Old CW: Will Trump finish his term? New CW: Will Trump win all 50 states?
No, no, kidding. The new CW is more like “Could the GOP actually do reasonably well in the next two elections, including a second term for Trump?” The answer pretty clearly is yes, if if if if if the economy keeps rolling.
If the headline of this post feels familiar, incidentally, it’s because CNN ran a similar poll 10 days ago and got similar results. In that case, 57 percent answered yes when asked if they think things are “going well” in the U.S., the highest share since 2007. Despite the daily news sturm and drang, the Trump era is hitting benchmarks for popular contentment not seen since Dubya’s better days. Although there is one small footnote to that in Gallup’s case.
Thirty-seven percent of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the country today, up from 29% in April. Gallup has not measured a higher level of satisfaction since a 39% reading in late September 2005, although 37% were also satisfied right before the November 2016 election, and 36% were satisfied in February 2018 after the State of the Union address.
Unlike in the CNN poll, the Obama era *did* very briefly touch this same number — right before the country voted two years ago, which was almost certainly due to a surge of optimism among Democrats that they were about to get four more years of rule by their party. In this case, the explanation is more complicated but only slightly. When you’ve got an unemployment rate under four percent, you’re going to see a spike in this metric.
Not among Democrats, though. Partisanship is what it is:
The Republican number is actually the most interesting one there. For all the hype about unquestioning right-wing loyalty to POTUS and the enthusiasm about the economy, GOP satisfaction with the state of the country has been up and down. The first time it tanked was from May to June 2017, right after Trump fired James Comey, probably not coincidentally. Comey’s emerged as a central villain in the populist “deep state” narrative but many Republicans, at least at the time, seem to have been shaken by Trump’s decision. It was a long way back to the 60+ percent mark here, and once GOP voters reached it, they were knocked back again by the horror in Parkland in February. POTUS should take that as a caution. His job approval among his own base may be steady but their contentment with the state of the U.S. isn’t, and it’s liable to shift quickly based on things that both are and aren’t under his control. Worth bearing in mind as he mulls what to do about Mueller on the one-year anniversary of his appointment as special counsel. Exit quotation:
Congratulations America, we are now into the second year of the greatest Witch Hunt in American History…and there is still No Collusion and No Obstruction. The only Collusion was that done by Democrats who were unable to win an Election despite the spending of far more money!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 17, 2018