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President Donald Trump. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

69% of the 900 registered voters polled in the September NBC News/Wall Street Journal public opinion poll said they do not like Trump personally, regardless of their feelings about his policies.

Why it matters: Despite the conventional wisdom that incumbents have an upper hand in general elections, the poll indicates that Trump is the most disliked president out of his 5 most recent predecessors.

Details: The poll found Trump's approval rating rests at 45%, which is on par with where Barack Obama and Bill Clinton stood at this point in their presidencies. Both Obama and Clinton won re-election, but neither president faced the high degree of personal animus that Trump faces today.

  • Previously, the highest share of voters that said they disliked the president personally, regardless of their views on his policies, was 42% for George W. Bush in 2006 — in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
  • 49% of those polled said they’re "very uncomfortable" with Trump's 2020 candidacy. 41% said were "very uncomfortable" with Sen. Bernie Sanders, while 33% said the same for both Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
  • At the same time, the poll shows that 26% of voters are "enthusiastic" about Trump's candidacy — compared to 17% for Warren, 13% for Sanders and 12% for Biden.

The bottom line: While the poll suggests a record level of personal hostility toward Trump, it also reflects a polarized electorate that also has doubts about the 3 Democratic frontrunners.

The NBC/WSJ poll of 900 voters was conducted Sept. 13-16. The margin of error for all adults is +/- 3.27 percentage points.

Go deeper: Enthusiasm for Elizabeth Warren surges in new 2020 poll

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”

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