Monday, June 25, 2018


Thank you, Yastreblyansky, for doing great work while I was away.

I see that Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen of Axios believe President Trump is winning:
An odd paradox in defining this moment in politics: The more President Trump does, says and tweets outrageous things, the more his critics go bananas and the better he does in the polls....

Tune into Twitter, and you'd think the entire civilized world has turned against him. And yet:

* Gallup has Trump's approval at a new high since the beginning of his presidency: 45%. That's roughly the same as others at this point: Barack Obama (46%), Bill Clinton (46%), Ronald Reagan (45%) and Jimmy Carter (43%).

* Support among Republicans is 90% in Gallup, also a high.

* Among independents, he's up to 42% — tied for his personal best, and only the fourth week in his presidency that he has been at 40% or above.
Yes, but all those numbers came out last Monday, based on the previous week's polling, which was heavily influenced by the meeting with Kim Jong-un. As Nate Silver wrote that day:

On the other hand, I think two Trump critics got out ahead of the reality late last week. Charlie Pierce:
The week just passed has changed the calculations. The images from the border, and the White House’s fatheaded trolling of the situation, seems to have shaken up everyone in Washington to the point at which alliances are more fluid than they have been since January of 2017....

The country’s head is clearing. The country’s vision is coming back into focus and it can see for the first time the length and breadth of the damage it has done to itself. The country is hearing the voices that the cacophony of fear and anger had drowned out for almost three years. The spell, such as it was, and in most places, may be wearing off at last....

The migrant crisis is going to go down through history as one of the most destructive series of own-goals in the history of American politics.
Rick Wilson:
Once a president who stood astride the media narrative like an orange god, simultaneously captivating and revolting the nation’s press corps, Trump was no match for images of crying children torn from their mothers. His seemingly magical ability to change the subject vanished, and the arsenal of his weapons of mass distraction were duds. Everyone in Washington noticed. One House member spoke to me on background Wednesday night and said, “This mistake broke the spell.”

... The stories and the coverage combined two things; first, they exposed how gleefully the Trump Administration viewed the pain and fear of children. Second, they made Americans face what was being done in their name.
I'd love to believe that this moment is changing everything, but I don't see the evidence. Every poll shows that Americans oppose family separation, but there's also this, from a CBS poll of Florida, Arizona, and Texas:
Many voters place blame for the separation of families on the parents for trying to bring their children into the U.S. illegally. About half of voters believe parents are mostly to blame, a figure that rises to roughly eight in 10 among Republicans.

And reuniting the families doesn't seem to be a high priority for any group except Democrats:

I think what we'll see in this week's polls is Trump close to where he was prior to the summit. The people who love Trump -- or who merely like him but detest Democrats -- will stay in his corner. I think it will take a prolonged recession to "break the spell." Nothing he does will ever truly shock the conscience of heartland white America, because he's the captain of the team, and heartland whites are diehard team loyalists.


UPDATE: As predicted, Trump has gone from 45%/50% favorable/unfavorable in the Gallup poll last Monday to 41%/55% today -- exactly where he was three weeks ago.

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