Uh-Oh: Trump’s Favorite Pollster Shows a Baghdadi Bounce of 2 Measly Points

On Sunday Donald Trump made what he surely thought was the most consequential public address of his ignoble presidency. He announced the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi at the conclusion of a raid by U.S. forces. Despite some flagrant lies and admissions of improper conduct, Trump must have imagined that this news would provide some relief from the avalanche of evidence and testimony against him at the congressional impeachment hearings. Instead, he was greeted by boos when he attended the fifth game of the World Series later the same day.

Donald Trump

Trump, as usual, has been paying tribute to himself. In the past twenty-hours hours he has posted seven videos of his Sunday address. He has also lauded reporting by correspondents who praised the military mission and his decision to greenlight it. Nevermind that inside experts have revealed that Trump was actually an impediment to the mission’s success.

Perhaps the best indication of how little Trump will benefit from the Baghdadi episode is his approval rating as reported by his favorite pollster, the ultra-rightist Rasmussen Reports. In recent days Rasmussen has had Trump’s approval at a low (43%) that matches his worst polling in nearly two years. And now, after the death of Baghdadi, Trump’s approval creeped up a mere two points to 45 percent. That’s still uncharacteristically low for Trump on a Rasmussen survey. But it also reflects the tiniest of bounces from what should have been highly positive news.

Trump is fond of bragging about his approval rating from Rasmussen. He has tweeted fourteen times this year when the number exceeded 50 percent. The most recent was just two weeks ago, after which it quickly declined to 43. What he apparently has failed to learn is that after he posts a relatively good approval rating, it routinely drops back down in a matter of days. Then when it goes back up to 50, he pounds out another repetitive robo-tweet. And the wheel spins round and round.

If Trump has been hoping to ride a rocket to popularity in the post-Baghdadi world, he is going to be bitterly disappointed, a state of being that he is probably familiar with. If his approval rating rises only two points on Rasmussen after an event like this, it is unlikely to shoot up to a majority any other poll. Trump has actually never had a 50 percent approval rating from a credible pollster during his entire presidency. And as the afterglow of the Baghdadi news fades, the red-hot radiance of impeachment will reignite. And, once again, Trump will wallow in an abyss of victimhood, disapproval and desperation.

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