President Trump has bragged that he could shoot a man in the middle of Fifth Avenue and not lose any votes. But he might want to consider moving any public executions to a side street: His stalwart support among Republicans may be slipping. Almost a third of the GOP wants a new Republican candidate for president in 2020, according to a new poll by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI).
Thirty-one percent of Republicans want to see Trump replaced at the top of the ticket, while 63 percent want to see Trump run for re-election. Six percent were apparently undecided (unless Trump took them on a walk down Fifth Avenue).
The survey found that Republicans who opposed Trump’s nomination in 2016 continue to oppose him now: 60 percent want to see him replaced on the presidential ticket, while 34 percent want him to be the nominee. Overall, about 18 percent of Republicans say they were Never Trump-ers in 2016 and would not support him in 2020.
The poll also quantified the size of the president’s rock-solid base: It’s about 40 percent of people who identify as Republicans or lean GOP. The overwhelming majority of “strong Republicans” — 75 percent — want to see Trump run for re-election. But only 42 percent of those who only lean Republican — a.k.a. swing voters — want him to be the nominee.
Among the public at large, there are ominous signs for the Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections. Forty-four percent of Americans told PPRI they would vote for a generic Democratic candidate on the ballot, while 37 percent would vote Republican.
And Trump’s approval ratings continue to scrape record lows. PRRI found his approval rating is 41 percent, while 40 percent of Americans think Trump should be impeached.
For the week ending Dec. 3, Gallup found that the president’s approval rating has matched its record low of 35%. He hit that number twice previously: The week of his comments about the Charlottesville, Virginia white supremacists, and the week in which he disputed the contents of a phone call he had with the widow of a Special Forces officer killed in Niger.