Donald Trump Narrows Gap in Matchups Against Democratic Challengers, New Poll Says

President Donald Trump's chances for re-election may be better than they were three months ago, results from a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Monday indicate.

Trump's leads over his Democratic challengers in an earlier survey have thinned over the past few months, according to the new poll.

Respondents were asked whether they would vote for Trump or any of his Democratic challengers. Among respondents, 51 percent said they would vote for former Vice President Joe Biden if he was the Democratic nominee, compared with 44 percent who said they would support Trump.

In October, 56 percent of those polled said they would vote for Biden in a matchup against Trump, while 39 percent replied that they would vote for the president.

Like Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders, who has been in second place behind the former vice president in most national polls, has had his lead over Trump reduced. According to the new survey, 52 percent of respondents said they would vote for Sanders over Trump, while 44 percent said they would support the president. When pollsters asked the same question in October, 56 percent said they would vote for Sanders and just 39 percent said they would vote to re-elect Trump.

This shift is also seen with Senator Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana. A higher percentage of respondents said that they would vote for Trump over these two candidates in the January poll, compared with the October survey.

In its analysis, the Post noted that the results also indicated that approval of the president's performance has risen from the results in previous iterations of the same poll. The president's approval rating has gone up even amid his impeachment and ongoing Senate trial.

In the Post-ABC News poll from October 2019, 38 percent of respondents said they approved "of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president." In the most recent poll, that percentage had gone up 6 percentage points to 44 percent.

Meanwhile, the percentage of respondents who disapprove of the president's performance has gone down since October, from 58 percent to 51 percent.

The Post said the higher approval rating may be partly due to the fact that the percentage of Americans who believe the president has improved the economy has risen since the Post and ABC News last asked the question, in September.

The poll results show that the percentage of Americans who approve of the way Trump has managed the economy has risen 10 percentage points since September, from 46 percent to 56 percent. Another 38 percent disapproved of the president's handling of the economy. These were the highest approval and lowest disapproval numbers for Trump's management of the economy since he took office, according to the Post-ABC News' polling.

Lastly, the results indicated that about half of all Americans believe Trump will emerge victorious in the November election. When they were asked "Regardless of whom you support, who do you expect to win the election for president, (Trump) or (the Democratic candidate)?" 49 percent replied Trump. On the other hand, 43 percent said they thought whoever becomes the Democratic nominee would win, while 8 percent had "no opinion."

However, in its analysis of the poll results, the Post noted that this expectation of victory was "highly partisan." A majority of both Democrats (78 percent) and Republicans (87 percent) said they believed that their party's candidate would win in November.

Newsweek attempted to contact the Democratic National Committee and the president's re-election campaign for comment but did not receive replies before publication.

Trump Addresses Mayors On Transforming American Communities
President Donald Trump at a White House event with U.S. mayors on January 24, 2020. Drew Angerer/Getty

The poll was conducted via telephone among a random sample of 1,004 Americans between January 20 and 23. Among the respondents, 880 said they were registered voters. Sixty-five percent were contacted on cellphones, while 35 percent were reached through landlines. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.