Why Trump’s Approval Numbers Won’t Budge

Despite a horrible week he's still polling relatively high. That's because this fight is bigger than just him.

There’s an underlying reality lurking in the remarkable poll numbers released Monday by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News. They showed that Donald Trump’s approval rating declined by only two percentage points. That despite the fact that the president suffered what was by any measure a devastating week, with a former campaign chairman convicted on fraud charges and a former lawyer copping a plea on campaign finance violations and implicating Trump in the mess.

Trump’s frenzied political enemies promptly smelled blood in the water and circled the vessel like hungry sharks. Surely, they concluded, this bolt of bad news would undermine Trump’s political standing and begin an erosion that would lead to his eventual demise, either at the next presidential election or, they could only hope, sooner.

But the WSJ-NBC poll showed that 44 percent of voters approved of Trump’s presidential performance, as compared to a 46 percent approval rating just before last week’s bad news. As the Journal noted in reporting the latest results, the difference was within the poll’s margin of error and hence statistically insignificant.

Peter Hart, the Democratic pollster who conducted the opinion survey along with Republican Bill McInturff, said the new numbers, seemingly impervious to the president’s growing sleaze factor, represented a challenge to those who’d hoped that Republicans will be devastated in this year’s midterm elections. “For the 2018 Democratic strategy,” said Hart, “the Manafort and Cohen convictions represent a fool’s gold opportunity rather than a silver bullet solution.”

As the Journal added, “The results are a testament to the durable loyalty of Mr. Trump’s core supporters, who have throughout his presidency remained largely unmoved by the controversies that have swirled around him.” The paper quoted McInturff as saying, “We’ve had this enormous series of events, and these numbers don’t change very much.”

Why?

Because this isn’t about the fate of Trump so much as the future of America. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump opened up a series of fresh fault lines in American politics by advocating new directions for the country that no other politician would discuss. They included a clamp-down on illegal immigration and a serious reduction in overall immigration after a decades-long influx of unprecedented proportions; an effort to address the hollowing out of America’s industrial capacity through trade policies; an end to our nation-building zeal and the wars of choice spawned by it; and a promise to curtail the power of elites who gave us unfettered immigration, an industrial decline, endless wars, years of lukewarm economic growth, and an era of globalism that slighted old-fashioned American nationalism.

And there’s just enough ambiguity about the wide-net independent counsel investigation that snared Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen to sustain a feeling among many Trump supporters that those convictions were merely the elites fighting back. In any event, they’re perceived as having very little to do with Trump.

Before Trump’s 2016 emergence onto the political scene, many liberals believed the American future belonged to what political analyst Ron Brownstein called the “coalition of the ascendant”—including racial minorities, immigrants, Millennials, and highly educated whites residing primarily along the nation’s two coasts. They were convinced this ascendant force would eventually overwhelm the declining white majority and usher in a new era of globalism, open borders, identity politics, free trade, cultural individualism, foreign policy interventionism, and gun control.

Trump interrupted the coalition of the ascendant on its way to U.S. political hegemony. In the process, he touched off an epic struggle over the definition of America.

For those committed to the new world envisioned by the coalition of the ascendant, it is easy to see Trump, with all of his crudeness and vulgarity, as evil. After all, he’s personally distasteful and he wants to destroy the America of their dreams. But for Trump supporters, he represents their last hope for preserving the old America. These people view the stakes as so high that the president’s personal indecency and civic brutishness simply don’t register as problems. They may wish for a more wholesome leader, but no such person has emerged to take up their cause.

All of this has implications for the looming battle that is likely to ensue if Democrats retake the House of Representatives and initiate impeachment proceedings against Trump. The knot of Trump support these days may be tight, but it’s not particularly large. The 44 percent approval rating registered in the WSJ-NBC survey may actually be a bit high. According to the website FiveThirtyEight, which does polling aggregation and quantitative political analysis, that number actually stands at about 42 percent, close to his high-water mark since his early weeks in office. Nate Silver, who runs FiveThirtyEight, says that anything under 49 percent normally spells defeat for a president at reelection time.

Further, Morning Consult, a tech company that specializes in collation and analysis of survey data, notes that Trump’s approval rating has declined during his presidency in all 50 states. True, some 90 percent of self-described Republicans continue to support him, but self-described Republicans make up only 40 percent of the electorate.

All of this supports the view, which I have posited in the past, that while Trump may have been brilliant in crafting a successful electoral coalition in 2016, he hasn’t managed to turn that into a governing coalition. This can be seen in part by his lack of any apparent inclination to talk to Americans who aren’t already part of his base.

