Gaslighting: Trump Brags About Dubious Support in a Poll that Shows Him Floundering Miserably

In Donald Trump’s regularly scheduled Sunday Morning Tweetstorm, the President with way too much time on his tiny hands delivered a series of rambling rants that were chock full of the lies, insults, boasting, and diversions that his dimwitted Deplorables have come to expect and appreciate. It was a smorgasbord of bullcrap that was tightly focused on his base. And brother was it ever base.

Donald Trump

Among the subjects that Trump addressed were the economy (wherein the stock market just suffered its first negative year in a decade), the weather (wherein he again demonstrates his ignorance of climate science), the shutdown (that he blames on Democrats despite having promised not to), Nancy Pelosi (who he both insulted and threatened), and the progress on North Korea’s nuclear disarmament (which not only hasn’t occurred, they have expanded their arsenal and capabilities). Then Trump posted a flagrant propaganda video that reminisces about his God-awful “American Carnage” inauguration speech.

But perhaps the most ludicrous of the bunch (a hard call) was his tweet bragging about a poll that showed his support among Latinos on the rise (50-46%). He attributed this to their support for his positions on immigration and his idiotic vanity wall. It doesn’t take much to realize that there’s something terribly wrong with his analysis.

Trump didn’t bother to identify the poll to which he was referring because, as usual, he doesn’t want anyone to discover the facts about his standing. However, it was easy to track it down. It was poll by Marist for NPR and the PBS NewsHour. You know – the “enemy of the people.” And as it turns out, Trump was almost right about the numbers for Latinos. Although the increase was 19 points, not 19 percent.

Still, there was a lot that Trump left out. First of all, Trump’s overall approval was a flaccid thirty-nine percent, down three points since the last poll. But more to the point, the poll interviewed 1,023 people, of which the Latino sample was only fifteen percent, or 153 people. That’s way too small a sample for a reliable national survey result. What’s more, the same poll broke down those numbers to strongly approve: 29 percent, and strongly disapprove: 41 percent. So clearly there is some animosity in this community that Trump, for some reason, failed to disclose.

Another question in the poll asked “Thinking about the 2020 election, do you definitely plan to vote for Donald Trump for reelection as president or do you definitely plan to vote against him?” The Latino respondents said resoundingly “NO,” by a thirty-one point margin (58-27%). That’s almost identical to the overall total respondents who said “no” (57-30%). Even ten percent of Republicans said “no,” while twenty-one said they were “unsure.” Sixty-four percent of Independents said they would definitely not vote for Trump in 2020. The only demographic groups that registered over fifty percent to vote for Trump were Republicans and white evangelicals. Every other breakout (gender, education, financial, geographic, race, age, etc.) fell short of that mark.

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So Trump is once again pretending that he’s beloved by his subjects. And he’s trying to convince everyone else of that same delusion. It’s the same sort of mind games he pulled when insisting that the polls showed support for his wall and shutdown (they didn’t). Or that the media had lost all credibility with the people (people trust the media more than they do Trump).

For Trump it’s just a continuous effort to gaslight the public with easily debunked claims. And, of course, it’s all intended to distract the people and the press from his criminal acts of conspiracy with Russia, obstruction of justice, and financial corruption. Unfortunately for Trump, the American people are smarter than he gives them credit for. Which is why they will be happy and relieved when he’s finally impeached or otherwise driven from office.