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The white resentment that fueled Donald Trump's Russia-aided, James Comey-enabled unpopular installation as president may finally be dissipating in the cold light of reality, as Trump's approval rating among his most reliable demographic has slipped to an all-time low.
After managing to stay above 50% for most of his presidency, Trump has now fallen to a 48% approval rating among white voters for two consecutive weeks, according to Gallup:
Gallup also notes that Trump's dismal approval ratings have not been helped at all by his first foreign trip, or, if you're right-wing hub Newsmax, “Trump's Approval Jumps 1 Point During Overseas Trip.”
None of this is to say that Trump can't rally with Team White over the course of his foreign trip. Gallup's numbers don't include Trump shoving a world leader with the word “negro” in his title, and there's still time left for him to squeeze out a reference to “Radical Islamic Terrorism,” but this dip is just part of the bad news for Trump.
His job approval among Independents has hit an all-time low of 31%, a disturbing sign that he's losing his grip on those Obama voters he managed to flip in the general election.
On the other hand, this should not be seen as an indication of a mass white enlightenment. Trump's most recent polling troubles coincide with bombshell revelations about his attempts to obstruct the FBI's Russia investigation, and the news that Jared Kushner is under close FBI scrutiny has maintained the downward pressure on Trump during his trip.
Additionally, Trump and the Republicans have been plagued by their disastrous health care repeal plan, which only recently received its latest dreadful CBO score, but which has been the subject of relentlessly negative media coverage.
The white bias of the news media may actually be working against Trump in this case because the coverage has featured an endless parade of white people explaining just how badly this law will hurt them.
At the same time, the media has largely abandoned black people, reverting to pre-Black Lives Matter form.
MSNBC has been progressively whitening, CNN has become a home for wayward Trump shills, and post-election coverage has focused relentlessly on decoding the inner thoughts of the people who voted for the guy who got 3 million fewer votes. When was the last time you saw a focus group on Clinton voters?
The negative consequence of this is that the media is silencing the voices of the 74 million people who voted against Trump, including almost all minorities and most women.
But that white-out has also had the effect of not giving white resentment a nucleus around which to condense. There are no uppity blacks or women for white men to get angry at. There's just Trump.
Republicans have been tightening their grip on the resentful white psyche for decades, though, and sooner or later, they are going to realize that it will be far easier to trick people into liking Mike Pence than to rescue Trump's doomed presidency, and Democrats need to be ready with a post-Trump plan to make these numbers stick.
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.