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Thursday, October 26, 2017


Christopher Bates:
A couple of weekly pollsters released their latest on Wednesday, and the numbers definitely won't be finding their way to Donald Trump's Twitter feed. First up is Fox News, which certainly tries to tote the President's water, but the numbers say what they say. They have him with the lowest approval rating ever for their poll, 38%. He's losing ground among key constituencies, including men without a college degree, working-class white men, and evangelicals. Politico/Morning Consult, meanwhile, has Trump with a slightly better overall approval rating, at 42%. But the rest of the numbers are pretty grim, as a majority of respondents find him untrustworthy (53%), dishonest (51%), reckless (56%), thin-skinned (52%), lacking in compassion (54%), unstable (54%), and sexist (50%)... These numbers represent a dip from last week; the obvious explanation is Trump's (mis-)handling of the La David Johnson phone call. Puerto Rico surely didn't help, either. While Trump's approval rating ebbs and flows depending on whatever the drama of the week is, it is clear that the overall trendline is downward, and pretty sharply so. Over the past nine months, he's bled about 6.5 points; from pulling numbers regularly in the mid-40s to numbers regularly in the high-30s. For a president who won office by the skin of his teeth, that's very concerning. It's also the case that no president has had such a bad first year on the approval-ratings front since the numbers were first tabulated during the Truman years. The only presidents who were even in the ballpark (see the data at the link) were Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford. Those two men saw their parties lose 54 and 49 seats in the House, and 8 and 4 seats in the Senate, respectively, in the midterm elections. So, to the extent that the numbers have predictive value, the conditions certainly appear to be building for the wave election of all wave elections.

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