But that base, as Silver’s ongoing survey aggregations and the WSJ-NBC poll make clear, is ironclad. The Trump constituency isn’t going away, and any impeachment initiative from House Democrats in the new Congress is only going to further tighten its knot.

This suggests that the issues brought forth by Trump in his campaign aren’t going away either. The country is split down the seams, and some kind of Hegelian synthesis will eventually have to emerge that incorporates elements of the two competing visions of America that today are roiling national politics—and which seem irreconcilable. Trump proved in 2016 that the coalition of the ascendant wasn’t simply going to win the country by default. Even if the people of that coalition manage to get rid of Trump, the issues he raised will still be with us. The president’s unwavering poll numbers testify to that. But Trump seems to be proving also that his own coalition isn’t likely to win the country either. This is reflected in those same largely static poll numbers.

And so our ominous deadlock crisis continues, with little prospect for a resolution anytime soon. This has been a resilient nation over its 230-year history. It will need all the resiliency it can muster as we move forward.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington, D.C. journalist and publishing executive, is a writer-at-large for The American Conservative. His latest book is President McKinley: Architect of the American Century.

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168 Responses to Why Trump’s Approval Numbers Won’t Budge

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  1. TheScientist880 says:

    MM, here you go. You clearly don’t seem to have any insite into people under 40. Reality has a way of asserting itself though.

    https://www.city-journal.org/html/republicans-millennial-problem-isnt-what-you-think-15938.html

  2. Gabriel says:

    According to a Pew poll of May 2018 37% of registered voters are Independents, 33% Democrat, 26% Republicans. Thus, Republicans are far from having 40% of the electorate, contrary to author’s claim.

  3. grin without a cat says:

    TheScientist880:

    I am actually black. No republican in living memory has had 30% black approval.

    Here’s a Gallup poll from July 2003 that shows 32% of blacks approving of W. Bush’s job performance:

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/8749/blacks-give-bush-low-marks-hispanics-more-positive.aspx

  4. Robert Thompson says:

    The first couple of paragraphs, in fact your first several statement say it all. Yes, Trump’s former associate was found guilty of tax fraud from a DECADE ago, and yes, his former attorney plead guilty to campaign finance violations, which WERE NOT violations. Being part of the msm, you and your publication no longer can report the truth. Everything is slanted. No one cares, because no on ever listens to the boy crying wolf repeatedly. Begin to tell the truth, or look for another job

  5. next timer says:

    Maybe the poll numbers won’t budge. But I already budged. I won’t vote for him again. I think maybe people like me matter because his win was pretty thin. I think he needed people like me. We expected him to keep the main promises about immigration and stopping the wars. Next time he’ll lose.

  6. registered independent says:

    “I’m old enough to remember when the GOP was the party of personal responsibility. “

    I think we’re all old enough to remember when it claimed to be the party of fiscal responsibility too. That was back in 2010. The Tea Party … I was and remain a Tea Party voter.

    Now the GOP is the party of budget blow-outs, most of it to be squandered on Mideast wars for foreign countries, apparently. This fall my Tea Party congressman is going to find out what I think of his vote for Trump’s latest budget.

  7. ADF says:

    The divisions in the country are too deep for us to deal with. Sooner or later, we are going to have another Civil War. Unless we accept that we simply cannot all live together under the same Constitution any longer, that’s the only way this can end.

    Alternatively, the only peaceful ending is for California to secede from the Union so that all the really hardcore liberals could move there and create some sort of socialist utopia.

  8. xmor says:

    Despite having both houses of congress on his side, and a solid 8 year economic upswing to bolster his stature, Trump has managed to be one of the most steadily unpopular presidents in history. Could it be that he’s a loudmouth populist with no more to offer than insults and conspiracy theory? I think it could very well be no more complicated than that.

  9. Deplorable U says:

    Trump hasn’t just let more foreigners in to take our jobs, he hires foreign nationals to work for the US government, not as translators, embassy cleaning crews, or spies, but as management-level bureaucrats in important government departments! What is he thinking? What the hell are these people doing INSIDE OUR GOVERNMENT? How is that “America First”? Do you really think people like me are going to vote for crap like that in 2020?

  10. blackhorse says:

    “Trump interrupted the coalition of the ascendant”hat one doesnt have to bother criticizing Trumpism as racist, when his admires are so explicitly so. As for those corporate elites, Trump showed them what he though of them by signing Ryans giveaway deficit busting tax cut. Corporate money and white nationalism? That’s revanchsim, not conservatism.

