Megan Rapinoe leads Trump in 2020 poll

Football player an unlikely candidate ‘but numbers speak to broader truth about president’s standing’

Megan Rapinoe: US women’s captain sends powerful message to Trump over LGBT+ rights

Megan Rapinoe has come out ahead of Donald Trump in a new 2020 presidential poll.

The US Women’s World Cup star led the incumbent by 42 per cent to 41 in the speculative survey by Public Policy Polling (PPP), a left-leaning outfit, while a hefty 17 per cent of respondents said they did not know who they would vote for.

Rapinoe’s performance in the automated phone and internet poll was similar to that of other Democratic candidates pitted against Mr Trump by PPP in previous surveys.

PPP polled 604 registered voters between 3 and 8 July. A margin of error was not specified but a similar prior survey gave a figure of +/- 3.6 per cent.

The company said: “In addition to having a slight edge over Trump already, Rapinoe has a lot more room for growth. The voters who are undecided in the Rapinoe/Trump head-to-head voted for Hillary Clinton by 58 points and just 8 per cent of them approve of the job Trump is doing.”

It added: “They’re likely undecided either because they’re not familiar with Rapinoe or aren’t sure about her as a presidential candidate, but given their past voting history and feelings about Trump, it seems unlikely they’ll end up in his camp.

“Rapinoe may be an unlikely presidential candidate but her numbers still speak to a broader truth about Trump’s standing: the fact that he polls in the low 40s against any Democrat he gets tested against shows that electability concerns are overrated.

“Democrats should feel comfortable voting for the candidates they like the best, not just the ones they think have the best chance of beating Trump.”

Rapinoe, the victorious US team’s talismanic forward, has been outspoken in her criticism of Mr Trump.

Her statement that she would not visit the White House if invited following the Americans’ Women’s World Cup triumph sparked an angry response from the president on Twitter.

She has also led the team’s 28-player lawsuit against US Soccer demanding equal pay.

On Tuesday Ms Rapinoe criticised Mr Trump’s stance on LGBT+ rights and told him: “Your message is excluding people.”

Speaking in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, the 34-year-old looked down the camera and added: “You’re excluding me, you’re excluding people that look like me, you’re excluding people of colour, you’re excluding Americans that maybe support you.

“You have an incredible responsibility as the chief of this country to take care of every single person, and you need to do better for everyone.”

Mr Trump has banned transgender people from military service and attempted to roll back protections for them elsewhere.

In 2017 he became the first sitting president to address the Values Voter Summit, hosted by the right-wing and actively anti-LGBT+ Family Research Council, and his justice department argued that civil rights law did not prevent companies from firing workers for being gay.

But earlier this year his administration launched a campaign to decriminalise homosexuality around the world, and he was the first Republican president to acknowledge Pride month – though only after two years in the job. In May he tweeted that LGBT+ people had made “outstanding contributions” to the US.

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