President Donald Trump has been a historically unpopular president for most of his time in office and his administration has been plagued by record-setting turnover and difficulties getting key initiatives off the ground. Despite all of this, recent evidence shows Trump still has a good shot of being reelected in 2020.
The president’s approval rating is currently around 45%, according to Gallup. Trump’s most recent predecessor, former President Barack Obama, had an identical approval rating at this point in his presidency and was reelected in 2012.
Comparatively, in mid-April 1995, former President Bill Clinton had an approval rating of 46%, according to Gallup, and he was also reelected.
Trump is also dominating possible Democratic opponents in the fundraising race. The president raised $30 million in the first quarter of 2019 and has about $40 million in cash on hand.
Sens. Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris, who are leading the Democratic field in terms of money raised, raked in $18.2 million and $12 million respectively in the first quarter.
To put it another way, Trump in the first quarter of 2019 raised as much as the two 2020 Democrats leading the field in fundraising combined.
Incumbent presidents have a big advantage in terms of fundraising and it’s also true that many 2020 Democrats didn’t hop in the race until late February or March.
Meanwhile, voters seem to overwhelmingly approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, which also bodes well for him moving forward.
Recent data shows the the US job market remains strong, wages for Americans are on the rise, and consumer confidence is near the highest level since the recession. Historical data shows that a strong economy can help boost a president’s reelection chances, though the link may be weakening in recent years.
A CNN poll from mid-March found 71% of Americans say the economy is in good shape, which is the highest percentage to express this view since 2001.
The poll also found a majority of Americans (51%) approve of Trump’s handling of the economy.
A more recent Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service “Battleground Poll” found 58% of Americans approve of the job he’s done on the economy.
The poll also found 55% disapprove of Trump overall, and a majority (57%) said the country is on the wrong track. But among Republicans, Trump’s level of support remains strong, with 74% of GOP voters saying the country is heading in the right direction.
A February poll from Pew Research Center found that strengthening the economy ranks as the top issue overall for Americans, though other polls place issues like healthcare higher on the list.
In short, it’s hard to say how much of an advantage Trump gets from positive perceptions of his handling of the economy, but it certainly doesn’t hurt him.