  11. Kurt Gayle says:

    Floyd Mayweather (last September): “You never heard anything about Donald Trump being racist until he ran for President and won. He on WWE, he on different shows. Everybody, they like Donald Trump. Soon as he ran for President – because people don’t like the truth…People shy away from realness…”

  12. Kurt Gayle says:

    @ Scientist880, who says: “I am actually black. No republican in living memory has had 30% black approval. Blacks HATE Trump.”

    Kanye West spoke to a WGCI 107.5 radio station in Chicago about thinking for yourself and his opinions on Donald Trump:

    “I know black people that voted for Trump that were scared to say out loud. Now that’s some 1984 though-control programming shit… I feel that he [President Trump] cares about the way black people feel about him, and he would like for black people to like him like they did when he was cool in the rap songs and all this. And he will do the things that are necessary to make that happen because he’s got an ego like all the rest of us, and he wants to be the greatest president, and he knows that he can’t be the greatest president without the acceptance of the black community. So it’s something he’s gonna work towards, but we’re gonna have to speak to him. I got a direct line to ADIDAS. I got a direct line to the President, so let’s see what happen with…”

  13. TheScientist880 says:

    Kurt Gayle you are giving the game away. From your other posts on other articles, you’re a ~70 year old white southerner. By posting these links, you are making it very clear that you don’t actually know any black people. Your effort at “see! here is a black person who says X” is such a dead giveaway at your lack of actual exposure. If you actually knew black people, you wouldn’t be posting links from a few celebrities because the black people in your life would make it clear that this is the oldest play in the book by white people post a few outliers and act as if those outliers refute the views of the vast majority of actual black people who are so lopsided on the opposite side of whatever the debate is as to make these individuals’ views irrelevant. I can find you videos of white anarchists but the fact that they exist does not mean that their views are even remotely representative of the vast majority of white people.

  14. TheScientist880 says:

    @grin without a cat I misspoke. I meant that no republican in living memory has won 30% of the black vote which I stated in a post above the one you are quoting GWB did horribly with blacks just like every other Republican we have had in living memory.

    One thing that is important to note is that the vast majority of white people have entirely white social circles. 75% admit as much to pollsters. There is a strong social desirability bias in this question so you can bet that the number is actually higher than that. This high level of homogeneity in white social circles is certainly much higher in conservative circles and especially in social conservative circles. Most social conservatives don’t live in major cities after all.

    My point here is that white people do not have the exposure to give accurate accounts of what ANY non-white group in America thinks, feels or values. Our society is highly segregated. The same isn’t true for non-whites though because you have to be able to navigate white circles if you are going to succeed in America.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/08/25/three-quarters-of-whites-dont-have-any-non-white-friends/?utm_term=.cf7348e9e6b9

  15. mrscracker says:

    TheScientist880 says:

    Kurt Gayle I know more black people than you. There is no change happening with blacks Trump support. I’m actually around black people on a regular basis.”
    ***************

    I don’t think it’s prudent to assume anything on the internet. No one in the comment boxes knows who our friends, family, or acquaintances are, or who we spend time with on a regular basis.

    I try to assume the best in people but not create my own assumptions. You just never know. People are complicated.

  16. mrscracker says:

    TheScientist880 says:

    “I really appreciate our conversations as you are always extremely civil and easy to talk to. I have to say that this comment right here strikes me as dead wrong…

    Millenials HATE trump and the GOP. Conservatives in our generation don’t even represent 35% of the generation and that number is going to be even smaller with Gen Z.”
    *************
    That’s very kind, thank you for your comments.

    I agree that a number of Millennials do dislike Mr. Trump, some quite intensely.

    I think it’s very true that everyone lives in some sort of “bubble.” I would be no exception. But from my particular bubble I think things differ some re. Pres. Trump-as you might expect when comparing different regions of the country.

    I have eight children that fall into the Millennial generation, a couple younger ones perhaps are in the next grouping.
    Four of them support Trump & four do not. The ones who voted for Trump would have preferred a different candidate but practically realized he was the lesser of 2 evils.

    I think at this point in time, my children who were originally hesitant about Trump support him more now because of his accomplishments in office. And the children who disliked Trump in 2016, dislike him now even more so for the same reasons.

    I have a dozen grandchildren so far. Four of them have parents who intensely dislike Pres. Trump & eight of my grandchildren have parents who support him. Maybe there’s a demographic message in there or maybe not. I don’t know.

    Anyway, that’s the view from my bubble down here. You have a blessed day.
    🙂

  17. JeffK says:

    @EarlyBird says:
    August 29, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    “Trump gave voice to that very reasonable and appropriate rage and continues to stoke it, because collective anger of his base is his power. Forget the fact that most of policies either won’t actually change anything for the better, and will actually poison any serious statesman who wishes to tackle these things in the future.”

    That’s it in a nutshell. I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s in Western PA. Lots of good mill jobs, now almost all gone. Trump pretended to give voice to those who despair the area going from booming to bust. He has a natural ability to sense the despair and anger of those folks. He has zero ability to develop and implement policies that will produce any real benefits to those folks.

    From my conversations with friends that still live there, many are still with him. But a significant number are totally disillusioned and consider him a conman with them being the mark.

    We shall see what happens in November.

  18. MM says:

    Sci-880: “Here you go. You clearly don’t seem to have any insite into people under 40. Reality has a way of asserting itself though.”

    So, in response to a recent Reuters survey that showed the GOP gaining slightly with millennial voters, and the Democratic Party dropping below 50% support with millennial voters, you link to… discussions of past elections?

    You don’t have a monopoly on the facts, sir. And you don’t know what insight I have with people my age, since I’m under 40, sir. And you’re certainly not tell others what reality is, sir. That’s in your head, and nowhere else.

    And you shouldn’t call yourself a scientists, sir, because you don’t act like one, speak like one, or think like one.

  19. MM says:

    Sci-880: Oh, and by the way. You’re fond of speaking for other black Americans. Ironic, considering you don’t hold elected office.

    Nevertheless, you’ll never be able to speak for Jim Brown, who arguably did more for racial progress than any other black athlete in American history. I mean tangible progress, economic development, etc. which is far more than any overpaid anthem kneeler:

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/34921/nfl-legend-jim-brown-backs-trump-2020-joseph-curl

    Isn’t that right, sir?

  20. JonF says:

    Mrscracker (and others): the big split on Trump is not so much by age or race or even gender: it more a matter of where people live, with big city people (in general) hating Trump and rural people liking him– with smaller cities and suburbs somewhere in the middle. Of course you can find exceptions to that too.

  21. JonF says:

    Re: Unless we accept that we simply cannot all live together under the same Constitution any longer, that’s the only way this can end.

    Nonsense. everybody could just chill a bit and stop hyper ventilating and find other things (religion anyone?) to make their summum bonum of life.

    Re: Alternatively, the only peaceful ending is for California to secede from the Union

    This is just plain nonsense. There are rightwing people in California and plenty of leftwing people not in that state. In fact there’s no possible geographical division that would work without leaving huge numbers of people in areas where they found the politics abhorent. The proper solution is void extremism of any sort in national politics.

  22. Greg H says:

    I think this was a pretty thoughtful analysis without emotion or personal bias. I’m a registered Republican and can’t stand the president – worst ever. Both my conservative self who values: received wisdom, tradition, democratic norms and institutions, sees a bull in a china shop who breaks and destroys all that has come before for no good reason and my more liberal half that sees a knee-jerk defensive and emotional reaction to everything he does. But I acknowledge that I’m in the minority among Republicans. Above all I object to his complete indifference to what is true. Truth is a stranger to him.

  23. Dimitri Cavalli says:

    Kurt Gayle makes an excellent point.

    For about 30 years, Donald Trump was a sought-after celebrity. Every leftist group that condemns him would have happily taken money from him at one time.

    Of course, the left suddenly discovers Trump is “racist,” “fascist” when, by running for office, he threatens to take away political power from the left.

    Watch. Whoever the next Republican nominee for President is will be seen as “worse than,” “more extreme,” “more dangerous,” and so on than Trump.

    To the left, every Republican presidential nominee dating back to Charles Evans Hughes was worse than the previous one.

    If you want to amuse yourself, ask any leftist and SJW if Trump, in foreign policy, is really “worse” than W. Ask them to explain what made Bush better than Trump.

  24. mrscracker says:

    JonF says:
    “…the big split on Trump is not so much by age or race or even gender: it more a matter of where people live, with big city people (in general) hating Trump and rural people liking him– with smaller cities and suburbs somewhere in the middle. Of course you can find exceptions to that too.”
    ************

    Yes, it does kind of work out that way for my family. One “Trump hater” lives on the outskirts of a small Southern town but the rest seem to follow in the pattern you mention.

  25. JeffK says:

    @TheScientist880 says:
    August 30, 2018 at 10:12 am

    Kurt Gayle you are giving the game away. From your other posts on other articles, you’re a ~70 year old white southerner. By posting these links, you are making it very clear that you don’t actually know any black people. Your effort at “see! here is a black person who says X” is such a dead giveaway at your lack of actual exposure. If you actually knew black people, you wouldn’t be posting links from a few celebrities because the black people in your life would make it clear that this is the oldest play in the book by white people post a few outliers and act as if those outliers refute the views of the vast majority of actual black people who are so lopsided on the opposite side of whatever the debate is as to make these individuals’ views irrelevant.”

    I posted what’s below elsewhere. It’s a link to various logical fallacies, which are often used in debate. The goal in using a logical fallacy is to win the debate, not drive to truth. Using logical fallacies is quite common, and those that use them often don’t recognize them as such.

    I believe Kurt Gayle is engaging in ‘Cherry picking”. A complete list of Logical Fallacies can be reviewed in the bottom link. Read it for meaning, and then go back to it occasionally. Once you grasp the concept you can see through BS arguments quite easily.

    Hasty Generalization.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faulty_generalization#Hasty_generalization

    Cherry Picking.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_picking

    Misleading Vividness.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anecdotal_evidence

    Links further explain the above, along with quite a number of logical fallacies in general.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

  26. Kurt Gayle says:

    TheScientist880 has commented: “Kurt Gayle I know more black people than you…I am actually black…I’m actually around black people on a regular basis…From your other posts on other articles, you’re a ~70 year old white southerner. By posting these links, you are making it very clear that you don’t actually know any black people.”

    With thanks to mrscracker for expressing my own thoughts on such remarks, Scientist880: “I don’t think it’s prudent to assume anything on the internet. No one in the comment boxes knows who our friends, family, or acquaintances are, or who we spend time with on a regular basis. I try to assume the best in people but not create my own assumptions. You just never know. People are complicated.”

    I’m very glad, Scientist880, that you had a chance to look at the Floyd Mayweather video I posted and I’m hoping that you’ll comment on what Floyd Mayweather said:

    “You never heard anything about Donald Trump being racist until he ran for President and won. He on WWE, he on different shows. Everybody, they like Donald Trump. Soon as he ran for President – because people don’t like the truth…People shy away from realness…”

  27. Kurt Gayle says:

    JeffK says: “I believe Kurt Gayle is engaging in ‘Cherry picking’.”

    All right, JeffK. While I’m “cherry picking,” allow me to share with you the thoughts of another leading voice of the black community, NFL Hall of Famer, Number 32, Jim Brown (82 years old now, a hero from the schoolboy football days of some of us):

    Q (at 3:43): “Jim, do you look at this President — the times you’ve [been] with him before and after being President – is he a racist?

    Jim Brown: “I’m so glad you asked me that. Of course not.”

    Watch the whole thing. It’s a very fine interview:

  28. TheScientist880 says:

    mrscracker I have married into a family that is like yours. In fact, I would bet money that some of your kids know some of the members of my wife’s family. You have a very large family who grew up in a traditionalist setting and attended the Thomas Aquinas, Christendom etc type colleges if I remember correctly. My wife’s family has also lived this life. It is important for me to state that this life is a tiny subculture. It is so small in fact that there are multiple large catholic families where multiple members of a single family have married multiple members of another family. Kids who grow up like this are absolutely not representative of the Millenial generation overall. My wife always feels like an outsider because she doesn’t have the native knowledge of mainstream culture which other millenials have. I do not dispute that there are Trump supporting millenials, my point is that Trump isn’t even at 30% approval with millenials which is a massive deal. Cultural conservatism is such a weak movement in our generation, you have to understand this first and foremost. Your family has basically taken the Benedict option as my wife’s family has. There are 70 million millenials though and most of them are moderates to liberals.

  29. Thomas Hobbes says:

    Dimitri Cavalli says:
    Kurt Gayle makes an excellent point.

    For about 30 years, Donald Trump was a sought-after celebrity. Every leftist group that condemns him would have happily taken money from him at one time.

    Every leftist group would happily take money from anybody giving it in large quantities unless it created political blowback. I remember watching Trump talk on TV 20 some years ago and thinking to myself “what is wrong with him?” I figured it was because he was a spoiled rich kid at the time.

    Of course, the left suddenly discovers Trump is “racist,” “fascist” when, by running for office, he threatens to take away political power from the left.

    Actually, it was him saying that Obama was a secret muslim Kenyan and not a real American that made everybody on the left think he was racist no matter what Floyd Mayweather says, but yeah, still politics.

    Watch. Whoever the next Republican nominee for President is will be seen as “worse than,” “more extreme,” “more dangerous,” and so on than Trump.

    To the left, every Republican presidential nominee dating back to Charles Evans Hughes was worse than the previous one.

    If you want to amuse yourself, ask any leftist and SJW if Trump, in foreign policy, is really “worse” than W. Ask them to explain what made Bush better than Trump.

    Bush W was the worst foreign policy president since the Great Depression. Trump still makes me more nervous than W did because I never worried that W might start a nuclear war because somebody made fun of his hands. Trump hasn’t made the huge mistakes W has, but W was just getting warmed up by this time in his presidency. Hopefully Trump doesn’t do anything too stupid. I think Trump will probably cause less damage, particularly if he doesn’t get a second term. Trump doesn’t seem to be leading anywhere good with regard to Iran, I’m hopeful he is accomplishing something with North Korea (still unclear), I’m worried he is giving China everything it wants in Asia, and it seems like he is seriously eroding our influence in Europe.

    EarlyBird says:
    Trump gave voice to that very reasonable and appropriate rage and continues to stoke it, because collective anger of his base is his power. Forget the fact that most of policies either won’t actually change anything for the better, and will actually poison any serious statesman who wishes to tackle these things in the future.

    Yup.

  30. Tom S. says:

    Conversely, Trump’s numbers haven’t risen in spite of claimed economic and legislative gains because most people recognize that they are overstated, ephemeral, or nonexistent. Plus Trump is a loathsome individual, and the only people who don’t have a problem with that are those who make up the unchanging proportion of his supporters.

  31. MM says:

    Kurt: “All right…”

    You stole my thunder with Jim Brown. He’ll be dismissed as old and irrelevant by guys like Sci-880 and JeffK.

    But don’t take them seriously. They’ll accuse you of logical fallacies, whilst in other discussions engage in them, ad hominems for example.

    That’s called talking out of both sides of their mouths.

  32. MM says:

    Dimitri: “For about 30 years, Donald Trump was a sought-after celebrity. Every leftist group that condemns him would have happily taken money from him at one time.”

    This is a key point. I’d only add that Trump earned a reputation in New York as being a quasi-prejudiced businessman with a big mouth.

    But it is an undeniable fact that many prominent Democrats, including Senator Clinton, who attended Trump’s wedding out of obligation, took his money year after year, decade after decade, while he was a registered Democrat himself.

    He only became scum of the earth, officially racist, sexist, homophobic, demonic, Pure Evil, when he changed parties.

    But evidence of his prejudiced nature dates back to at least the 1970s, which just goes to prove the old adage:

    If the Democratic Party really believed he was dirt, culturally and politically, they sure enjoyed rolling around in it with him. His money was compensation enough for them to overlook his “deplorable” qualities.

  33. York PA says:

    OK. But the approval numbers don’t have to budge for Trump to lose in 2020, or for him to lose at least one house of Congress this fall.

    He won with very thin margins in key states, and marginal losses among voters who expected him to keep his promises on immigration and ending the Middle East wars will cost him dearly.

  34. JeffK says:

    @Kurt Gayle.

    Selecting two of thousands of black athletes is the definition of cherry picking.

    Thanks for making the point.

  35. mrscracker says:

    TheScientist880 ,
    Thank you again for your comments.
    That’s very interesting. Maybe your wife’s family & my children do have acquaintances in common. It’s always a smaller world than we imagine & there are real people behind comments. Which is a good reason for civility & decency in internet conversations. I try to practice never saying anything online that I wouldn’t say in person.

    Yes, two of my children attended traditional-type Catholic colleges but the others have gone to Berkeley, Columbia, UVA, Coastal Carolina, Armstrong, etc, etc. Plus various community colleges.
    So, it’s a bit of a mix.
    I think JonF had a good point about regions of the country having greater influence than other factors but I’m sure there’s a generational demographic, too.

  36. JeffK says:

    @Kurt Gayle says:
    August 30, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    All right, JeffK. While I’m “cherry picking,” allow me to share with you the thoughts of another leading voice of the black community, NFL Hall of Famer, Number 32, Jim Brown (82 years old now, a hero from the schoolboy football days of some of us):

    Q (at 3:43): “Jim, do you look at this President — the times you’ve [been] with him before and after being President – is he a racist?

    Jim Brown: “I’m so glad you asked me that. Of course not.”

