Friday, March 20, 2020


You and I may not approve of Donald Trump's new concerned-war-president act, but the public may be falling for it.
[In] a new ABC News/Ipsos poll released Friday ... President Donald Trump's approval for his handling of the outbreak is on the rise.

In the new poll, 55% of Americans approve of the president's management of the crisis, compared to 43% who disapprove. Trump’s approval on this issue is up from last week, when the numbers were nearly reversed. Only 43% approved of Trump's handling of the pandemic and 54% disapproved in last week's poll.
It's not just Republicans.
... in a split from Democrats' overall attitudes, even from last week, 30% of Democrats approve, which is about double the number from last week’s poll, and 69% disapprove, down from 86%. Meanwhile, an overwhelming 92% of Republicans approve, up from 86% last week.
And this may be an outlier, but according to FiveThirtyEight, YouGov three-day rolling survey dated March 16-18 had Trump at 44% approval, 52% disapproval -- but the subsequent poll, dated March 17-19, has him at 47%/48%, a 5-point increase in approval and a four-point decrease in disapproval.

Other pollsters have very different numbers (including 35%/62% in an American Research Group poll, with 55% disapproving of Trump's handling of the pandemic). But we might start seeing improvements in Trump's numbers now that he's acting concerned and about to start writing checks.

Or we could be seeing what happened to Jimmy Carter after Iran took U.S. hostages. On December 10, 1979, there was a New York Times story headlined "Survey Finds Carter's Popularity Has Risen Sharply in Iran Crisis." Gallup showed Carter at 61% job approval, up from 32%. But as the crisis dragged on, the poll bump disappeared. Carter's Gallup numbers were below 40 throughout the second half of 1980, and he went to defeat in November.

Nevertheless, if Trump can show some successes in the fight against the virus -- regardless of who is actually responsible for them -- he might blunder his way to a second term the way George W. Bush won a second term based on his (mis)handling of terrorism and war.


The election is many months away, but eventually Democrats should reassert themselves, shouldn't they?

No comments: