Trump's Job Approval Surge Fades Into the Dust
Gallup reports Trump's Job Rating Slides; U.S. Satisfaction Tumbles.
- Trump's job approval rating drops six percentage points, to 43%
- Congress' approval rating reaches 30% for the first time in over a decade
- U.S. satisfaction with the direction of the country tumbles 12 points
Since the mid-March poll, Trump's job approval rating has fallen six points among Democrats (to 7%) and four points among independents (to 39%). Higher approval ratings among those groups helped fuel the short-lived rally in approval for Trump. Republicans' evaluations of Trump have been highly stable throughout 2020, and currently sit at 93% approval.
These data are from an April 1-14 Gallup poll.
Rally Around the President
Trump's polling rise is very consistent with a global pattern of rallying around the leader in timers of crisis except that Trump's bounce in March was essentially anemic.
Nate Silver discussed this on April 1 in What Explains The Bump In Trump’s Approval Ratings?
According to Morning Consult, Trump’s net approval rating rose 5 percentage points from March 11 (the day the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus crisis a pandemic) to March 24,1 ranking sixth among the nine major world leaders Morning Consult polled. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau all experienced increases of more than 20 points in their net approval ratings.
Other American politicians are seeing huge increases in their popularity as well. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has been addressing one of the nation’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks with regular, nationally televised briefings of his own, has experienced a huge surge in support, according to Siena College polling. In February, only 44 percent of registered New York voters viewed Cuomo favorably, while 50 percent viewed him unfavorably. But last week, 71 percent (!) said they had a favorable opinion of Cuomo, and just 23 percent said their opinion was unfavorable.
Base Going Nowhere
As I have pointed out many times, the base is going nowhere. Trump has a 93% approval rating among Republicans. This group will never vote for Biden.
Similarly, hard-core Democrats will never vote for Trump.
The group to watch is the independents who only give Trump a 39% approval rating.
Why the Bounce?
I expected the bounce and for the bounce to fade as well.
Consider some snips from my March 29 post Trump Worried About 2.2 Million Deaths, Extends Shutdown Through April
Trump displayed a quality I have never seen in him before: empathy. He spoke of black body bags as long as trucks and said "it's not supplies, it's people. I've never seen anything like it."
In reference to Italy, Trump says "We got lucky".
That's certainly a new behavior.
Had Trump managed to stay on that level his ratings would be much higher.
Instead, Trump has been making foolish comments over state's rights, gotten into battles with the press and governors, and does daily press conferences that look more like campaign speeches.
- April 13: Trump's Council to Re-Open America is a Basket of Buffoonery
- April 13: Let's Compare Trump 2020 Comments to Nixon Comments in 1977
- April 15: Trump Threatens to Adjourn Congress to Make Appointments
- April 15: The Art of a Failed Oil Deal
Of the above, it is point number 2 that will ultimately be the most damaging.
Trump had the audacity to Tweet that he could tell governors when states had to reopen. Numerous governors quickly put Trump in his place.
Back-to-work timeframes are debatable, but Trump made a complete fool out of himself regarding who is in charge. He had a chance to walk his statements back the next day, but instead he doubled down at a press conference when he claimed "total" authority.
Trump: "When somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total. And that's the way it's got to be."
Reporter 1: "Total?"
Trump: "It's total. the governors know that. You have a couple of bands of Democrat governors but they will agree to it."
Reporter 2: "You said when someone is president of the United States, their authority is total. That is not true."
Trump: "You know what we are going to do. We're going to write up papers on this, it's not going to be necessary because the governors need us one way or the other."
The damage from that absurd exchange is not completely in. It happened very late in the polling period.
Since then, Trump made questionable at best statements on appointments as well as foolish proposals on energy, neither of which is yet reflected in the polls.
Independents and swing voters are galled at Trump's blatant power grab statements and self-adulation.
That's where the election will be won or lost. And it will be lost when independents and swing voters have had enough.
The issue is not Biden. It is Trump himself, just as it was Hillary in 2016.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock