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Michelle vs. Trump, And The Winner Is...

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Michelle Obama has been making the rounds promoting her new book, prompting buzz about a potential presidential run, which she has vehemently denied. But with the midterms over and the focus on 2020, voters think she’d stand a chance.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that, in a hypothetical matchup, 50% of all Likely U.S. Voters would vote for Obama over President Trump. Forty-three percent (43%) would vote instead for Trump’s reelection. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

By comparison, a survey in January found TV personality Oprah Winfrey beating Trump 48% to 38% in a hypothetical 2020 matchup. Last month, Democratic fan favorite Senator Elizabeth Warren just barely edged out Trump 46% to 44% in a hypothetical matchup.

Most voters (60%) continue to have a favorable opinion of the former first lady, including 44% who view her Very Favorably. Thirty-six percent (36%) have an unfavorable opinion of Obama, including 22% with a Very Unfavorable one. This shows little change from 2016, though slightly more voters have a favorable opinion of her today.

Voters feel comparably these days about the current first lady Melania Trump.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on November 12-13, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.  

In a hypothetical matchup with Hillary Clinton in 2015, Obama earned just 17% support to Clinton’s 37%. A sizable 40% at the time preferred some other candidate.

As is typically the case, voters vote on party lines: in a hypothetical matchup between Obama and Trump, 76% of Republicans would vote for Trump, while most Democrats (79%) would choose Obama. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, the former first lady has a 50% to 40% edge.

Democrats and unaffiliateds also view Obama much more favorably than Republicans do.

Black and other minority voters have a more favorable impression of Obama than white voters do, and she leads in a hypothetical matchup among those voters. Among white voters, Trump has a four-point lead.

Men and women hold equally favorable opinions of Obama, but she holds a bigger lead against Trump with women. Men are closely divided between the two.

Voters under 40 like Obama more than their elders and give her a bigger edge in a hypothetical 2020 matchup.

Voters are growing more convinced that there’s a second term in sight for the 45th president: 47% now believe it’s likely Trump will be reelected in 2020, up eight points from August. Twenty-nine percent (29%) think it’s more likely that the president will be defeated by the Democratic nominee in 2020, while another 16% feel Trump will be impeached before finishing a full term in the White House.

In February, 44% of voters said they were more likely to vote for Trump over the Democratic nominee in the 2020 election. Slightly more (47%) said they were more inclined to put a Democrat in the White House.

Former Vice President Joe Biden remains the clear favorite among Democrats to be their presidential nominee in 2020. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who challenged Hillary Clinton for the party’s nomination in 2016, is a fading second.

While the better-known candidates continue to lead the pack, three-out-of-four Democrats think their party needs to turn to someone new for the 2020 race.

Forty-seven percent (47%) of all voters and 79% of Democrats say they miss having Trump’s predecessor and Obama’s husband, Barack Obama, in the White House.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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