Last Monday, a few hours after Trump’s presser with Putin and the ensuing outrage supernova among political junkies, RCP elections analyst Sean Trende wondered how bad the fallout might be. I made my prediction.
Nothing will happen
— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) July 16, 2018
The next day he polled his followers and I doubled down:
— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) July 17, 2018
I was wrong. It’s actually gone up! Just a tiny bit, but still. There’s no backlash to The Stinky In Helsinki. NBC confirms it:
Trump’s overall job-approval rating in the poll stands at 45 percent among registered voters — up 1 point from June — while 52 percent of voters disapprove of his job…
That stability in Trump’s numbers stands out given the controversies and news over the past month — the separated families at the border, Trump’s contentious NATO meetings, his less contentious meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin — says Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted this survey with Democratic pollsters Peter Hart and Fred Yang…
Indeed, the new NBC/WSJ poll finds the president’s approval rating among Republican voters at 88 percent — the highest of his presidency — and 29 percent of all voters strongly approve of his job, which is another high for Trump in the poll.
Child separation, dumping on NATO, and then equivocating between Putin and his own intelligence bureaus: If ever a president deserved a vote of confidence from his party, it’s him. Nothing surprising about this, though. Ed noted a few days ago that two separate polls on Trump’s Putin presser found Republicans solidly in favor, adding that “the outrage among people outside the media bubble is either muted or very limited to certain demographics.” Still, it’s worth noting per NBC that not even Republicans are thrilled with his handling of Russia. He’s still net positive on that issue within the GOP at 53/15, but viewed in context of his 88 percent overall rating among Republicans, that’s poor. (Among all Americans he’s at 26/51 on Russia.)
NBC is just one poll, though, right? Well, yes, but two other polls conducted since the Putin presser also show Trump’s numbers holding firm. Gallup, which began polling on the day of the summit and kept going through yesterday, has him at 42/54 today. Last week they had him at 43/52. That’s an almost meaningless decline, essentially statistical noise, and don’t forget that Gallup polls American adults generally, not registered voters specifically. Their sample may be a little bluer than most pollsters. Rasmussen, meanwhile, polls likely voters every weekday: A week ago, the day of the summit, they had Trump at 45/54 but today he’s up slightly to 46/53. He did dip slightly on Friday to 44/55, but again, these fluctuations are negligible and probably meaningless. To the extent that dip means anything, it means Trump has already recovered from any hit he took over the Putin press conference.
All in all, in the RCP “poll of polls,” he’s gained half a point since last Monday, from 43.0 to 43.5. It’s been said many times, most famously by Trump himself, that there’s practically nothing he could do to lose supporters, including shooting someone on Fifth Avenue. That’s not entirely true: He was at 37 percent approval for stretches of last year, a potentially disastrous level for the midterms. But he’s reliably at 43-44 percent now, no doubt thanks mainly to a booming economy. Opinions of the guy simply do not change — for good and for ill, from the White House’s perspective. He hasn’t been below 51 percent *disapproval* since April of last year and hasn’t been below 50 percent since March 16, 2017. That has to change before 2020 one way or another or he’s in trouble.