Mr. Trump has told four people close to him that he regrets going along with Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s plan to push a health care overhaul before unveiling a tax cut proposal more politically palatable to Republicans.Failure would do a lot of political harm to congressional Republicans. It would also hurt Trump -- wouldn't it?
He said ruefully this week that he should have done tax reform first when it became clear that the quick-hit health care victory he had hoped for was not going to materialize on Thursday, the seventh anniversary of the act’s passage, when the legislation was scheduled for a vote.
... on Thursday night, Mr. Trump delivered an ultimatum.
He dispatched his budget adviser, Mick Mulvaney, to a conference of House Republicans and told them they had to vote on Friday. And if the bill fails, he said, Mr. Trump will move on.
Maybe not, at least with his base. A new poll suggests that the base responds to bad news, or at least certain kinds of bad news, by liking Trump more.
Some of President Trump's supporters expressed a more favorable view of him following a number of recent controversies surrounding his administration, according to an online poll released Thursday.If Trump responds to a defeat by lashing out at Paul Ryan for the nature of the bill or the strategy of dealing with health care first, or if he claims that the media's coverage of the bill was bad, or if he attacks the holdouts, he might actually please his voters.
In a handful of cases, while most registered voters expressed a negative view of Trump after the controversies, a plurality of Trump voters felt more favorably toward him, according to the Politico/Morning Consult poll....
Trump's tweet accusing media of being "the enemy of the American people" and his baseless claim on Twitter early this month that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower were two controversies his supporters liked most, according to the poll.
His net favorability among supporters increased 31 points following his media attack, while it fell 15 points among registered voters in general.
Similarly, Trump saw a 21-point boost in favorability among supporters over his wiretapping claim, though his favorability among registered voters overall fell 20 points.
Trump voters don't really seem to care if he governs well, as long as he's perpetually at war with people they hate. And on some level Trump himself doesn't seem to care what his overall approval rating is, as long as his admirers admire him a lot. He basks in that intense adulation.
Here are the numbers from that poll:
Trump seems not to care about the red, just the green. So if this bill fails, I think he'll go for another big green moment soon -- either by attacking an enemy on health care (probably Ryan or the media, who are hated targets) or by changing the subject from health care altogether and attacking someone unrelated.
He'll have failed in his first attempt and getting a big bill passed, he'll have endangered his own party's congressional delegation by demanding a vote on an unpopular bill -- but he'll find a way to get what he wants, which is the undying worship of his most fervent backers. He'll take care of #1.