Saturday, January 18, 2020


I want to be reassured by this study, which FiveThirtyEight told us about yesterday, but I don't think it offers much comfort.
Trump May Be Even More Unpopular Than His Approval Rating Shows

... does the standard presidential approval question actually capture what voters think of Trump’s job performance? There are several reasons it might not tell the full story.

... we ... have worked to develop a hopefully more nuanced approach to measuring presidential approval, where we ask respondents how favorably they feel toward Trump relative to other notable Republicans.

... respondents from both parties evaluate Trump in comparison to other Republicans, like former President George W. Bush, the late Sen. John McCain, McCain’s former running mate Sarah Palin, Vice President Mike Pence, and former President Ronald Reagan.

... in our measure, [Trump] is now ... rated less favorably than his vice president. He’s also essentially tied with Palin for the least favorable Republican on our list, which is notable because when respondents are asked the traditional favorability question, Palin’s numbers are even lower than Trump’s — in 2016, an ABC News-Washington Post poll found that just 30 percent of the public had a favorable impression of the former governor.
That's good, right? By this measure, he's about as popular as Sarah Palin. If Palin were running in 2020, we could easily beat her, couldn't we? So beating Trump should be a piece if cake!

Well, no, not really. The difference between Trump and Palin right now, or even Trump and Pence, is that Trump is, at this moment, the lead Republican fighting the holy war against the hated libs. Reagan and McCain are dead. Palin is essentially retired. Pence is in the arena, technically, but in this struggle, as in most things, he's a deer in the headlights.

Voters who aren't hardcore deplorables may be wary of Trump, but those who despise Democrats will still vote for him, because they believe he owns us with more frequency than anyone since Reagan. The people to whom that's the most important criterion in choosing a candidate, combined with people who think Trump is a genuinely great president (there's a lot overlap, of course), might add up to enough voters in enough to states to generate an Electoral College victory for him.

Trump doesn't have to be widely admired. He might win again because he hates the people roughly 46% of voters hate.

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