The political anchor that is Donald Trump continues to sink ever deeper. The latest poll by the Associated Press shows him with a flaccid approval rating of only thirty-five percent. His disapproval (64%) matches the nation’s distaste for his policies. On his handling of healthcare, sixty-six percent disapprove. Sixty-four percent of Americans object to his withdrawal from the Paris Accords on climate change.
However, the bad news for Trump is far worse than than what is revealed by that already dismal poll. Gallup just updated their tracking poll of Trump’s popularity (or lack thereof) by party affiliation. The President’s historically depressed job ratings have been routinely dismissed by him and his cohorts. They have relied on their base to provide a cult-like bottom of devotion. But Gallup’s numbers just put an end to that self-deception:
“Republicans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. took a hit since last month. Forty-one percent of Republicans say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S., down 17 percentage points since May.”
When four-in-ten of your most faithful fans are dissatisfied with your performance, you have achieved an epic level of failure. And the precipitous seventeen point collapse ought to be especially worrisome. The time span during which these numbers plunged were notable for several initiatives that Trump regarded as potentially positive. He took his first trip overseas. He announced his position on an international agreement on climate change. The stalled effort to repeal ObamaCare was restarted in the Senate. A tax reform agenda was outlined. But none of these issues moved the needle in favor of Trump.
Of course, at the same time the investigation into the Russia intrigue that has consumed his administration grew more precarious. Additional facts were revealed and more people were implicated. There were congressional hearings that featured former FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Most recently, reports (and Trump) affirmed that he is under investigation for obstruction of justice. Surely these events are weighing on his approval ratings.
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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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Other presidents have suffered through periods of low voter satisfaction. What makes Trump’s dilemma unique is that his own party is abandoning him like rats from a sinking ship of state. It is unlikely that Trump will find many Democrats or independents to buttress his decline. So if he can’t bring back Republicans he is doomed to a continuing free fall. When elected GOP representatives conclude that their constituents are hopelessly repulsed by Trump, they will be less likely to back him up. And at some point they will decide that defending Trump, even against impeachment, exposes them to more risk than benefit.