President Trump heads into this week’s Republican National Convention with national polls showing him trailing in his race for re-election. But surveys also identify strengths in his political standing, some of them not widely noted, that could help him close the gap by Election Day.
Mr. Trump lags behind Democratic nominee Joe Biden by 9 percentage points, this month’s Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found. The president’s share of support, now at 41%, hasn’t topped 44% this year against Mr. Biden. Mr. Trump also trails the former vice president in aggregated polling of most battleground states, though his deficit is smaller than in national polls.
“The president’s struggles aren’t with one specific group,” said Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of the nonpartisan Inside Elections report. “He’s struggling in the suburbs but also underperforming in rural areas. We look at individual congressional districts, and I can’t think of one where he’s performing as well as in 2016.”
But in a few ways, the president’s position is stronger than head-to-head polling shows.
At this point in the last election, Mr. Trump trailed his Democratic opponent by 9 percentage points in Journal/NBC News polling, as he does today. Still, Mr. Trump won the Electoral College, which decides the president, that November.