The wave of women running for office in 2018 is likely to continue cresting in 2020 — and a new poll suggests that could be bad news for President Donald Trump.
A new poll from Axios by SurveyMonkey found that a number of potential female 2020 challengers to Trump (some who are likelier to run than others) all rate better than the president among registered voters. In fact, all the women that pollsters asked about — former first lady Michelle Obama, media magnate Oprah Winfrey, Sens. Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Elizabeth Warren, and 2016 candidate Hillary Clinton — would beat Trump were the election held today, according to the results.
Some of the potential candidates did better than others, and those with the widest margin over the president aren’t the ones who are likely to run.
Obama had a 13-point edge over Trump, and Winfrey a 12-point advantage. Obama has been adamant that she has no plans to run for the White House. While Winfrey’s speech at the Golden Globes at the start of the year sparked speculation that she might be weighing a presidential bid, she has also said she has no plans to jump into the race.
Of the senators in the mix, California’s Harris ranks best, beating Trump by 10 points, Sen. Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota has a 9-point lead, and Gillibrand is up by 6 points. Clinton leads Trump by 5 points.
This doesn’t look great for Elizabeth Warren
The results could be troubling for Warren, who leads Trump by just 2 points and fares the worst of all of the contenders mentioned.
Her recent activities have sent a pretty clear signal that she is interested in making a 2020 run. In September, she said she would take a “hard look” at running for the White House, and the Washington Post reported she’s built a sort of “shadow war room” designed to elect Democrats during the midterms that will better position a presidential bid for her.
Warren has unveiled headline-grabbing policy proposals, including one to overhaul American capitalism and another to fight corruption. In August, she released 10 years of her tax returns. Last month, she also released results of a DNA test that suggest she has a small proportion of Native American DNA after months of Trump calling her “Pocahontas” regarding claims to such heritage she made in her legal career. The maneuver got some blowback.
This is all still very early
To be sure, it’s pretty early in the game right now to be taking 2020 polls.
The 2018 midterms haven’t even happened yet, and none of these women have actually launched a campaign. Axios notes that a near majority of voters said they didn’t know enough about Harris, Klobuchar, or Gillibrand to give them a favorability rating. In the poll, just 40 percent of respondents said they approve of the job Trump is doing as president and were therefore likely to opt for any Democrat besides him.
There’s also the question of how potential Trump challengers in 2020 poll with the broader electorate compared to the Democratic Party, which will ultimately choose the nominee in the primary. A CNN poll last month asked Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents whom they preferred to run against Trump in 2020. A full third of them said former Vice President Joe Biden, 13 percent said Sen. Bernie Sander (I-VT), 9 percent said Warren, and 8 percent said Harris.
While it may be early to start speculating, Axios’s poll seems to signal that dealings with women are becoming an increasing problem for Trump and the Republican Party at large.
A new CNN poll released on Monday found that nearly two-thirds of registered women voters were likelier to vote for Democrats in the 2018 midterms, compared to 35 percent who said they would vote Republican. A record number of women are running for office this year, and that could very well continue into 2020 and beyond — including in the presidential election.