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LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Minnesota – Michigan – North Carolina – New Hampshire – Trump’s Referendum – Tuesday Trivia

Your Daily Polling Update for Tuesday, June 23


Same as Thursday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on seven polls, ranging from 39% (Reuters) to 46% (Rasmussen). Without these extremes it would still be 42%…. Trump’s disapproval rating averages 56% today (same as Thursday), which is 14 points higher than his approval rating….See the trend in Trump’s job approval average since the beginning of 2020 at approval trend.


Among general election voters

Biden over Trump: +12 (56-44)
Average of four most recent polls: Biden +10.3

RON’S COMMENT: This new Harvard-Harris poll shows approval of the Republican Party has fallen from 48% to 41% over the past two months. Democratic Party approval has declined slightly from 47% to 46%…. This poll also reports personal ratings as follows:

  • Donald Trump: 39% favorable/56% unfavorable (his hard negative is more than twice his hard positive, 45% vs. 22%)
  • Joe Biden: 47% favorable/44% unfavorable (his hard negative is 28%, hard positive 19%)
  • Mike Pence: 41% favorable/45% unfavorable
  • Barack Obama: 59% favorable/35% unfavorable
  • Bill Clinton: 45% favorable/44% unfavorable
  • Hillary Clinton: 37% favorable/56% unfavorable
  • William Barr: 26% favorable/36% unfavorable
  • Also: Trump beats Biden on fixing the economy 55-45, but Biden beats Trump on bringing the country together 62-38, solving issues on race and policing 61-39, getting us through the pandemic 56-44 and handling relations with China 54-46.

Biden over Trump: +16 (58-42)

RON’S COMMENT: This state has voted Democratic in the last eleven presidential elections. However, Hillary Clinton’s margin over Trump in Minnesota was only 1.5 points.

Biden over Trump: +1 (46-45-5)

RON’S COMMENT: What to think of Michigan? This poll, taken by a GOP-oriented outfit, has Biden edging Trump by a point. Of the previous three polls, one had Biden ahead by 2 points and the other two had him on top by 13-16 points. In 2016, Trump carried this important state by two-tenths of a point.

Trump over Biden: +3 (46-43)

RON’S COMMENT: The average of the four most recent polls in this state show it smack even…. While voters who are “very liberal” vote for Biden 83-5 and voters who are “very conservative” vote for Trump 85-11, voters who call themselves “moderates” vote for Biden 64-21––which is a good reason for the Democrats not to move too far left; in a state like North Carolina, Biden needs to do well among moderates to be competitive…. Trump won North Carolina in 2016 by nearly 4 points. Though Republicans have won the state in nine of the last ten presidential elections, it’s commonly viewed as a critical swing state based on close races in recent elections.

Biden over Trump: +7 (49-42)

RON’S COMMENT: Though a small state with only 4 electoral votes, it’s well worth watching. Hillary Clinton won New Hampshire by a mere four-tenths of a point, but Democrats won it in four of the last five presidential elections.


Among voters statewide

Sen. Tom Tillis (R) over Cal Cunningham (D): +1 (46-45)

RON’S COMMENT: Expect this race to be a barn burner, as most elections in North Carolina have become. Handicappers rate the race a tossup, and rightfully so.


Among voters statewide

Gov. Roy Cooper (D) and Dan Forest: even (46-46)

RON’S COMMENT: If these numbers from the One America News Network/Gravis poll are accurate, it represents a major shift against Democrat Cooper in the North Carolina gubernatorial race. In the three previous polls, incumbent Cooper had a hefty average lead of 12.7 points…. Could the controversy over the Republican convention have damaged him that much?…. Despite the close trial heat, Cooper’s job rating is still pretty good––54% approve/42% disapprove…. On another issue: 75% of North Carolina voters want police departments to be funded, while only 11% want them defunded.


by Ron Faucheux

Will Donald Trump be re-elected?

That question demands one of those complicated “on the one hand” and “on the other hand” answers that most people hate and pundits love. It’s why Harry Truman said he preferred one-armed economists––so there was no “other hand” to confuse things.

The better question is: Can Trump win an up or down referendum on himself with 46 percent of the vote?

That is a more precise way of framing the contest. Trump is an incumbent who has not grown his support base since his election, when he captured 46 percent of the vote. His base, while impenetrable, is not expanding. Over the past three years, his average job approval rating has mostly hovered between 42 and 46 percent. Recently, it’s slumped to the lower end.

Republican strategists point out that Trump usually does better than polls indicate––and they’re right. Pro-change voters broke for him in the last week of the 2016 election by a big margin. But, remember, the 46 percent he received on Election Day was him doing better than the polls.

Looking to November––the average of the twenty most recent national surveys puts Joe Biden ahead, 49 percent to 42 percent. If Trump again ends up with 46 percent, he’d be doing better than the polls now indicate.

Trump’s supporters will logically ask: If 46 percent was enough to win with last time, why won’t it be enough this time? The answer is simple. In 2016, third-party candidates pocketed six percent of the vote and this year, for a variety of reasons, that vote may fall as low as two or three percent. If Trump’s base doesn’t grow, then its power will shrink as the anti-Trump vote coalesces around one opponent.



When Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801, there were a total of 107 seats in the U.S. House. How many seats were there in the U.S. Senate?

(See answer below)


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Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
PRESIDENTIAL NATIONAL: Harvard-Harris, June 17-18
MICHIGAN: Trafalgar Group (R), June 16-18
MINNESOTA: Gravis, June 19
NORTH CAROLINA: One America News Network/Gravis, June 17

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Publication schedule: Lunchtime Politics will continue to publish Tuesdays and Thursdays, but will add special editions when important new data becomes available. We will return to regular daily publication closer to the election. Thanks to all our readers and best of health, Ron


It should be noted that while there were 34 total seats in the Senate, the two from Ohio were not filled until the next Congress.

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.