Poll: Just 36 percent of Americans indicate they would vote for Trump in 2020

WASHINGTON — Only about a third of Americans say that they will definitely or probably vote for Donald Trump if he runs for reelection in 2020, while half indicate that they’ll definitely or probably support his Democratic general election challenger, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

The poll found that just 18 percent of those surveyed believe that they will "definitely" support Trump if he runs in the next presidential election, with another 18 percent saying that they’ll "probably" choose him. But a significant chunk — 38 percent — say they’re dead set on voting against the GOP commander-in-chief, with an additional 14 percent saying that they’ll probably vote for the Democrat on the ballot.

While even the most nascent stages of the 2020 presidential race are likely at least a year away — and, of course, it’s unknown who will run for and win the Democratic nomination, how a possible primary challenger to Trump might fare and even whether Trump will ultimately decide to pursue another term at all — the numbers are striking when compared to the nation’s mood about then-President Bill Clinton after the first year of his presidency.

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Campaign promises that Trump kept in 2017
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Campaign promises that Trump kept in 2017

Nominate replacement for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

After congressional Republicans refused to hold a hearing for Obama nominee Merrick Garland to replace the late Antonin Scalia, who passed away in February 2016, Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the empty Supreme Court seat soon after taking office in January. At the time, he said, “I made a promise to the American people, if I were elected president I would find the very best judge in the country for the Supreme Court.”

Photo by REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Move U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

Trump announced in December that he planned to recognize Israel’s claim to a city at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict by moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

That would fulfill a 2016 campaign pledge, although he has offered no timeline for the embassy relocation and recently signed a waiver officially delaying any move for six months.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Suspend immigration from terror-prone regions

One of the first major uproars from the left during Trump’s presidency came after he signed an executive order suspending immigration from several Muslim-majority countries during his first week in office.

After a series of drawn-out court battles, the Supreme Court allowed the third version of the travel ban to go into full effect on December 4. The action meant people cannot enter the U.S. from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Chad – fulfilling a promise from a campaign speech that singled out Libya and Syria as two places from which he would suspend immigration.

Photo credit: Genaro Molina / LA Times via Getty Images

Enact lifetime ban on White House officials from lobbying for foreign governments and five-year ban on lobbying their own agency after leaving the administration

The former businessman came into the Oval Office eager to craft an image of someone yearning to prevent politicians from being bound to business interests. So in his quest to “drain the swamp,” Trump enacted an executive order in January meant to limit the sort of lucrative, ethically questionable jobs that former presidential aides have occasionally attained soon after leaving the White House.

Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Withdraw from Trans-Pacific Partnership

Trump formally withdrew from the TPP directly after inauguration weekend on the first Monday of his term. It was no surprise he was in such a hurry to pull the United States out of the pact after railing on the Obama-negotiated agreement throughout his campaign, alleging the trade deal took jobs away from Americans.

Photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Make a rule that for every federal regulation enacted, two must be removed

President Trump issued an executive order on January 30 that sought to dramatically reduce federal regulations across the board. The order requires all agencies to cut two existing regulations for every new one introduced, a campaign promise that hailed to his capitalist businessman roots.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Clear the way for energy infrastructure deals, including Keystone Pipeline XL

Within a week of taking office, the president signed two executive orders to move forward with the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, rolling back the Obama administration’s environmental policies in order to increase domestic energy production and bolster the industry’s infrastructure. Obama had famously rejected the $6.1 billion Keystone XL project in 2015.

(Photo by Aydin Palabiyikoglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Keep Guantanamo Bay prison open

In a sort of parallel opposition to president Barack Obama, who repeatedly claimed that he’d close Guantanamo Bay but ultimately never followed though, President Trump promised to keep the maximum-security prison in Cuba open and “load it up with bad dudes.” As of January 2017, 41 detainees remained there, and Trump has made no indication he’ll shut down Gitmo.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Randall Mikkelsen

Implement hiring freeze on federal employees

Trump initiated a 90-day federal hiring freeze almost immediately after entering the Oval Office, putting a halt to the rush of hires by the Obama administration before Inauguration Day in an attempt to fill the ranks with Democrats. Trump framed it as a measure that would “clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington, D.C.”

Photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Severely cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget

As a skeptic of human-induced climate change, Trump targeted the EPA as an agency that could drastically reduce costs. Trump appointed Scott Pruitt to lead the agency the former Oklahoma attorney general had criticized for years over its alleged strict regulations.

Though Congress seems unlikely to pass the 31 percent budget reduction proposed by Trump and Pruitt, the president certainly can’t be accused of not trying to significantly downsize it.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Pull out of Paris climate accord

Trump declared in June that he would withdraw the U.S. from the historic Paris agreement that was supported by Barack Obama in an effort to halt climate change. He decried “draconian” financial and economic burdens it puts on American workers. However, he added that he was open to re-entering the accord “on terms that are fair to the United States.”

Photo credit: REUTERS/How Hwee Young/Pool

Lower the business tax rate from 35 percent

Though Trump couldn’t manage to convince Congress to lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent as he’d proposed, the 21 percent rate presented in the tax bill passed by Congress right before the holidays still represents a significant decrease from the previous 35 percent rate.

Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM,SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Eliminate the individual health care mandate established by Obamacare

Less than an hour after the Senate passed the massive GOP tax reform bill in the wee hours of December 20, Trump celebrated the demise of the individual mandate, which was attached to the legislation, on Twitter. The president had been ripping Obamacare for years, in particular, the requirement that punished Americans if they decided to go without health insurance.

However, the mandate won’t be abolished until 2019 since the legislation was passed too late in time for 2018.

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In December 1993, just 14 percent of Americans told NBC/WSJ pollsters that they would definitely support a Republican rather than an already scandal-tarred Clinton. That's less than half of the share who now say they will definitely support a Democrat over Trump. (Clinton went on to win reelection with 49 percent of the vote.)

The partisan breakdown for Trump’s reelection support also shows signs of some potential fracturing within his own party. Among Republicans, 43 percent say they will definitely vote for Trump, while another 40 percent say they probably will. But among Democrats, three quarters — 73 percent — say they will definitely vote against Trump.

Additionally, some of Trump’s key coalition groups have shown a drop in their support since the 2016 election. For example, according to exit polls, 66 percent of white voters without a college degree backed Trump over Hillary Clinton, but just 47 percent now say that they will definitely or probably support him in 2020. The decline is similar among rural voters; 61 percent of rural voters supported Trump in 2016, while just 43 percent say they’re confident they’ll be in his corner in three years.

As Trump’s first year in office comes to a close, three-in-ten Americans overall say that the country is better off than it was when he became president, while 45 percent say it is in worse shape. Another 24 percent say that the state of the nation is about the same as when Trump took office.

The measures of Trump’s fitness for reelection and his impact on the country’s well-being come as he continues to face questions about Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential obstruction of justice into the Russia investigation.

