The Rasmussen Survey has two recent polls that shed early light on how voters see President Trump and the Democratic presidential candidates in relation to their own views. A poll of likely voters released today found that:
…just 25% of Likely U.S. Voters consider most of the announced candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination to be about the same as they are in political terms. Fifty-four percent (54%) say most of these candidates are more liberal than they are, while only 13% think they are more conservative.
The survey also asked, “Would it be more accurate to describe the agenda of most of the Democratic presidential hopefuls as mainstream or extreme?” Not being a subscriber, I can’t see the numbers here, but the publicly available summary of the poll says:
Voters see most of the Democratic presidential candidates as more liberal than they are and rate their agenda as outside the mainstream.
Last month, Rasmussen conducted a similar survey with regard to President Trump. Here are the results:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 34% of Likely U.S. Voters say that in political terms they think about the same as the Republican president. Forty-three percent (43%) feel he is more conservative than they are, while only 15% believe he’s more liberal.
If you add the voters who think the Democratic candidates are similar to their views or to the right, you get 38%. A clear majority of 54% says they are more liberal.
If you similarly add the voters who think President Trump is where they are politically, or else more liberal, you get 58%. Just 43% say Trump is more conservative than they are. So if you trust these numbers, Trump has a sizable advantage in terms of broad voter perception. He is closer to the electorate’s center of gravity than the Democrats.
Of course, there are plenty of flaws in this comparison. Trump is being compared with “most of the announced candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination,” not the one who ultimately becomes the nominee. On the other hand, most people have barely begun paying attention to the presidential race, and have a lot to learn about how far left the Democrats have actually gone. So there is plenty of room for the eventual nominee’s “more liberal than I am” numbers to rise.
Given those reservations, these data support the conclusion that at this early point in the campaign, most voters see President Trump as being closer to the mainstream of American politics than the Democratic candidates. As, of course, he is.