Trump’s actions signal he believes that ensuring high turnout among his core supporters, at the expense of appealing to independents and moderates, provides his best path toward reelection.
“President Trump may not feel it is worth it to move to the center and risk the loss of support of the base,” Rottinghaus said. “This is going to be a base versus base election. If that is the case, President Trump’s nonmove to the middle is in support of it.”
Political observers also suspect Trump has not changed course because the Mueller investigation had less of an effect on potential voters than some expected.
An NBC News–Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday showed Trump’s approval rating dipped slightly from 46 percent to 43 percent between February and March.