President Donald Trump blew his lid when CNN came out with a devastating poll showing him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 campaign by a stunning 14-points. The poll was so unsettling, it seemed, that he demanded the network retract it (a request CNN promptly laughed off).
But on Monday, Trump got similarly bad news from a much friendlier source. Just the News, an outlet started by media ally John Solomon, released a new survey with longtime pro-Trump pollster Scott Rasmussen.
According to this poll, Trump is 12 points behind Biden, 36-48. This is pretty devastating — it's in territory that essentially guarantees the electoral college won't save Trump, and even wide bands of a margin of error don't help him much. It's just one poll, of course — but in combination with the CNN survey and many others showing Trump's approval falling, things are looking bleak for the president. It remains possible he could recover from these depths, but it's clear he needs a change of course.
Rasmussen didn't sugar coat it:
"There is no way to describe these numbers as anything but bad news for President Trump," Rasmussen said. "If the election were held today, he would lose … and lose badly. The Republican majority in the Senate would certainly be at risk as well."
"The only real concern for Democrats in this polling is that the election is not being held today," Rasmussen said. "These numbers would have been unimaginable a few months ago – before the pandemic, the lockdowns, and the murder of George Floyd. Depending upon how events unfold, things might look much different in November than they do today. But for now, Biden is the clear leader in the race."
State-level polls should also worry Trump. A news Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll found that Trump leads Biden by only a single point in the Hawkeye state, which few expected to be competitive. If Trump only wins the state by a narrow margin in November, it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that he's lost the White House.
"Not as high a gap in this one but yet another poll where Trump's job approval is a few ticks ahead of his ballot share," said the New York Times' Maggie Haberman of the Iowa poll, "which some pollsters see as a sign that even some of those who like how he's doing are exhausted by him."