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LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Catholic Voters – Trump on the Issues –  Louisiana, California – Tuesday Trivia

Your Daily Polling Update for Tuesday, August 25


Same as yesterday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on four polls, ranging from 39% (Politico) to 49% (Rasmussen). Without these extremes it would still be 43%…. Trump’s disapproval rating averages 55% today (-1 from yesterday)…. See the trend in Trump’s job approval average since the beginning of 2020 at approval trend.

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Among general election voters

In the States

States Trump carried in 2016: 
FLORIDA: Biden +4
LOUISIANA: Trump +16

States Clinton carried in 2016: 
DELAWARE: Biden +21

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s polling shows Biden leading Florida and North Carolina, two swing states that Trump carried last time, as well as his home state of Delaware. Hillary Clinton carried Delaware by 11 points in 2016…. In 2016, Trump won Louisiana by nearly 20 points. Looks like he’s on his way to winning the state’s 8 electoral votes once again…. In 2016, Hillary Clinton carried California by 30 points.


Among voters nationwide

% = Right Track/Wrong Track
Reuters: 25%/66%
Economist: 25%/67%
Politico: 26%/74%

RON’S COMMENT: Three recent polls show most voters believe the nation is off on the wrong track by heavy margins. According to internal numbers from the Economist poll, 7% of Biden’s voters and 50% of Trump’s voters say the country is headed in the right direction. And, 90% of Biden’s voters and 39% of Trump’s voters say it’s off on the wrong track.


Among voters nationwide

“Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling…” 

% = Approve/Disapprove
The economy: 51%/45%
Terrorism: 46%/50%
Gun control: 45%/49%
Taxes and government spending: 45%/50%
Immigration: 45%/52%
Crime and criminal justice: 42%/51%
Education: 41%/51%
Healthcare: 41%/54%
Civil rights and civil liberties: 40%/55%
Climate change: 38%/54%

RON’S COMMENT: Trump is net positive on the economy +6, but net negative on everything else. Except for the economy (51%) and climate change (38%), his approval rating is in the 40s on the other issues. Keep in mind that Trump won 46% of the national popular vote in 2016 and most recently his overall job approval rating is about 43%.


By Frank Newport, Gallup

The following is an excerpt from Frank Newport’s article, “Religious Identity and the 2020 Presidential Election”:

The second-largest religious group in the U.S. are Catholics, at about 22% of the overall U.S. adult population and about 23% of the vote in the 2016 presidential election…. This group is particularly relevant this year because of Biden’s Catholic faith. (The only other Catholic major-party presidential nominees in U.S. history have been Al Smith in 1928, John F. Kennedy in 1960 and John Kerry in 2004.)

Catholics are too large to consider as a monolithic group, and I think it makes sense to divide them into three major segments––Active White Catholics, about 5% of the population; Lapsed White Catholics (those who still identify with the faith but do not attend services regularly), 8% of the population; and Hispanic Catholics, about 7%.

  • Active White Catholics are disproportionately pro-Trump, with Gallup data showing about 62% Trump job approval. This pro-Trump skew most likely reflects the general tendency for highly religious Americans to identify as Republicans, and also may reflect active Catholics’ more anti-abortion attitudes, in line with Trump’s abortion positioning. Biden’s own pro-abortion position may hurt him among this segment.
  • Lapsed White Catholics––those who identify as Catholics but who are not active––give Trump job approval ratings slightly above the 50% level, higher than the national average but below Trump ratings among Active White Catholics. This suggests that Biden may have more opportunity to reach out to less active Catholics, particularly because they tend to be less likely to oppose abortion and less likely to say abortion is going to be important in their vote.
  • Hispanic Catholics‘ position on Trump is more negative than positive; they give Trump a 61% disapproval rating so far this year, suggesting they could be a key target for Biden, particularly in specific swing states.

See full article on Gallup website here.


Who was the first U.S. president to have graduated from law school?

(see answer below)


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Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
LOUISIANA: Trafalgar Group (R), Aug. 13-17
CALIFORNIA: KABC/KGTV/San Diego Union/SurveyUSA, Aug. 12
FLORIDA: PPP (D), Aug. 21-22
NORTH CAROLINA: Morning Consult, Aug. 14-23
DELAWARE: PPP (D), Aug. 21-22

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Rutherford B. Hayes. He graduated from Harvard Law in 1845, making him the first U.S. president to have graduated from law school. Quite a few presidents before Hayes were attorneys, but they did not attend law school; they became lawyers after studying and working under the tutelage of established attorneys.

Lunchtime Politics is owned and published by Ron Faucheux, Chief Analyst at Certus Insights. For interviews or speeches about polling and political trends, contact Dr. Faucheux at

The publisher of this report cannot attest to the reliability or methodology of surveys that it does not conduct.

Copyright 2020 Ronald A. Faucheux

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Ron Faucheux

Dr. Faucheux is a nationally respected public opinion analyst with a unique background in public policy and legislative research, public communications and message strategies. He combines professional competence with pragmatic problem solving skills.