We discussed last week how the President’s poll numbers seemed to be in a downward spiral, a notion that was backed up by almost all polls aggregated at 538 and Real Clear Politics. However, this week has provided a small amount of relief to the Trump campaign as our polling shows some slight improvements in the state numbers.
Arizona: D+8 (-2 from last week)
Florida: D+6 (-2)
Michigan: D+6 (-6)
Minnesota: D+12 (-2)
North Carolina: D+6 (-2)
Pennsylvania: D+12 (no change)
Wisconsin: D+14 (-2)
Texas: D+4 (-2)
National: D+12 (no change)
The most interesting shift has taken place in Michigan. An analysis of the swing shows that while sentiment for both Trump and Biden has been falling over the past week, the month of July has been relatively positive for Trump when compared to Biden’s sentiment trend. While Biden has been continually generating a higher sentiment level than the President in the state, the gap has been closing and is beginning to be reflected in a smaller Biden lead in our Michigan poll numbers.
While these “improvements” are just a small amount of the ground Trump needs to make up, the reality is that both candidates generate negative sentiment across the board – nationally and in the states. We observed a similar situation in 2016 between Trump and Clinton, where both candidates tended to generate slightly negative sentiment. In 2020, Trump’s base sentiment is firmly negative, while Biden remains in slightly negative territory. It is a gap that will have to close, either by a Trump improvement, or a Biden deterioration, for the race to become more competitive.