Trump's standing against Democratic candidates improves, new poll shows

Trump's standing against Democratic candidates improves, new poll shows* Deficits roughly halved since a similar poll at the end of 2019 * Trump linked Ukraine aid to Biden inquiry, Bolton says Donald Trump was tweeting about John Bolton before dawn on Monday, after news of former national security adviser’s forthcoming book roiled Washington during the president’s impeachment trial.But if Trump looked elsewhere on his phone, to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released on Monday, he might have found consolation.Amid signs that more voters are in general less worried about the economy and their own economic wellbeing, and a week out from the Iowa caucuses, the national poll gave the president encouraging scores against contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination.In notional general election match-ups, Trump trailed former vice-president Joe Biden with registered voters by four points (50%-46%); Vermont senator Bernie Sanders by two (49%-47%); and Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar by one (48%-47%).Those deficits against the top Democrats have roughly halved since a similar poll at the end of 2019.Less comfortingly for Trump, the poll found that he trailed the former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg by three points, 49%-46%. The billionaire, who has taken jabs at Trump’s relative lack of wealth, is not competing in Iowa and has not appeared on the debate stage.The poll found Trump level with the Des Moines Register-endorsed Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, at 48% each, and put him ahead of one leading contender for the Democratic nomination. Trump led former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg by three points, 48% to 45%.Buttigieg’s camp this weekend responded to a surge from Sanders in Iowa and New Hampshire by sending out fundraising messages which read: “Bernie Sanders could be the nominee … we risk nominating a candidate who cannot beat Donald Trump in November. And that’s a risk we can’t take.”The former mayor, 38, held a Fox News town hall in Iowa on Sunday night, seeking to reach out to disaffected Republican voters.The Post/ABC poll was conducted before news of Bolton’s claims regarding Trump and Ukraine broke over Washington like a thunderclap. Asked who they thought would win the White House in November, 49% of respondents picked the president to 43% for his Democratic challenger.Reporting its own poll and its findings about the economy under Trump, ABC said: “One year before he took office, 63% of Americans said they were worried about maintaining their standard of living. Today, 43% say so, a broad 20-point drop in personal economic uncertainty.”It also reported “a vast gender gap”, with the Democrats leading Trump by 23 to 30 points among women but Trump leading by 15 to 24 among men.If the gap was in evidence on election day, ABC said, it would “nearly double the previous record gender gap in exit polls dating to 1976, 24 points in 2016”.Controversy lingered over the weekend about Sanders’ apparent endorsement by the comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan.The Vermont senator celebrated the coup, which many observers said could help him win white male voters from Trump. But Rogan’s enthusiasm for Sanders prompted a backlash from progressive groups.

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