A Trump Victory Would Shatter a 40-Year-Old Precedent

by Andrew Trunsky

If President Donald Trump wins reelection, he would be the first president to do so in recent history while a vast majority of the country thinks the United States is on the wrong track, polls show.

In 1984, 1996, 2004 and 2012 – all years when incumbent presidents won reelection – the difference between those who thought the country was on the right track and vice versa was -1%, -5%, -6% and -11% according to the Cook Political Report. In 1980 and 1992 –years when incumbents lost their reelection – the difference was -59% and -58%.

Now, Trump faces a gap of -31.5%, according to RealClearPolitics. Though up 14 points from the summer, the difference is over twice as large as it was during any recent previous cycle where an incumbent president won reelection.

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