Telling him what he wants to hear
Here's yet another poll showing Trump's approval rating really is falling:
The new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows the 35-day partial government shutdown took a toll on Trump’s overall performance ratings. While presidential approval has fluctuated only slightly throughout Trump’s two years in office, he neared his lowest marks this month, slipping from December.
Here’s how the nation assesses Trump’s performance:
The poll finds 34 percent of Americans approve of the way Trump is handling his job as president, compared with 65 percent who disapprove.
Trump’s current approval rating nears the lowest measured in an AP-NORC poll since he took office. Still, Trump has seen remarkable stability in his ratings throughout his presidency, with his approval falling in a narrow range across most polls, from the mid-30s to the mid-40s.
In December, 42 percent expressed approval of Trump, while 56 percent disapproved.
Meanwhile, his courtiers are still telling him that his clothes are just beautiful:
President Donald Trump’s political team has concluded that shutting down the government hasn’t damaged his 2020 prospects — if anything, they’re convinced it’s bolstered his standing in key electoral battlegrounds.
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale commissioned a survey taken during the final days of the shutdown that was conducted by respected GOP pollsters Neil Newhouse and Robert Blizzard. The poll, surveying 10 GOP-leaning House districts that Democrats won in the 2018 midterms, found that a plurality of voters blamed Trump for the shutdown. But a plurality of voters also supported his push for a border wall.
Trump is expected to be briefed on the new numbers on Monday evening, according to a person familiar with the plans.
Here's the funny part:
Isenstadt, in turn, was given their full write-up of the poll and posted it online for everyone to see. The weird thing about it is that while it would be pretty easy to fake a poll and stuff it full of good news for Trump, they didn’t. They just took a poll that’s full of bad news for Trump — like that his approval rating is probably 13 points underwater nationally and he’s less popular than Democratic House incumbents who are holding down Trump-voting districts — and wrote it up as if it’s good news for Trump.
What the RNC polled and what it said
Instead of conducting a valid survey of national opinion, Newhouse and Blizzard polled 10 House districts. Not 10 random House districts or 10 representative House districts, but 10 districts that Trump won in 2016 but that are represented in the House today by a Democrat — MN-7, NY-2, SC-1, NY-11, OK-5, PA-8, ME-2, VA-7, NY-3, and NY-19.
This is an interesting thing to look at, but the relevant context is Trump won these 10 districts by an average of 12 points in the context of losing the national popular vote by 2 points. In other words, this swath of America is about 14 points Trumpier than the national average.
And what did they find?
Trump’s approval rating is 49 to 48 percent
Voters say they support Trump’s policies by a 54 to 43 percent margin
“By way of comparison, the average approval score for the Democratic Members of Congress in these districts is 35%-20%.”
So, putting this through the 14-point translator, we get the conclusion that Trump’s policies are unpopular nationally and that his favorable rating is probably -13 nationally. It’s true that -13 is a little bit better than the -15 he’s at in the FiveThirtyEight polling average, but it’s well within the range of other results. In other words, there’s no special good news here.
In fact, the only genuinely new finding this poll offers is its look at the popularity of 10 House Democrats who’ve been given the difficult job of trying to hold down seats that are much redder than the national average. And the news here is good for Democrats — the incumbent House members in these districts are popular.
None of this is earth-shattering, but it does raise the question of why Trump’s staff seems to be trying to trick him.
There's no question. Trump's staff has learned that he won't tolerate bad news so they're not giving him any. He isn't capable of learning and he can't adjust his behavior so it's no use anyway. It would only make him mad.