Trump Slumps in Polling Amid Protests and Pandemic

President Donald Trump walks from the White House through Lafayette Park to visit St. John’s Church June 1 in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(CN) — As daily protests sparked by the death of George Floyd continue while the country attempts to navigate through a pandemic, polling data released Monday shows that more voters are growing disenchanted with President Donald Trump.

According to a new CNN poll, only 38% of Americans say they approve of Trump’s job performance in office while 57% voice their disapproval.

This puts Trump’s current approval at the worst it has been since the start of last year, an approval rating that bears a striking resemblance to the approval ratings of Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush during similar periods in their term of office, both of whom lost their re-election bids.

Regarding Trump’s own run for re-election, the poll does not suggest an optimistic future for the president. Among the voters polled, 41% say they will vote for Trump while 55% say they are throwing their support behind former Vice President Joe Biden.

This 14-point deficit for the president puts Trump at his lowest point in CNN’s tracking history since last spring and gives Biden his highest peak reported so far.

Monday’s poll showing Trump losing ground to his 2020 rival seemingly did not go unnoticed by the president.

“CNN polls are as fake as their reporting,” Trump said in a tweet Monday morning after the release of the CNN survey.

The poll also found that Trump’s response to the current crisis over race relations in the United States has left a lot to be desired. More than 6-in-10 voters say they disapprove of how Trump has managed the current race issue, while another 65% believe that his response to the nationwide protests has so far been more hurtful than helpful.

These numbers come in as the vast majority of Americans support the protests taking place across the county in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of a then-Minneapolis police officer.

An overwhelming 84% say that the peaceful protests are justified, while another 27% say that even the violent protests in response to police violence against African Americans are justified. Both numbers in Monday’s poll are higher than numbers reported back in 2016 when similar protests took place.

While racial and political divides are not significantly noticeable when it comes to who views the peaceful protests as justified, some notable divisions arise when looking at the violent demonstrations.

The poll shows that 42% of Democrats and 39% of black voters say they believe the violent protests are justified, compared to just 9% of Republicans and 23% of white voters who say the same.

While opinions differ on violent protests, a majority of Americans believe the country’s problems with racism is a vast and fundamental problem. Around two-thirds of Americans, including 88% of black Americans, say that racism is a large problem in today’s America, while 67% say they believe the United States is home to a criminal justice system that favors white people over black people.

This growing sentiment over the severity of racial issues is poised to play a prominent role in the upcoming general election, according to the polling data.

More than 4-in-10 voters now say that racial issues and race relations will be critically important to their vote for president come November, placing the issue of race alongside health care and the economy when it comes to voters’ biggest concerns this election cycle.

The importance of this issue is not bipartisan, however. While 60% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say that racial issues will be extremely important to them during the election, just 18% of Republicans and those that lean Republican say the same.

These numbers could bode well for Biden during his run for the presidency this year given that more voters trust the former VP on the issue compared to the president. The poll reports that 63% voters believe that Biden is the candidate best equipped to deal with race relations while 31% say that Trump is the candidate who can do the better job.

Echoing support that was seen during his fight in the Democratic primary, Biden continues to enjoy overwhelming support from African American voters on this issue. About 9-in-10 black voters say the former vice president would do the better job when it comes to race relations, while just 4% say the same for Trump.

Race is not the only issue that Biden is currently leading in. The poll shows that 55% of voters say they think that Biden would do the better job on handling the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and in leading the nation during times of crisis. Just 4-in-10 voters say the same for the president.

Trump was able to manage one notable victory over Biden in the poll, however – 51% of voters say they trust Trump to best manage the economy compared to the 46% that feel the same for Biden.

Regardless of which candidate voters throw their support behind, there is one thing most of them have in common going into the election: enthusiasm. CNN’s poll reports that 73% and 69% of Trump and Biden’s supporters respectively say they are excited to cast a ballot in the upcoming presidential contest.

The CNN poll contained a sample size of 1,259 individuals, including 1,125 registered voters. The poll’s margin of error for the entire sample size was plus or minus 3.4%, along with a plus or minus 3.6% margin of error for the registered voters.

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