Poll: Trump disapproval hits all-time high and he trails Biden by 8

Just 40% of Americans approve of the job President Trump is doing and 58% disapprove, an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds.
Just 40 percent of Americans approve of the job President Trump is doing and 58 percent disapprove, an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds.
Patrick Semansky/AP

After weeks of protests against police brutality and racism, and amid a renewed spike in coronavirus cases, the number of voters disapproving of the job President Trump is doing is at an all-time high, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds.

Trump's approval rating sits at just 40 percent overall, while a record 58 percent disapprove.

What's more, a whopping 49 percent of voters "strongly disapprove" of the job Trump is doing. That kind of intensity of disapproval is a record never before seen for this president or any past one.

In the general election matchup, former Vice President Joe Biden leads Trump by 8 percentage points, 52 percent to 44 percent. That's a considerable margin, and it's especially important that Biden is above — not just reaching — 50 percent.

But it's not as wide a lead for Biden as other surveys have found recently. And it's not dissimilar to what the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found earlier this month. Then, Biden led 50 percent to Trump's 43 percent.

In the latest poll, conducted Monday through Wednesday this week, Biden has sizable leads with Black voters, people who live in big cities, women, white women with college degrees, young voters and suburban voters.

Trump's strongest support comes from white evangelical Christians, white men without college degrees and people who live in rural areas.

But Biden leads or is eating into Trump's margins with groups Trump won in 2016, including independents, whites, white men with college degrees and voters 65 and older.

Trump, for example, won white men with college degrees in 2016 by 53 percent to 39 percent. In this poll, Biden leads 54 percent to 42 percent. And for all the dissatisfaction about Biden voiced by young voters in the Democratic primary, 63 percent of voters ages 18 to 29 choose Biden over Trump. That's a higher percentage than the 55 percent Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

The one group Biden continues to underperform with slightly is Latinos — 59 percent of Latinos said they'd vote for Biden over Trump, but Clinton won 66 percent of their votes in 2016.

A major shift in American politics appears to be solidifying in America's suburbs. In 2016, Trump won the suburbs 49 percent to 45 percent. In this poll, like in other polls, however, Biden is ahead in the suburbs, 60 percent to 35 percent. That is a major shift, one that was seen in the 2018 midterms and that handed Democrats control of the House of Representatives.

The high level of disapproval and Biden's lead also coincide with two-thirds of Americans saying earlier this month in the poll that Trump has mostly increased tensions since George Floyd's death at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

The bad news for the president also comes on the heels of an underwhelming rally in Tulsa, Okla. His campaign had promised an overflow crowd and outdoor festivities and speeches, which never came to fruition.

These are all eyebrow-raising numbers, and Trump's handling of race and the coronavirus may have done irreparable damage to him, but his core voters are still enthusiastic for him — 90 percent of Republicans approve of the job he's doing and 91 percent say they would choose him over Biden.

And Democratic strategists believe this is a low-water mark for Trump and expect a tightening of the race as the election gets closer.


The survey of 1,515 registered voters was conducted from June 22 through June 25, with live telephone callers via cellphone and landline by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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