Trump is on the Short End of the Enthusiasm Gap


There are two kinds of enthusiasm, positive and negative. The spread matters.

Trump is ahead of Biden when it comes to positive enthusiasm.  Unfortunately for Trump, he is way behind in negative enthusiasm. 

That spread is what's killing Trump at the polls.

Not a 2016 Replay

For many month, I have commented this is not a replay of 2016. Trump was never well liked, but many people in both parties despised Hillary. 

Trump won in 2016 for five reasons.

  1. People hated Hillary more than Trump
  2. Trump was an unknown risk that swing voters were willing to take a chance on
  3. Hillary ran a very poor campaign
  4. A fantastic campaign slogan: Make America Great Again
  5. At the last minute, Comey rescued trump with an attack on Hillary and her email server.

Points 1-4 got Trump into the ballpark. It still took Point 5 to cross the finish line. 

Despite all of those things Trump barely won as measured by tiny margins of victory in several critical swing states.

Why Trump — Not Biden — Has An Enthusiasm Problem

Five-Thirty-Eight finally picked up on point number 1 in its report Why Trump — Not Biden — Might Have An Enthusiasm Problem. 

Polls consistently show that Trump’s supporters are more excited to vote for him than presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s supporters are to vote for him. For example, half of Trump supporters in a recent USA Today/Suffolk University poll said they were “very excited” about their candidate, compared to just 27 percent of Biden backers. Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale even described their enthusiasm advantage over Biden as “the most important factor in the campaign.” But the significance of this “enthusiasm gap” is exaggerated.

First, while Biden voters may not be all that excited about voting for Biden, they’re very enthusiastic about voting against Trump. And that gives Biden a pretty strong edge, because Trump supporters don’t despise Biden the way they despised Hillary Clinton in 2016. In fact, according to survey data from the Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape project, the share of Trump voters who rate Biden unfavorably is consistently much lower than the share of Biden voters who rate Trump negatively — nearly 30 percentage points lower as of the last survey conducted at the end of June.

Net Enthusiasm 

Biden Hold a Net Enthusiam Advantage

What’s especially notable here is that Biden’s net enthusiasm rating is near zero, which is similar to most major-party presidential candidates’ ratings from 1980 to 2012. Trump’s current score of around -20, on the other hand, has only one historical comparison other than his own campaign four years ago: Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The Man People Hate to Hate

Biden is a man people hate to hate. Trump and Hillary are candidates people love to hate.

Trump cannot exploit Biden on race, sex, religion, or age. All Trump has right now is "Sleepy Joe". 

In 2016, Trump had "Crooked Hillary".

Trump Approval Rating 

Trump Approval Rating 2020-07-17

Recent Polls

Recent Polls 2020-07-17

Key Polling Ideas

  1. Pollsters want to get it right except for internal biased polls. 
  2. The 2016 polls were not that far wrong. They were within margins of errors.
  3. Were it not for a last minute Comey rescue, Trump would have lost. And that Comey surge was not reflected in state polls where it mattered. 


  1. There are less than 4 months to the election.
  2. It is no longer early (but it also is not irrecoverably late).
  3. Trump's path of victory is extremely narrow.
  4. Biden's path of victory is wide.
  5. The economy is in recession.
  6. Swing voters indicate they are sick of Trump.
  7. People strongly disapprove of Trump's handling of Covid.
  8. People strongly disapprove of Trump's handling of George Floyd.
  9. Trump just cannot stay away from inane Tweets of all sorts.
  10. Biden is doing well hiding in the basement. That won't last forever.

The only point above that possibly favors Trump is point number 10. 

Real Clear Politics Election Map

Real Clear Politics Election Map July 17

The above map from Real Clear Politics is a joke. Those alleged tossups are not close to tossups.


270-to-Win july 17

The above map is from 270-to-Win

This is the first time all year where a generic map matches my own view. 

Key Points

  1. Florida and Pennsylvania are in Biden's camp, not tossups.
  2. Ohio is in the tossup category.
  3. Trump is losing ground in Texas, Georgia, and Iowa. 

Trump has fewer and fewer states in which he will not have to campaign. He cannot even ignore Texas, Georgia, or Iowa.

It is possible for Trump to win but it ridiculous to ascertain Trump will win, is leading, or even tied at this point. 

Predictit has Biden at 61 cents. I think Biden has about a 75% chance at this point. 

Trump is Trailing Badly in All Recent Florida Polls: Why?

The above 270-to-Win map matches the one I created on June 27. 

Trump was getting killed on several issues: Covid, defections, and immigration. Defections have since increased. 

For further discussion, please see Trump is Trailing Badly in All Recent Florida Polls: Why?


Comments (59)
No. 1-19

Looks like America is going from a party duopoly to a one party state.


the world will be a better place without Trump ! YEAH , right ! In yer fckn dreams !


Forget the polls, most people like myself would brush them off. How many voters in the USA do they actually contact? Miniscule numbers. Like in 2016 the silent majority will prevail . Also many voters are scared to death of the Biden economy. Like 2016 Trump will carry the states that he won then.

