As the November election looms, President Donald Trump is having trouble energizing his core supporters, who were key to his 2016 win.
That’s according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll - showing Trump has lost support among white voters without college degrees - the people who made up 44% of the U.S. electorate four years ago.
Trump is still more popular with this group than Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. But support for Trump is slipping. His 12-point advantage in August among white voters without college degrees is down from a 21-point lead in May, and well below the 34-point advantage he had over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
The poll also found that, so far, Trump supporters’ commitment to vote has remained flat. While - interest has risen among other groups - like minorities and women - that lean toward Democrats.
The data suggests that this time, there will be greater pressure on the Republican Party - and not the Democratic Party - to boost voter turnout to win.
Despite the growth of minority populations, whites still dominate the U.S. electorate, accounting for nearly three-quarters of the voters in 2016, even though they make up only 60% of the overall population.
Their opinions are crucial for Trump, who during his presidency has focused on opposing immigration and expressed his sympathy for white racial grievances.
Trump has criticized anti-racism protesters as "thugs," and most recently defended a white gunman charged with killing two Black Lives Matter demonstrators in Wisconsin.
Trump campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley insists the campaign’s internal polling shows that the president is "tied or ahead in all of the key battleground states."
But polls by media and academic organizations currently show Biden ahead by at least a few points in most battleground states, including Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida and Arizona.