Donald Trump never really had a “honeymoon” with voters, but according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, he's now washing his socks in a van down by the river. Trump's “popularity” peaked at 46% approval in January 24th's Gallup daily tracking poll, but has set records for unpopularity ever since.
In the latest poll, Trump sits at 36% approval, versus 58% disapproval, which makes him the most unpopular president, at the 6-month mark, in the history of polling:
As ABC News notes, Gerald Ford came close at 39%, but even he had a 15-point advantage over Trump in the disapproval column. Interestingly, Trump's approval rating now sits just one point below the 37% he scored in a Fox News poll right before his inauguration.
Trump responded to the poll with a barely-coherent tweet that simultaneously said the rating wasn't so bad, but also not accurate:
In other good news from the ABC poll, almost two-thirds of Americans believe that it's more important to provide health insurance to low-income Americans than it is to cut taxes, which is consistent with the dismal support Trumpcare has received.
There is a bit of irksome Beltway spin coming out of this poll, though, in the form of a push-poll question aimed at critiquing Democrats:
(O)nly 37 percent of Americans say the Democratic Party “stands for something,” while 52 percent say it just stands against Trump. The perceived lack of an affirmative agenda weakens the Democrats’ efforts to capitalize on Trump’s failings.
This is, of course, a false choice, because standing against Trump is necessarily standing for the things Trump is trying to destroy. The wording of this question rewards Trump for his and his party's all-out assault on everything from voting rights to not dying rights. I don't remember anyone asking The Avengers what their “affirmative agenda” was while they were “just standing against” killer aliens from space.
That result does present a dilemma for Democrats, though, because it is the sort of conventional shizzdom that will be exploding from Beltway orifices from now until the midterms, and if I know Democrats at all, there's every chance they will respond by softening on Trump in favor of the kind of policy happy talk that will please a mainstream political media that thinks it's just too mean to point out that the Republican health care plan will kill hundreds of thousands of people.
You can do both. While you're saying Trumpcare will kill hundreds of thousands, you can mention the very detailed and much better plan that Democrats already have. While you're decrying the Trump tax cuts, you can mention the Democrats' job-creating infrastructure plan and support for an increase in the minimum wage.
But if one has to win out over the other, opposing Trump is the far more immediate concern. Hundreds of thousands of lives, and millions of jobs, depend on it.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.