Washington (CNN)Brad Parscale, Donald Trump's 2020 campaign manager, took to Twitter earlier this week to make a pretty bold claim. Here it is:
Barack Obama 2012 was better than Donald Trump 2020
"After reviewing polling data from President Obama's reelection, we can say unequivocally that President Trump is in a significantly better position now than Obama was at the same point of his presidency."
Which is a pretty major statement! After all, Obama cruised to a second term with 332 electoral votes in 2012!
So is Parscale right? I did a bit of digging in the polls and, turns out, he's not. (Don't act surprised.)
* Trump is at 42% job approval in the most recent Gallup weekly tracking poll. Obama was at 51% approval at roughly this same stage of his first term.
* Trump has never been over 50% in Gallup job approval numbers. Not once. Obama spent most of his first term with approval numbers at or above 50%. And he was more than 300 days into his first term when his job approval rating finally dipped below 50%. (You can compare the two side by side using Gallup's terrific Presidential Job Approval Center tool.)
* Here are Trump's 2018 approval ratings, according to Gallup, in five key swing states he won in 2016: Pennsylvania (42% approve/54% disapprove), Ohio (48%/48%), Michigan (42%/54%), Wisconsin (42%/53%) and Florida (43%/51%). Now compare those with where Obama was in 2011: PA (45%/48%), MI (48%/44%), OH (42%/50%), WI (47%/44%) and Fl (44%48%). In only one of the five -- Ohio -- is Trump in better shape than Obama.
* In May 2011, 39% of respondents said they would "definitely" not vote for Obama again. In May 2019, 54% said the same of Trump. (Hat tip Harry Enten)
And all of that doesn't take into account that Obama had more ground he could afford to lose than Trump does. Obama won his first term with 365 electoral votes, while Trump took 304.
The Point: Parscale is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. And the facts make clear that Obama in May 2011 was better positioned to win a second term than Trump is in May 2019.