Trump slides below 40 percent job approval ... in Rasmussen

I don’t know which news is worse for the White House, that the pollster that’s consistently had the rosiest numbers for Trump this year suddenly sees him slipping into the 30s or that Matt Drudge is featuring that result with a prominent red-font link on his site.

This isn’t even the only bad news Rasmussen has for the president today. Their latest has the border wall polling at 37/56.

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 39% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Sixty-one percent (61%) disapprove.

The latest figures for Trump include 26% who Strongly Approve of the way Trump is performing and 49% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -23.

The only pollster with worse numbers for Trump in July was Reuters, which had him at 35/59 last week, but eyeball the RCP poll of polls and you’ll see that no one’s had him north of 41 percent for the entire month. It’s been a brutal stretch — thwarted on health care, hamstrung by revelations about Don Jr’s meeting with the Russian lawyer, bizarrely flogging his own attorney general on Twitter, embarrassed by the Scaramucci/Priebus sideshow. Republicans will tolerate a chaotic presidency that gets things done or a dignified presidency that doesn’t get much done, but a circus in the West Wing with little to show for it policy-wise is toxic.

Gallup’s been polling Trump’s job approval in individual states lately. The good news is that his base is hanging in there for the most part. The bad news is that the Rust Belt trifecta that put him over the top last November is unhappy:

Trump ultimately won the presidency with narrow victories in three states: Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Democrats thought of the states as a great “blue wall” around the Great Lakes, but Trump smashed through and won where no Republican had won since 1988. Now, however, the Gallup data suggest some of the bricks may be falling back into place here. Trump is underwater by 9 or more points in the three states and is at 52 percent job disapproval in all of them

Despite Trump’s strength with the blue-collar voters associated with these states, the three also have some factors working against the president. All have long histories as union strongholds and the kinds of big urban centers that are very sour on Trump in most polling, such as Philadelphia, Detroit, Milwaukee.

He’s also momentarily underwater in, e.g., Texas, but Texas isn’t voting for Elizabeth Warren in 2020 given a choice between her and Trump. Pennsylvania, though? Undetermined.

As I was writing this, Drudge fired another shot at Trump on Twitter. What’s up with him turning against the president lately? CNN’s sources think it has less to do with West Wing chaos than with Trump’s policy failures, which I suspect jibes with the reason for the polling downturn. No one outside of political junkies pays much attention to the Priebus and Scaramucci follies on cable news every night but everyone’s paying attention to health-care reform. Watching that go down in the Senate a few days ago may have convinced some soft Trump supporters who were still sold on the idea of him draining the swamp that he won’t be the kind of can-do transformational populist they were hoping for. That’s much more dangerous to him than the Mooch farting out profanities about leakers to the New Yorker. (If you support Trump, by definition you’re willing to sacrifice some decorum in the name of results.) His core strength is, well, strength, the sense that he can move otherwise immovable objects through the sheer force of his alpha-male will. Over the past few days, perceptive columnists like Peggy Noonan and Kevin Williamson have noted that Trump projects nothing lately so much as weakness — he can’t get his Senate caucus to line up for him, he can’t stop the Russiagate leaks, he can’t get Jeff Sessions to quit. He spends most of his time whining about how unfair and disappointing everyone is. Bad look for a would-be superhero president.

Here’s Williamson discussing his latest column, arguing that Trump wants to be the Alec Baldwin character from “Glengarry Glen Ross” but increasingly comes off like Jack Lemmon’s.

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David Strom 8:31 AM on October 05, 2022