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Saturday, February 11, 2017

They're just not that into him

by digby

Well, 71% anyway. Trump does have the strong support of a whopping 29% of the population according to one poll. Another 17% sort of, kind of support him. And the intensity gap is yuuuge. 41% of Americans strongly disapprove of him.

This is from Mark Blumenthal at Survey Monkey:
One striking characteristic of Trump’s initial job rating is the relative intensity of disapproval. In our most recent full week of tracking, for example, far more Americans strongly disapprove of the way Trump is handling his job (41 percent) than strongly approve (29 percent). That gap means that Trump’s overall 46 percent approval rating includes 17 percent who only “somewhat approve” of his performance.

As noted in our analysis of the first SurveyMonkey poll of the Trump presidency, that softer support rests on a combination of hope and partisanship. Among those who only somewhat approved of Trump during his his first week, 73 percent said his inauguration made them feel hopeful, but only 15 percent said they were excited and only 12 percent were proud. The majority of these soft approvers are Republican.

In the second week of the Trump presidency, we asked a national sample of adults to select from a list of personal characteristics and qualities and tell us which apply to President Trump. They could select “all that apply.”

Overall, the traits Americans apply most readily are “stands up for what he believes in,” (44 percent), “can get things done” (38 percent), and tough enough for the job“ (36 percent). At the opposite end of the spectrum, traits like ”honest and trustworthy“ (17 percent), ”shares your values“ (20 percent), ”inspires confidence“ (21 percent) and ”cares about people like you” (22 percent) received far fewer selections.

Of course, a significant number (41 percent) apply “none” of these positive qualities to Trump. Among Democrats and Americans who disapprove of Trump’s performance as president, few are willing to associate any positive traits to the new president.

Among Trump’s soft supporters, the gap is especially pronounced between an appreciation for his outspoken toughness and desire to get things done, on the one hand, and a lack of honesty, empathy and the ability to inspire on the other.

Better than two thirds (68 percent) of those who only somewhat approve of the President say he stands up for his beliefs, and almost as many say he is tough enough for the job (60 percent) and can get things done (59 percent). The soft approvers are far less confident, however, about his ability to keep promises (38 percent) or perform as an effective manager (34 percent), and even fewer (near 20 percent) associate qualities like empathy, shared values or inspiration with the new president. Just 11 percent of the Trump’s soft approvers say “honest and trustworthy” applies to him.

On a more direct question, Americans divide almost evenly on the question about the competence and effectiveness of the Trump administration. Just over half (51 percent) rate the Trump administration as very or somewhat competent so far “in its role of managing the federal government,” while 48 percent say it is not too or not at all competent. Again, not surprisingly, most of those who only “somewhat approve” of Trump as President are also tend to say his administration is only somewhat rather than very competent (68 vs. 23 percent).

Taken together, these results mirror the aspects of Trump’s character highlighted during the campaign and emphasized in the first few weeks of his presidency.

One of the themes of new administration, as the NBC News Politics team recently noted, is how “Trump picks fights with, well, almost anyone.” Those stories help reinforce the perception of his toughness and outspokenness.

The downside of these “sprays of attack,” as CNN’s Jake Tapper called them, are the “sprays of falsehoods coming from the White House” that accompany them. These controversies help further reinforce negative perceptions about Trump’s honesty forged during the campaign.

A second theme has been the flurry of initial executive actions that helped drive the sense, especially among Republicans, that Trump can get things done. But note that relative softness in perceptions of effectiveness among Trump’s least committed supporters. As the NBC Politics team points out, executive actions aside, the Trump team has made little progress so far on his “big ticket agenda items (Obamacare repeal and replace, tax relief, paying for that border wall).”

Again, it is very early in the Trump presidency and the long term trends in his approval rating will be influenced by the direction of economy and by war, peace and scandal, or the lack thereof. However, if the initial flurry of executive action gives way to gridlock and legislative stagnation, perceptions of Trump’s ability to “get things done” may atrophy, and with it, his overall approval rating.
And his overall approval rating is already anemic.

On the other hand, he is still the most powerful man in the world, with or without public approval.  And he's still a cretinous imbecile.