President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on June 20 in Tulsa, Okla., his first campaign event since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Kyle Rivas/UPI | License Photo
June 30 (UPI) -- A new survey Tuesday provided some welcome news for President Donald Trump, noting that history has shown that a high level of voter optimism isn't always required for an incumbent president to win a second term.
The Gallup report said U.S. residents typically do not express any great level of optimism or satisfaction with the direction of the United States. Therefore, such levels are usually absent during presidential campaigns.
Trump trails Democratic candidate Joe Biden in a number of national and state polls, in some by double-digit margins. Biden's numbers are also strong in several "battleground" states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin -- states where Trump must post some victories in November to win another four years in the White House.
Gallup's research, however, notes that most incumbent presidents in the past who won re-election were aided by at least some level of satisfaction.
One in five respondents said they're satisfied right now with the way things are going, according to the Gallup survey -- about the same level that existed for former President Barack Obama five months before he won the 2012 election with 332 electoral votes.
The share had grown to 33 percent, however, by the time he was re-elected in November.
By comparison, the number was 50 percent five months before Ronald Reagan's landslide victory in 1984 and 37 percent for Bill Clinton before his win in 1996. For George H.W. Bush, who lost his 1992 re-election bid, satisfaction was at 14 percent.
Trump's satisfaction level was relatively strong before the COVID-19 crisis, Gallup noted.
"In February, 45 percent of Americans were satisfied, the highest percentage since 2005," the report states. "One potentially positive sign for Trump is that while current satisfaction is low, it matches what it was in June 2012, five months before then-President Barack Obama won reelection.
"On average, satisfaction levels have risen six points in the months leading up to the election. Thus, an above-average increase in satisfaction would be necessary to put Trump in a comfortable range for reelection."
Gallup noted that incumbent presidents, on average, see a satisfaction increase of 6 percent between June and November.