Yesterday somebody pointed out the latest Politico/Morning Consult poll which contained more than a few surprises, some of them exposing rare bits of good news for the Trump administration. Looking at Politico’s coverage you can see that this was pitched primarily as a survey of public feelings about the White House / GOP tax reform plan. It’s an important topic to be sure and they focused on those specific results almost exclusively in a lengthy analysis.
But you had to dig down a long ways to find a couple of other nuggets. And by “a long ways” I mean you had to scroll down through 14 paragraphs of a 15 paragraph article to find this gem dealing with the President’s job approval.
The poll also shows a slight uptick in Trump’s approval rating: 45 percent approve of the president’s job performance, up from 43 percent last week. The percentage of voters who disapprove ticked down from 54 percent last week to 52 percent in the new survey.
The fact is that Trump’s approval has been slowly drifting up for a few weeks, possibly due to his response to the various hurricanes crashing into the country. The obvious difference in the media landscape is that previously, every time Trump took a slide downward into the thirties (where he was in this poll also), it was front page news. Cable networks would go on for hours at a time discussing how these were the worst approval numbers since the great depression or whatever. But now that he’s back in the mid 40s – still underwater, but not by nearly as much – the news barely merits a mention at the end of the article.
You can read the full toplines here, and if you do you’ll find some other gems which weren’t mentioned in the Politico article at all. In terms of placing trust in either party, it’s first worth noting that a significant plurality rates two issues as their most important. 48% said either economic issues or security issues were their key focus. Keep that in mind.
Now, when asked which party they trust on various issues, the GOP was actually the most trusted on the economy (42/36), jobs (40/37), immigration (40/38) and national security (45/33). Those were the issues almost half the country rated as most important and a plurality trusts the GOP more in each category. For their part, the Democrats are more trusted for healthcare (43/33), environment (47/28), energy (!) (41/35) and education (41/35).
When asked the generic “which party’s candidate would you support for Congress if the election were held now” question, the Democrats managed a slim lead inside the margin of error at 41/39. It’s also worth noting that the main thrust of the article, dealing with the tax reform plan, demonstrates that the plan is more popular with people than the media might lead you to believe. While the public isn’t wild about tax cuts for businesses or the wealthy (yay populism!), a plurality find most of the components affecting the middle class to be a good idea.
The bottom line here is that the Democrats have put a serious amount of effort into ginning up the #RESIST movement and getting people out into the streets marching every weekend. But what they’ve failed to do is present a competing vision for how they would be handling things differently. People have obviously responded to that and they’re still willing to give the GOP a shot at improving conditions across the country. And Donald Trump may still not be Mr. Popularity at this pageant, but his battered public image is showing some signs of being on the mend.
Not that you’d know that by watching CNN or reading the Washington Post, of course. I assume this is one of those stories they consider to be “local news.”