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Donald and Melania Trump through the years
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Donald and Melania Trump through the years
Real estate magnate Donald Trump (L) and his girlfriend Melania Knauss leave Hollinger International's annual meeting at the Metropolitan Club in New York on May 22, 2003. Hollinger publishes The Chicago Sun-Times, The Daily Telegraph of London, the Jerusalem Post and other newspapers. REUTERS/Peter Morgan PM/ME
Donald Trump and his girlfriend Melania Knauss arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar party at Morton's restaurant in West Hollywood, California, February 29, 2004. REUTERS/Ethan Miller REUTERS EM/AS
Real estate tycoon Donald Trump and his friend Melania Knauss pose for photographers as they arrive at the New York premiere of Star Wars Episode I: "The Phantom Menace," May 16. JC/SV/AA
From left, Billy Crystal, host of the 76th annual Academy Awards, his wife Janice Goldfinger, Melania Knauss and her boyfriend Donald Trump, pose together as they leave the Vanity Fair Oscar party at Morton's restaurant in West Hollywood, California, early March 1, 2004. REUTERS/Ethan Miller EM
Developer Donald Trump (R) and his girlfriend Melania Knauss pose for photographers after the final show of "The Apprentice" April 15, 2004 in New York. Bill Rancic, a 32-year-old Internet entrepreneur from Chicago, edged out Kwame Jackson, a 29-year-old New Yorker and Harvard MBA, for the Trump-described "dream job of a lifetime" and its $250,000 salary. REUTERS/Jeff Christensen JC
Donald Trump's new bride, Slovenian model Melania Knauss, waves as they leave the Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church after their wedding in Palm Beach, Florida, January 22, 2005. REUTERS/Gary I Rothstein
Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs (R) accepts an award from the Rush Philanthropic Foundation for his efforts to support public education and dedication to youth and social activism, from Donald Trump and his wife Melania (L) at Trump's Trumps Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida on March 11, 2005. REUTERS/Jason Arnold MS
Donald Trump and his wife Melania Kanauss watch the Miami Heat play the New York Knicks in the first quarter of their NBA game in New York's Madison Square Garden, March 15, 2005. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine RFS
Donald Trump (L) and his wife Melania arrive at the Museum of Modern Art for a reception in honor of Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in New York November 1, 2005. The Royals are on the first day of an eight-day visit to the U.S. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn
Donald Trump arrives with wife Melania at a reception in honor of Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, November 1, 2005. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Donald Trump (L) and his wife Melania (R) arrive at the Museum of Modern Art for a reception in honor of Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in New York, November 1, 2005. The royals are on the first day of an eight-day visit to the U.S. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn
Real estate tycoon Donald Trump and his wife Melania attend a Miami Heat against the Los Angeles Lakers NBA game on Christmas Day in Miami, Florida, December 25, 2005. REUTERS/Marc Serota
Donald Trump stands next to his wife Melania and their son Barron before he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles January 16, 2007. REUTERS/Chris Pizzello (UNITED STATES)
Real estate magnate and television personality Donald Trump and his wife Melania stand on the red carpet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit celebrating the opening of the exhibition "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" in New York May 2, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT FASHION BUSINESS)
Businessman and real estate developer Donald Trump and his wife Melania watch Rafael Nadal of Spain play against Tommy Robredo during their men's quarter-final match at the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York September 4, 2013. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT TENNIS ENTERTAINMENT REAL ESTATE BUSINESS)
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (2nd from L) watches with his wife Melania as Serena Williams of the U.S. plays against her sister and compatriot Venus Williams in their quarterfinals match at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, September 8, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump kisses his wife Melania as he speaks at a campaign rally on caucus day in Waterloo, Iowa February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks as his wife Melania listens at a campaign rally on caucus day in Waterloo, Iowa February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reacts to an answer his wife Melania gives during an interview on NBC's 'Today' show in New York, U.S. April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Melania Trump gestures at her husband Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump as they leave the stage, after she concluded her remarks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Melania Trump appears on stage after U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump greets his wife Melania onstage after the conclusion of his first debate with Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, U.S., September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Raedle/Pool
(L-R) Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Tiffany Trump and Ivanka Trump attend an official ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Trump International Hotel in Washington U.S., October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump cuts the ribbon at his new Trump International hotel in Washington, DC, U.S., October 26 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump kisses his wife Melania Trump at a campaign rally in Wilmington, North Carolina Florida, U.S. November 5, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Republican U.S. President-elect Donald Trump kisses his wife Melania at his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania take part in a Make America Great Again welcome concert in Washington, U.S. January 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania take part in a Make America Great Again welcome concert in Washington, U.S. January 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump attend the Liberty Ball in honor of his inauguration in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attend the 60th Annual Red Cross Gala at Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., February 4, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greet a marching band as they arrive at Trump International Golf club to watch the Super Bowl LI between New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., February 5, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump hugs his wife Melania during a "Make America Great Again" rally at Orlando Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Florida, U.S. February 18, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump holds up H.R. 321 as his daughter Ivanka Trump (C) and U.S. first lady Melania Trump (2nd R) watch after it was signed in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, DC, U.S. February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
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The new survey finds that 41 percent of Americans want Congress to hold impeachment hearings to remove Trump from office, including 70 percent of Democrats, 40 percent of independents and seven percent of Republicans. That data largely mirrors the shares within each party that believe that the Trump campaign actively colluded with Russia during the 2016 election. Overall, 38 percent of Americans believe there was collusion, 35 percent believe there was not and 26 percent say they don’t know enough to say. Those who believe collusion occurred include 65 percent of Democrats, 35 percent of independents and six percent of Republicans.

The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted Dec. 13-15 of 900 adults — about half reached via cell phone — and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.3 percentage points.

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