    Watch the whole thing. It’s a very fine interview:”

    I watched the whole interview. Twice, just to see if I missed something. Basically, Jim Brown says “He returns my phone calls, and he is working on North Korea”. That’s it. Not much else of consequence about Trump.

    Also, at 3:57 he said “Is America racist, of course not”. Very interesting. I think the majority of blacks would disagree.

    I suspect Jim Brown, whom still looks to be reasonably fit, would b**ch slap Trump right out of his chair if he spoke to him like it’s reported he speaks in private.

  37. Kurt Gayle says:

    @ JeffK, who says: “@Kurt Gayle. Selecting two of thousands of black athletes is the definition of cherry picking.”

    How many cherries do I need to pick before I’m no longer “cherry picking”? I ask that because you seem to be saying that the more I “cherry pick,” the less I’d be “cherry picking.” In other words, at some point I would have “picked enough cherries” for you to agree that I’m no longer “cherry picking.” What number of “cherries picked” would work for you, JeffK? What number should I shoot for?

    Extremely Fast cherry picking from an experienced cherry picker:

  38. paradoctor says:

    The variable best correlating with Trump support is not class, or rural/urban, or even race, but evangelism. Which is curious, considering his personal amorality, and evangelical moralism.

  39. Deggjr says:

    Good article.

    That so many people openly admit they’d gladly assist in creating a hell on Earth on Trump’s behalf, is insane.

    This does surprises me as well. Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Cambodia, China, Myanmar, etc, etc demonstrate how naive I am.

    Be the country you want to live in.

  40. MM says:

    JeffK: “Not much else of consequence about Trump.”

    He’s endorsed him for reelection in 2020. But honestly, I doubt you care what Jim Brown thinks.

    “I suspect Jim Brown, whom still looks to be reasonably fit, would b**ch slap Trump right out of his chair if he spoke to him like it’s reported he speaks in private.”

    Since he hasn’t, this is just whistling in the wind. Of course, I’m someone who doesn’t believe everything that’s “reported” based on anonymous sources, and nothing else.

    By the way, there are rumors in Washington of big news from the Special Counsel’s office today, before the Labor Day weekend.

    Since your predictions are always spot on, would you mind telling everyone what that news will be, specifically, and what time we can expect the announcement today? 🙂

  41. MM says:

    Hobbes: “Bush W was the worst foreign policy president since the Great Depression.”

    Wow, you just let LBJ completely off the hook for the worst foreign president (see Tonkin Gulf resolution) since the Great Depression.

    Makes sense… my party, right or wrong…

  42. MM says:

    Corrected: “Wow, you just let LBJ completely off the hook for being the worst foreign policy president (see Tonkin Gulf resolution) since the Great Depression.”

  43. JeffK says:

    @Kurt Gayle says:
    August 31, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Very clever regarding the Cherry Picking link. Well done. I liked it.

    Regarding support in the black community, I googled and read various articles about it. Seems like most of his uptick in support comes from black men.

    From a Washington Examiner (conservative) article, quoting USA Today, “Turns out, he was right, at least in part, according to a Reuters poll. The numbers were correct when examining black men, not the entire black community. Trump’s approval rating among black men increased in the week between April 22 and April 29, according to a Reuters poll. West made posted his series of tweet voicing support for Trump on April 25. It jumped from an 11 percent approval on April 22 to 22 percent on April 29. Among the total black community, it also nearly doubled, but the numbers were lower. His approval among all blacks increased from 8.9 percent to 16.5 percent. ”

    From the NAACP in the same article “in the NAACP poll, 21 percent of blacks approve of the president, up 3.5 percent over the Reuters poll, and his disapproval is 79 percent.”.

    All in all, a well balanced article.

    Also note, however, that Trumps disapproval rating just hit 60% (Washington Post / Politico) with the general public. From the article “Trump’s approval rating, according to the poll, was 36 percent. In the previous Washington Post-ABC News poll, conducted in April, Trump’s approval rating was 40 percent and his disapproval rating was 56 percent.” Approval down 4%, Disapproval up 4%.

    I will stand behind what I have previously stated about Trump: **He is historically unpopular**. And The Republicans are acknowledging it between themselves, their donors, and the Republican politicians themselves.

    And finally, Gallup research indicates disapproval is a stronger motivator for voter turnout vs approval.

    67 Days till Nov 6. The voting American public will make their opinion known, unambiguously.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/blacks-approval-of-trump-reaches-a-high-of-21-and-naacp-charges-racism

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/31/trump-approval-rating-poll-washington-post-abc-805563

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/31/republicans-midterms-congress-vulnerable-lawmakers-gop-805496

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/175442/disapproval-congress-linked-higher-voter-turnout.aspx

  44. MM says:

    JeffK: “And finally, Gallup research indicates disapproval is a stronger motivator for voter turnout vs approval.”

