I know what you’re thinking, that his numbers are rising and the Dems’ are falling because of Friday’s dynamite jobs report. Not really the case, as it turns out. Here’s Trump, who’s at 44.6 percent today, a number he hasn’t touched since March 12 of last year.
And here’s the generic ballot where Democrats are down to 43 percent even, nearly a full point lower than their next-lowest tally of the Trump era:
It’s the jobs report! It has to be. Even the dreaded New York Times swooned on Friday, with columnist Neil Irwin penning a column titled, “We Ran Out of Words to Describe How Good the Jobs Numbers Are.” In reality, though, only two polls of Trump’s job approval have been conducted since the jobs report came out. One was Rasmussen, which had him at 48 percent but which normally has him several points higher than other pollsters do. The other was Gallup, which put him at a ho-hum 41 percent. His 44.6 percent number is built on a trifecta of polls that came out *before* the jobs report: Reuters, YouGov, and Harvard-Harris all had him at 44-45 percent.
And the generic ballot? Not a single poll has been published about that since Friday. Every bit of data you’re seeing in the graph above is pre-jobs report.
My pet theory for Trump’s upward trend and the Democrats’ downward trend over the past month was that it was a combination of a humming economy and Trump’s diplomatic success with North Korea. Both of those factors help explain the new numbers, I’m sure, although the off-again-on-again wrangling with the North Koreans over the summit may have taken a little air out of the foreign policy balloon. My new pet theory for why the numbers keep moving in Republicans’ direction is that the party is beginning to circle the wagons more tightly as Trump ratchets up the attacks on Mueller and the subpoena drama starts to pick up. Here’s an amazing number from Gallup:
President Trump has 2nd highest "own party" job approval rating since World War II at day ~500, only behind Bush43 (after 9/11) (Source: Gallup) pic.twitter.com/cNhEAjMObO
— Bruce Mehlman (@bpmehlman) June 3, 2018
In all probability Dubya is higher only because Day 500 came during his enormous surge in popularity after 9/11. Otherwise Trump stands alone, fully 10 points higher among Republicans than Reagan stood in 1982.
It may be the case that he’s gone about as low as he can go with Democrats and even with indies with the economy doing as well as it’s doing. Mueller could indict him and his numbers won’t change within those groups because those inclined to dislike him already have a dozen other reasons to do so. Among GOPers, though, the “witch hunt” messaging offensive and, maybe, the relative quiet in other scandals like Stormygate may have brought some wary Republicans back into the fold. As long as he doesn’t make any sudden moves like firing half the Justice Department and the economy stays buoyant, the mid-40s (or eventually high 40s?) may be his new normal through the midterms.