Dodge Demon
Dodge Demon


has there ever been a poll on who answers or doesn't answer poll questions?

Do people really talk to any random j- o- who calls their house?


It seems almost impossible for a thinking individual to actually believe in Trump or Biden, so the dislike factor will be huge.

Does either candidate have a discernible platform? We have entered a post-ideology America, the only remaining goal is to prevent the "greater evil" candidates from screwing things up worse than they already are.

For this election cycle, both candidates support Fed meddling and ZIRP, which is pretty much all you need to know. No matter what happens in November, the status quo will be maintained.


I'm in the UK, so an outside observer.

I would not be surprised to see Trump win. Factors in his favour - the riots. People simply don't want to see their neighbourhoods smashed up and burnt. They don't want to think about what would happen if they were fired for expressing an opinion. They don't want to think about being taxed to pay reparations to other Americans whose sufferings are mainly (in the modern era only) down to their own life decisions. BLM only as far as its white police doing the killing. When white kids are killed by black gang bangers, when white cops are killed by black gang bangers, there is no uproar expect in people's hearts, where it counts.

Think about the American dream. Who personifies that?

And stuff is starting to leak out. Stuff like Biden's comments in 1977 about mixed race schools. Stuff like Trump's success on cracking down on trafficking - many times over what Obama has achieved.

And I also think Americans like fair play. Despite all of Trump's childishness, the Media/Democrat hysteria-echo-chamber looks silly to a lot of people. I am pretty sure that most ordinary Americans see right through the BLM nonsense as yet another ruse to overthrow democracy, just like here in the UK.

My money is on Trump.


it's safe to assume (enough) people strongly disapprove of Trump.


Qne debate and all the data and polls listed could be irrelevant.


I don't understand all the stats here, but just as a very basic observation: the fact that Biden supporters dislike Trump strongly but Trump supporters don't dislike Biden as strongly suggests that Trump has more moderate, less partisan people on his side, i.e. swing voters. In other words, it looks like the only people voting for Biden are those who hate Trump. But the ones voting for Trump are the ones who hate Biden and some others.


Polls fool me once shame on you polls fool me twice shame on me---So you actually believe these polls are accurate---give Hilary a call and ask her---70% of the population is still hard working Wasps and most don't reply to polls and support TRUMP


I can think of only one way Trump may have a chance of winning and that is if Joe Biden ends up dying before election. He is old and he may catch corona - heck chances are good that if wins he may still catch corona and die so the right vp pick is essential. He needs to stay uninfected.


tRump is well aware of the disaster He created with the pandemic, so he will do everything to detour American peoples attention away from the pandemic. What better way can he achieve that than proactively provoking a war with China or Iran? Look at what his administration has been doing: first trade wars, then smearing campaigns Against China on every possible front, including laws and sanctions related to Hongkong, Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang, South China Sea etc. as of now, 2 US aircraft carriers are doing all possible provocations near Chinese coast.


Hillary Hatred got Trump in just as King Chaos Hatred will get Biden in.
Biden won't even need a catchy "lock him up" chant to enthuse his crowds.
Its been a f*cking l-o-n-g four years.


Last election a lot of folks hated Hilary Clinton so in retrospect it was not entirely a surprise when she lost. This go round I would go as far as to say a lot of folks despise Trump. He will of course win the traditional red state strongholds but after that he is in deep doo doo. Would love to see Mish handicap the upcoming senate races. The way things are going it would not be a total surprise to me if the Dems capture the senate. Interesting times to say the least.


Trump and Obama are virtually one and the same,same economic policies ie pump trillions $$ into the Wall Street banks while the Main Street economy rots on the vines (literally)!Obama got reelected (???)by offering a few Snap cards and govt cheese to the masses while pocketing millions in kickbacks from Wall Street,can that strategy work for Trump?


I'm surprised Mish has only 75% for Biden win, it looks bad for Trump here and I expect him to make things worse for himself as time goes, such as this whole secret-police-in-Portland narrative that the Dems are pushing for all it's worth. (Btw the rioters are in full force as I write this tonight -- that makes FIFTY days of riots in Portland ... and our mayor blames Trump.)

I picked up Biden for 44 cents a while back based on Mish's analysis. Fully expect that to pay off.


Yep, Trump is the man to demonstrate the inanity of American exceptionalism. 4 more years would be most amusing. Except it would probably lead to chaos, war and assist the rise in power of other even nastier imperial powers and petty dictators. Biden is on the way out but presumably will appoint people who are not ignorant narcissists and psychopaths


Re the debates
Biden should absolutely follow Tom Friedman's advice and only agree to debates under these 2 conditions:

  1. Same as Biden Trump has to make his tax returns public
  2. A fact checking team to work in real time and show their findings at the end of the
    debates as part of the official programming.

Trump is without a doubt dragging down the Republican Party to the extent that they are in jeopardy of losing the Senate. If the GOP wants to avoid a landslide come November then they need to strong arm Trump to stand down for health or some other reason and find a credible replacement. Unfortunately, the VP has proven to be more of a Trump sycophant so not sure he can be their saviour. The GOP is now in a whole world of self induced hurt.

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