    2010 and prior? That’s old news, considering Trump proved expert predictors dead wrong when he was elected.

    Trump isn’t on the ballot, and congressional races are very local. The results may very well be ambiguous in November, for those reasons alone.

    This survey, in the aggregate, should make everyone nervous:

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/direction_of_country-902.html

    This metric usually spikes and then drops again when a president is elected or reelected. It’s been trending up for the past year, and is as high as it’s been since Election Day 2012. The last time it was this high was in 2006, when it was on the way down during Bush’s second term.

    If the trend continues upward and converges at 50%, that could mean the incumbent party will benefit, if voters register their contentment at the polls. Or not, they may stay home and the discontented will vote instead.

  45. Thomas Hobbes says:

    MM says:
    Wow, you just let LBJ completely off the hook for being the worst foreign policy president (see Tonkin Gulf resolution) since the Great Depression.

    Makes sense… my party, right or wrong…

    How did I let him off? He gets my billing for 2nd worst, the question was about W vs Trump. Seems to me that W’s wars have been more damaging to our country, the countries where the wars were fought, and the world at large than LBJ’s wars. Maybe it’s too soon to say though (there are reasonable arguments either way) and maybe the fact that I wasn’t alive for LBJ’s wars biases me.

    Also, I am part of the plurality of Americans that is not a Democrat or a Republican.

  46. Ken Zaretzke says:

    I found this satire in the comments thread of a Seattle Times article on H1-B visa fraud. Although written sardonically by a commenter named ESin the NW, it could have been written in all seriousness by Tom Steyer or George Soros.

    “We need the H1B program to achieve our diversity goals. It is imperative that American born people are shifted out of the workforce in order to provide jobs for diverse peoples.

    “An American that has a lower diversity index, should not feel as entitled to a job. This excludes the higher level Americans that are needed to make the important financial decisions.

    “We must all work together to maintain healthy financial investment markets by ensuring businesses have access to affordable labor inputs, labor inputs that are predictable. Predictable in that they have an obligation to a single employer and cannot change to another for higher pay; this keeps the low labor costs predictable, enhancing the reliability of quarterly profit projections.

    “Some sacrifices from US citizens will be required for the good of the market, but these people will be thanked for their service and then have access to retraining programs and shelters.

    “Also important is to increase spending on social programs necessary to fill the gap between what US employers are willing to pay for affordable labor and what it costs to raise a large family today.”

    Trump will do even better in the polls when he goes after high tech visas.

  47. sglover says:

    Always amusing to watch Gayle (try to) carry water for his demigod Trump. Some folks just yearn for self-abasement, I guess….

    Anyway, amidst all the wish-thinking about how the young folks really truly love the world being crafted by septagenarian Republicans, here’s an interesting poll. (That last link is a PDF.)

    Seems that the casino swindler’s disapproval rating is now at **60%**, with more than half the respondents reporting that they “strongly” disapprove. There’s real (high 40’s) support for impeachment, which surprises me, at least.

    Republicans are really going to have to work hard at their usual “patriotic” “strategy” of depriving their fellow Americans of the right to vote. God knows they’re not going to eke out many wins based on the actual merits or popularity of their looting, er, “philosophy”.

  48. Thrice A Viking says:

    TJ Martin, if you’re going to criticize others’ intelligence, then you might want to learn the distinction between Murray and Merry. It kind of makes you stupid yourself otherwise. And bragging about a phrase you claim to have made up – The Collective Stupidity of America – as if it were a truly deep thought doesn’t help matters much either.

  49. victims says:

    The new poll numbers don’t look too good. I agree he’s got a hard core of support that won’t budge, but it’s inside a softer core of support that’s been drifting away in dribs and drabs. The truth is he spent way too much time doing favors for foreign countries like Israel and Saudi Arabia, when he needed a Bill Clinton-style laser focus on America. Remember “it’s the economy stupid”? Trump needed something like that, a constant reminder of his “America First” pledge.

    It’s early days in some respects, a little over a year and a half, but I think he blew it and that it’s already too late for him to recover.

  50. JeffK says:

    Regarding voting percentages by eligible voters, black women, in 2016, voted 63.7% vs 54.2%. That’s a 9.5% difference. Reasonably significant.

    http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/sites/default/files/resources/genderdiff.pdf

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