If the 2020 election were held today, President Donald Trump would lose, convincingly, to three of the most-mentioned potential 2020 Democrats, according to a new CNN/SSRS poll.
While 2020 polling in 2018 is of relatively limited value, a deeper dive into potential Trump head-to-head matchups with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, former Vice President Joe Biden and talk show host Oprah Winfrey reveals a major problem for Trump as he seeks to build a winning coalition in 2020: Women — across virtually every age, education and racial range — have moved against him in major numbers.
Biden holds an eye-popping 36-point edge over Trump among women, while Sanders leads Trump by 30 and Oprah bests him by 29. That’s a very different result than in the 2016 election, when Hillary Clinton beat Trump by 13 points among women, according to exit polling
. Orders of magnitude different.
There are a handful of other numbers in the poll — detailing Trump’s performance with various female subgroups — that are even more eye-popping.
- Among white women — a group Trump carried over Clinton by 9 points in 2016 — Biden crushes Trump by 23 points. Sanders beats the incumbent by 17 points among white women, while Oprah’s margin is 14.
- Among women who identify as political independents, Biden leads Trump by 44 — yes 44! — points. Sanders has a 28-point lead while Oprah’s edge is 26 points.
- Among women 50 years old and younger, Sanders leads Trump by a startlingly large 49 points as compared to a 47 point lead for Biden and a 41 point advantage for Oprah.
What these numbers suggest is that Trump’s problem with female voters during the 2016 campaign has gotten considerably worse since he has been in office.
And that is a huge issue that Trump must find a way to resolve — or, at least, mitigate — if he wants to have any chance of winning a second term in 2020.
Women made up 53% of the electorate in 2016 and have cast a majority of the votes in every presidential election since 1984. The largest margin among women in a modern presidential election was Bill Clinton’s 16-point win in his swamping of Bob Dole in 1996. Barack Obama won women by 13 points in 2008 and 11 points in 2012 — roughly equivalent to the 13-point margin for Clinton in 2016.
The point here is simple: If Trump loses women by double digits, it’s very hard to make the math add up for him.