By Nicholas Fondacaro
During an appearance on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, FiveThirtyEight senior writer Perry Bacon Jr. made a 2020 election prediction that the other members of the liberal panel didn’t want to hear: President Donald Trump, though unpopular, had a “very good chance” at getting reelected. All because the Democratic candidates were growing more unpopular by the day.
“And Perry, coming off our very strong Black Friday, the economy has not taken a major stumble under the President’s watch,” noted fill-in host and ABC chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz. “But his approval rating, clearly, still low. But if the economy stays strong, could that outweigh the negative?”
It was shortly thereafter that Bacon had to break the news to them. “This is still a very close electoral environment. Donald Trump, despite being unpopular, could win the election,” he said.
“In part, because the polls show that Democratic candidates for president are getting more unpopular sort of every day almost,” he added. “Biden started off this race fairly popular, he’s more unpopular. Warren and Sanders are more unpopular. Buttigieg, if he gets to becomes more known will get more unpopular too, is my suspicion.”
According to him, part of why Trump was so well-positioned for 2020 was the fact that no other president had poll numbers as stable as his. Plus, he had closer margins in key states:
But assuming he’s not going to change; like we’ve never had this before, where polling about Donald Trump is more stable than any previous president. He basically has 40 percent people who like him—40 percent and about 52 percent don’t like him. Those numbers don’t change no matter what he says no matter what he does. Impeachment, of all things, has not changed it.
So I think, with that said, 40 percent national polling is different in Wisconsin to where he’s much closer—I believe the polls a little bit—He’s much closer to 47 percent in Wisconsin.
“So, I think, Donald Trump has a very good chance to win the election even though he’s very unpopular,” Bacon reiterated.
Bacon apparently triggered ABC political analyst Matthew Dowd because he immediately horned in at the end to object. “If I counsel anybody watching this is, look at the job approval numbers and look at the job approval numbers in five or six states. And it’s not going to matter,” he declared.
After misremembering and claiming he was part of the team that got President George W. Bush reelected in 2007 (instead of 2004), Dowd predicted Trump was going to lose citing his job approval rating. “If Donald Trump’s job approval numbers are where they are today—If he’s in the low 40s in those five states, it does not matter what the favorability rating or who the Democratic nominee is, Donald Trump will lose,” Dowd huffed.
In 2016, both Trump and Hillary Clinton were polling negatively when it came to popularity. But we know how that one turned out and it seemed to be shaping up to be a repeat.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Newsbusters and is reposted with permission.