A CNN political analyst warned Democrats this week against becoming too cocksure of themselves heading into the midterm elections, cautioning that President Donald Trump “has temporarily stopped the bleeding” and is on the verge of bouncing back after months of an ailing favorability rating.
“(T)he fact remains that his approval rating is increasing,” wrote CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer, a history and public affairs professors at Princeton University.
RealClearPolitics revealed that Trump’s average approval rate currently hovers around a notable recent high of 41.9 percent.
“And Democrats are seeing some slippage in the generic ballot (it asks voters, without using specific names, whether they will vote for a Democrat or a Republican in the midterms) for November, which suggests that a ‘wave’ election is not as inevitable as it looked just a few weeks ago,” Zelizer continued.
This stunning change in outlook belies months of previous polling showing that Democrats were slated to enter the midterm elections with a “sizable advantage,” as Politico reported two months prior.
According to Zelizer, the change began to manifest around Christmas, when the president passed a historic tax reform bill that cut taxes for 90 percent of Americans and reduced America’s corporate tax rate by 14 percent.
Passage of the bill likewise spurred a myriad of companies into doling out benefits to their millions of employees, including bonuses of up to $1,000 and more and an increase in wages.
While Zelizer admitted in his op-ed that “(p)olls now show that approval for the measure has been steadily rising,” he framed the president’s tax bill in a way similar to how Democrat politicians such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have done.
He accused Trump of “shed(ding) any pretense of being a true economic populist and hand(ing) corporate America the big, fat whopping tax break that it had been waiting for since the start of his presidency,” the suggestion being that the bill was nothing more than a gift to the wealthy.
Republicans have already begun using this sort of rhetoric from Democrat lawmakers — particularly a remark from Pelosi claiming that the benefits being enjoyed by working-class Americans amounts to “crumbs” — to hammer them for allegedly being out of touch, as reported by The Hill.
“Her ‘crumbs’ comment is something that I think we can use pretty effectively, and most workers that have now seen 50 to 100 bucks extra in their paychecks don’t think that’s crumbs,” National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, told reporters last week.
Vice President Mike Pence echoed this sentiment as well during a GOP retreat, stating, “If you’re going to say that $1,000 is crumbs, you live in a different world than I’m living in.”
It’s this dichotomy between the rhetoric of Democrat politicians and the experiences of working-class Americans that some believe may cost the Democrats come November.
“As long as the economic trends continue, President Trump and the GOP will be in good position to claim that it’s Morning in America Again, to borrow President Reagan’s phrase in 1984,” Zelizer wrote.
“Regardless of who deserves the credit for the economic boom, and regardless of the very real problems still facing millions of middle- and working-class families, the numbers are strong enough to be used by Republicans on the campaign trail as a sign of success.”
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