By Kenneth Warren, Ph.D., Associate Director, SLU/YouGov Poll
Joe Biden leads Donald Trump rather comfortably in national polling with a realclearpolitics.com average of about 9%, 49% to 40%. Biden also leads Trump in most Battleground states. However, our SLU/YouGov Poll shows Trump with a rather comfortable lead in Missouri among likely voters, 50% to Biden’s 43%.
Missouri was once touted as the nation’s best bellwether state during the 1900s, but Missouri has been trending red, especially in presidential elections since Bill Clinton won Missouri in 1992 and 1996. Missouri has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since, voting for George W. Bush twice, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Donald Trump with Romney and especially Trump winning by large vote margins.
However, our SLU/YouGov Poll shows preference for Trump has dropped considerably in Missouri since Election Day in 2016 when he won Missouri by a whopping margin of 18.5%, 56.4% to 37.9%. His 7% lead in Missouri today is noticeably less than half of his 2016 winning percentage. He has lost ground because his support has dropped in virtually all demographics. While he still does exceptionally well among Evangelicals with 74% saying they will vote for Trump against Biden’s 20%, his support within this large demographic shows erosion from 2016 where he captured 83% of the Evangelical vote against Clinton’s 14%. This modest decline in Evangelical support is important because this is a large demographic; 45% of Missouri voters in 2016 identified themselves as Evangelicals, while 40% did in our July poll.
Support among men and women for Trump in Missouri is also down from 2016, from 62% to 56.5% for men and from 53% to 43% among women. Although Trump still shows strong support among voters without a college degree, his support among four-year college graduates is sharply down. Among these college graduates, he has fallen from 55% support in 2016 to 41% in our poll. While 45% of males with four-year college degrees say they will vote for Trump, only 36% of four-year college degreed women say they will.
As in 2016, minority support for Trump in Missouri is very weak. In 2016 Trump received 22% of the minority vote in Missouri, but our SLU/YouGov Poll reveals support among minority voters is even weaker going into the 2020 presidential election with slightly less than 10% of black voters, Missouri’s largest minority group, indicating they would vote for Trump this year. Just short of 23% of black males said they would vote for Trump, yet 0% of black women said they would. Astonishingly, out of 42 black women in our sample, not one would vote for Trump.
Trump is holding his own with Missouri Republicans. 92% of Missouri Republicans voted for him in 2016 and our SLU/YouGov Poll shows that 91% of Missouri Republicans said they will vote for him in 2020. However, Trump’s support among Missouri’s Independents has fallen from 61% support in the 2016 election to almost 50% saying they will vote for him in 2020. Our poll also shows that Trump is very vulnerable with unemployed Missouri voters with 74.5% of them saying they will vote for Biden, suggesting that if unemployment increases between now and Election Day, this may present serious electability problems for Trump on November 3rd, even in Missouri.
Findings from our SLU/YouGov poll indicate that, if the election were held today, Trump would win again in Missouri. But, the presidential election is still several months away and our SLU/YouGov Poll shows that Trump’s favorable poll numbers are trending downward.
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