Speaking of polls, Trump posted the latest Rasmussen poll on Twitter Friday.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017
But the Rasmussen poll is considered by many, with the exception of Donald Trump and Fox News, to be an outlier – a poll whose numbers differ greatly from the other polls.
In case you’re wondering why Trump hasn’t posted any other polling numbers lately except for the Rasmussen poll, there’s a very good reason. They all stink – at least for Trump. This week he did a achieve a new first for a president – reaching a 60% disapproval rating in the daily Gallup poll significantly earlier than any other president since Gallup began conducting regular Presidential polling during the Carter years. Today’s AP poll shows that 64% of Americans disapprove of the job he has been doing.
Trump’s 50% approval rating by Rasmussen is in stark contrast to other, highly respected pollsters. According to Real Clear Politics, which monitors a number of polling groups, on Friday the Gallup Poll had Trump’s approval ratings at 38% with CNBC just behind at 37%. The latest Quinnipiac poll conducted on June 7th showed Trump at a disastrous 34% approval rating. Just about the only people polling worse than Trump are the members of Congress. And the Republican healthcare plan.
The approval numbers for Trump are not the only bad ones around. According to a Gallup poll conducted June 7-11, there was a drop of 17% (from 58% to 41%) in satisfaction with the way things are going in the United States since May. This number becomes staggering because this was a poll conducted with Republicans. Yes, only 41% of Republicans are happy with the direction of our country, compared to 58% only one month ago.
The polls look at more than just the approval/disapproval numbers for the president. In addition to the question referenced above “Are you satisfied with the direction the country is taking?” they also question peoples’ level of economic anxiety, their views on healthcare, and foreign relations. These questions are again broken down by party affiliation, gender, age, level of education, and a number of other factors. The polls contain a surprising level of granularity for those who are interested in the details. Which most politicians, except for Trump, are.
There is perhaps one way Trump could improve his numbers – either by issuing a huge “mea culpa” to the American people or by taking responsibility for his own actions. That might help him redeem himself somewhat in the eyes of more moderate Republicans or the truly conservative ones. But that is not something that the Donald Trump of the past would do, nor is it likely that the current Donald Trump is capable of doing. Instead he continues to tweet out rants that play only to his base, and that base, if the poll numbers are to be believed, is shrinking.
Of course polls are not always accurate. Just ask the “Remain” voters in Great Britain or Hillary Clinton. But they can and do reflect trends. And the trend for Trump is a steady, downward slide.
So far the Republicans in Congress are supporting their president, at least publicly. But when, not if, Trump’s approval ratings drop into the 20s, which was Nixon Watergate territory, they will begin distancing themselves from him as far as possible. For as much as they like having a Republican in the White House, they value their own seats in Congress much more.
Perhaps that is one reason the race for the Sixth Congressional District in Georgia between Jon Ossoff and Karen Handel has garnered so much national attention. In a seat that was won handily by Tom Price in 2016 (20+ points) is it now entirely possible that an unknown Democrat can win the election. If Ossoff does take a strongly red district, then it opens a path for the Democrats to regain control of the House in the 2018 mid-term elections.
But let Trump tout and enjoy his Rasmussen numbers. If he is happy with these results then he is far less likely to do something drastic, such as bombing another country, in an effort to increase his approval ratings. And we will be safe. For the time being.