 million, and the NRCC and CLF have spent a combined $5.4 million. All the groups involved in this race say the same thing: Internal polling has the two candidates within a few points of each other — all within the margin of error.”
“As you know by now, this district went for President Trump by a dozen points. Democrats don’t have much business holding this seat.”
Old North State Politics: “The last time a Democrat held the seat was up to 1962, when Hugh Quincy Alexander lost his re-election bid to Republican Jim Broyhill in that year’s mid-term; Republicans have held the different configurations of this district since 1963.”
“Many Democrats see Joe Biden as a voice of ideological restraint in a party rapidly moving to the left,” McClatchy reports. “But the 2020 Democratic frontrunner’s emerging policy agenda is anything but moderate — at least compared to the party’s last presidential nominee.”
“From health care to climate change to criminal justice, Biden has proposed ideas more ambitious and liberal than policies supported by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 campaign, a McClatchy review of the candidates’ platforms found.”
Politico: “What’s interesting about O’Rourke at this moment is not just that he’s saying fuck a whole bunch—he’s always dropped curse words on the stump—but that he’s entered more broadly a new phase of his 2020 bid, which supporters find inspiring and critics consider desperate to the point of pathetic. Up close, though, it feels actually pretty compelling.”
“Let’s go ahead and call it Beto’s ‘fuck-it phase.’”
“The question lurking behind this caution-free style is whether O’Rourke is doing this because he cares less about his stagnant candidacy or because he in fact cares so much more.”
Jim VandeHei: “Every public poll shows a steady and indisputable trend: The Democratic 2020 race is a three-way brawl between 70-somethings who came to fame in the U.S. Senate.”
“In this era of change, technology and disruption, Democrats seem content with three pre-Internet era throwbacks: Bernie Sanders, 78; Joe Biden, 76; and Elizabeth Warren, 70.”
“The Democratic nominee will run against 73-year-old President Trump.”
Wall Street Journal: “Delegate-rich California’s primary was moved forward this cycle to March 3, the critical voting day known as Super Tuesday, from June in 2016. California’s mail-in voting starts a month earlier, the same day Iowa voters go to the polls, and the state is home to generous liberal donors in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles.”
“All that means California’s importance to the 2020 primaries has increased exponentially. The top candidates have been to California 58 times. The state is third only to Iowa (108) and New Hampshire (77).”