First Clinton, now POTUS: Americans love a president saddled with a sex scandal. Somewhere Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are trying to figure out if they know any other porn stars they can introduce Trump to.
Does 42 percent approval count as “love”? It definitely counts as “like.”
Well, “don’t strongly dislike,” in any case.
President Donald Trump’s approval rating has rebounded to its highest level since the 100-day mark of his presidency, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, even as his approval ratings for handling major issues remain largely negative…
Trump’s approval ratings have seesawed over the last four CNN polls — from 35% in December up to 40% in January, down to 35% in February and back up to 42% now. Looking at intensity of approval, however, the share who strongly approve of Trump’s performance (28% in the new poll) and strongly disapprove (46%) have held relatively steady over a similar time frame, suggesting the fluctuation in Trump’s ratings comes largely among those whose views on the President aren’t that deeply held.
The President’s strongest approval ratings on the issues come on the economy, the only issue tested where his reviews tilt more positive than negative: 48% approve and 45% disapprove.
Micah Cohen, the politics editor at Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight site, is at a loss to explain it. So am I. My gut reaction was that it must be the steel and aluminum tariffs. There are lots of blue-collar Republicans and Berniebros out there who might take a new shine to Trump for waging trade war to try to protect American jobs. But CNN notes that Trump’s job approval on trade here is just 38/50. Other polls taken within the last few weeks on the tariffs have differed, with one finding a 41/35 plurality in favor and another finding a 33/48 plurality opposed. It’s hard to believe that views on them among CNN’s sample were so strongly in favor that that issue could singlehandedly lift POTUS’s job approval seven points in a month.
Cohen seems to have settled on the unsexy explanation that this month’s “bounce” is really just reversion to the mean. Trump has been in the high 30s or low 40s for his entire presidency in many polls. Statistically it makes sense that you’d get a month where he’s a little bit higher than usual in the low 40s range. Just one question: If Trump’s “bounce” is noise, why are Republicans also inching up on the generic ballot against Democrats?
Republicans have been closer than 5.7 points at times this past year, but not often. They climbed to within 5.1 points briefly in February but have trailed by eight points or so on average for the better part of nine months. What gives? It’s hard to find a silver-bullet explanation but it’s easier to point to things that aren’t working for Democrats. Stormygate, a preoccupation of the media for the past month, obviously isn’t doing much damage. How about gun control, a topic on which print media and CNN have spent a *lot* of time over the past six weeks? Is Team Blue better or worse off for that coverage?
Speaking of which, CNN’s pollster also asked about Trump’s alleged relationships with Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. Results:
They should run that poll again this week so we can measure what effect Daniels’s “60 Minutes” interview had on her credibility versus Trump’s. It couldn’t get much higher than it is now with Democrats, who, I’m sure, are unanimously in her corner because of their strong support for feminism and #MeToo. Right, Juanita Broaddrick?