If you turned on CNN these days, you might hear that Donald Trump is about to be impeached. Perhaps coincidentally, that’s also what you would have been told one year ago. Fancy that.
But this time, the walls at 1600 Pennsylvania are definitely tumbling down. Michael Cohen tapes! Stormy Daniels! Karen McDougal! Obstruction of justice! Blue wave! Impeachment! #TheResistance! Storm the Bastille! You know, stuff that former President James Garfield would have said sprouted from the “calm level of public opinion from which the thoughts of a mighty people are to be measured.”
Actually, though, public opinion is a lot calmer than CNN would give it credit for, at least in regard to President Trump.
A recent uptick for Trump in Rasmussen’s daily tracking poll finds the president at 50 percent approval, compared with 49 percent disapproval.
The poll does include some bad news for Trump, in terms of those who feel strongly one way or the other.
“The latest figures include 35% who Strongly Approve of the way Trump is performing and 41% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -6,” Rasmussen reported in a Thursday statement.
The total approval ratings have been climbing since the middle of July, where Trump was at 44 percent approval to 54 percent disapproval.
Now, here’s the fun part, at least for conservatives: This is actually higher than former President Barack Obama’s ratings were at the same point in his presidency. During the same two-week period in 2010, Obama’s total approval was between 43 and 47 percent. At the exact point Thursday, Obama was at 45 percent — 5 percentage points below Trump, or 10 percent of his total popularity.
Rasmussen’s daily tracking polls are more rosy than the RealClearPolitics poll average, which shows Trump at 43.5 percent approval vs. 52.8 percent disapproval. That number is close to Reuters/Ipsos and Economist/YouGov polls released within the past few days.
Also keep in mind the fact that Obama’s approval plummeted during the Obamacare debate, which was ongoing at the time. While his numbers were somewhat on the mend by August, they still weren’t at the high level they were during the love-in that was the first four months of the Obama era.
However, let’s keep in mind that this is all during a time when the press is losing its mind and former Obama-era officials have come out and accused Trump of treason. (Treason, for those of you who have forgotten, is a crime which carries the death penalty.) You would expect his approval to be plummeting — not improving — during this period.
This is, in fact, the highest number Trump has achieved since June 2017. This is no doubt in part due to a solid economy, low unemployment numbers (and record low numbers for minority populations) and the fact that Trump has delivered on a number of promises to the conservative base — particularly in regards to taxes and the judiciary.
As for those who strongly disapprove, well, what else is new? There will always be a strong — indeed, almost monolithic — core of liberals who can’t find anything positive to say about the 45th president. Meanwhile, there has always been a significant element of conservatives and independents who have been reluctant to fully embrace the president but approve, more or less, of what the president and his party are doing.
This is the important thing to remember in advance of the “blue wave” and the so-called chaos of the Trump administration.
While the poll numbers aren’t wonderful for congressional Republicans, the fall campaign has yet to begin in earnest. Once it does, we’re going to see the GOP touting what it has managed to do in conjunction with the administration and how it’s been responsible for epic growth numbers. Expect those numbers to move.
Meanwhile, in terms of impeachment, please get the crime first. The latest “case” for impeaching Trump, currently popular among liberals on social media, comes from Murray Waas in the New York Review of Books, who weaves a tendentious and complicated case for obstruction of justice that goes back to Michael Flynn and (to paraphrase Howard Baker yet again) what the president knew and when he knew it. Without getting into the specifics of why this article is profoundly wrong, haven’t we been here before? Didn’t this not work the first time? Just checking.
Yes, things might seem pretty dour if you watch MSNBC or CNN. However, the “calm level of public opinion from which the thoughts of a mighty people are to be measured” isn’t necessarily buying it.
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