Monday, March 26, 2018


President Trump's approval rating still trails his disapproval rating by double digits, according to CNN, but that approval rating is inching up:
President Donald Trump's approval rating has rebounded to its highest level since the 100-day mark of his presidency, according to a new CNN poll....

Overall, 42% approve of the way Trump is handling the presidency, 54% disapprove. Approval is up 7 points overall since February, including 6-point increases among Republicans (from 80% to 86% now) and independents (from 35% to 41% now). Trump's approval rating remains below that of all of his modern-era predecessors at this stage in their first term after being elected....
This isn't the only sign that Trump is becoming slightly more popular. For much of last year, there was at least a 20-point gap between Trump's approval and disapproval ratings, according to Gallup's daily poll; this year, Gallup switched to a weekly poll, and the gap has narrowed to 16 or 17 points for the past five weeks. Also, there's been a slight but noticeable narrowing in the Real Clear Politics, Pollster, and FiveThirtyEight polling averages.

Why the improvement, however insignificant? It's clearly not because the public is in sync with Trump on the issues, according to CNN:
The President's strongest approval ratings on the issues come on the economy, the only issue tested where his reviews tilt more positive than negative: 48% approve and 45% disapprove. That isn't the case on foreign trade, however.... On trade generally, 38% approve of the President's work while 50% disapprove.

Trump's handling of foreign affairs merits 39% approval, with 53% saying they disapprove. The poll also found that 47% believe the President has been too easy on Russia so far, while 41% feel his handling of Russia has been about right....

A majority (54%) disapprove of the way the president has handled gun policy, while 36% approve....
So why the uptick, especially when it's clear that Trump is running a White House in chaos?

I think it's precisely because Trump is running a White House in chaos. Remember when he was elected and pundits explained that his voters might not like everything about him, but they liked the notion that he was going to go to Washington and start "shaking things up," "breaking some crockery"and "rattling people's cages"? I think that's what 40% of the country thinks he's doing now. He's under siege (from Robert Mueller, from Stormy Daniels, from news outlets that reproduce juicy stories his staffers relentlessly leak) and he can't control policy in his own administration (because he doesn't know what he stands for and doesn't understand any issue in depth), but his flailing as he tries to cope with all this is horrifying the media -- and the media recoiling in horror makes right-leaning voters think he must be doing the right thing. If non-Fox pundits are horrified, they assume, it can't be because Trump's White House is a runaway train with no brakes -- it must be because he's disturbing the status quo. That has to be good, right?

Trump is still disliked by a majority of the public. Strong disapproval of him (46% in this poll) is much greater than strong approval (28% in this poll). But if he wants to turn undecideds into supporters, it apparently makes sense for him to do as much crazy stuff as possible.

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