Friday, August 31, 2018


These are much worse numbers than the president has seen in a while:
President Trump’s disapproval rating has hit a high point of 60 percent, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll that also finds that clear majorities of Americans support the special counsel’s Russia investigation and say the president should not fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions....

Nearly half of Americans, 49 percent, say Congress should begin impeachment proceedings that could lead to Trump being removed from office, while 46 percent say Congress should not.

... 63 percent of Americans support Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, with 52 percent saying they support it strongly; 29 percent oppose the probe.

... While 78 percent of Republicans approve of his performance, 93 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of independents disapprove.
To me, that's the most striking number -- Trump is at only 73% approval within his party. We've all gotten used to saying that he has GOP base of 90% or so. Can this really be true?

The gap between Trump's 38% approval and 60% disapproval is 22%; he hasn't had a poll result that bad since February, and the vast majority of polls this year have shown him with an approval rating of 40% or higher (which wasn't true in 2017 -- the passage of the tax bill late in 2017 seemed to cause an enduring uptick in his numbers, probably not so much because the public likes the bill as because the GOP base saw the bill as proof that Trump is a winner).

This poll seems like an outlier -- recently, Trump's approval has been averaging in the low 40s and his disapproval in the low 50s. And note that the ABC/Post poll had very bad numbers for Trump the last time out -- 40%/56%, in April.

On the other hand, Trump has had a couple of other terrible polls recently -- 40%/56% from USA Today/Suffolk and 40%/57% from Reuters/Ipsos.

If his numbers really are going down -- we'll know for certain when we see more polls -- why is it happening? One suggestion I saw on Twitter was that Trump's treatment of John McCain is alienating voters. It's true that even Fox News seems to be siding with McCain, giving him respectful coverage.

But the tariffs can't be helping Trump in Middle America. The conviction of Paul Manafort and guilty plea by Michael Cohen might be having an effect. The mistreatment of immigrant families might have left a lingering mark, even as the story disappears from most mainstream news outlets. Also, I think campaign ads are reinforcing negative feelings about Trump. President Obama's numbers dipped into negative territory for the first time in the summer of 2010, according to the Real Clear Politics polling averages, and while he had good numbers throughout the 2012 general election campaign, he hit another bad patch in the summer and fall of 2014. I think campaign attacks make a difference, if only temporarily.

Other polls in the near future may not replicate these terrible numbers. I won't think Trump is in serious trouble unless they do, but this poll is enough to tell me he's in some trouble.


AND... here's a theory:

Could Giuliani be turning some people against Trump? He might be making the Mueller investigation look good by trash-talking it.

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