Silent majorities are a misnomer

Yet the polling at the time indicated that Nixon was heavily supported on Vietnam. When he gave his famous speech on the silent majority in November 1969, his approval rating on the issue was averaging about 60%. Nixon was clearly correct that the majority of people were behind him — they just weren’t “silent” in the polling.

Compare Nixon’s situation with Trump’s. Trump’s approval rating on race relations in a CBS News poll out this week was 33%, or about half of what Nixon’s was on the issue that sparked the protests. A nearly identical 32% told the ABC News/Ipsos KnowledgePanel poll they disapprove of Trump’s “response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.”

Trump has to be hoping that not only are his supporters not showing up to these protests but that they aren’t talking to pollsters, either.