(Rich Galen, Mullings) – As the Trump Clock continues to tick toward the 100th Day of his Presidency, we are awash in analyses, polls, opinions, and judgments.
One of them was a poll commissioned by the Washington Post and ABC News reported in yesterday’s editions.
The shorthand is this:
People who voted for Donald Trump are generally pleased with his performance and – by a vast margin – think it was the right thing to do.
Hillary Clinton voters think he’s the worst, the worst, the worst.
Independents tilt toward the Clinton voter view, but not by much.
The first headline (posted shortly after midnight Sunday morning was: “President Trump is least popular president at 100-day mark.”
The paper could have headed the piece “At 100-day mark, 96% of Trump voters are happy with their choice.”
Both are true.
According to this poll, only 42% of respondents “approve of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as President.” 53 percent disapprove.
However, 73% (including 54% of Democrats) agree with Trump’s pressuring companies to keep jobs in the U.S.
The increasing polarization of Americans was symbolized with the question: Do you think Trump can be trusted in a crisis?
Trump voters returned a 94-4 yes judgment. Clinton voters, 9-87 no.
An interesting non-Trump question had to do with the two political parties. The question was: Do you think the Republican/Democratic Party is in touch with the concerns of most people in the United States today, or is it out of touch?
For the GOP, that response was 32% in touch, 62% out of touch. But, before you snicker into your morning coffee the response for the Democrats was 28% in touch 67% out of touch.
A Democratic Party in the gravitational pull of a Progressive black hole is not, apparently, playing very well out in the American countryside.
The Wall Street Journal teamed with NBC News for a poll of its own. The analysis also began with the fact that the President is underwater on job approval; in this poll, 40-54.
The Journal analysis also looked at where independents fell on that question:
“Among independents, disapproval rose markedly, to 54%, while 30% approved of his job performance. That 24-point gap compares with a 9-point margin of disapproval in February.”
A question that the WSJ/NBC poll asked was whether respondents believed the “news media and other elites are exaggerating” Trump’s problems. They agreed 53-45.
A most interesting finding was in the WaPo/ABC poll when respondents were asked if they voted for Trump (43%) or Clinton (46%). But, when asked for whom they would vote now the answer was Trump (43%) and Clinton (40%).
That could be a function of Hillary Clinton having largely dropped from public view, but, in and even, as both campaigns have had a difficult time coming to grips with, that is a national sample, not a state-by-state, Electoral College result.
Whether the 100-day mark makes any sense or not (I’m in the “not” column) Candidate, President-elect, and President Trump has put a big red X on the calendar in the White House kitchen at Saturday, April 29, 2017.
CNN tells us that the concept began with FDR who came into office when the Great Depression was in full throat.
“He swore in his entire Cabinet at once, signed 76 bills into law, and began rolling out the New Deal in his first 100 days in office – a frenzy of activity that, ever since, all presidents have been matched against.”
In March, 1933 when FDR was inaugurated, almost 13 million Americans (out of 52 million in the workforce) were unemployed. Nearly 25 percent.
In January 2017, when Trump took office, the unemployment rate was 4.8%, the economy was growing (however slowly), and the pressure to do A LOT in the first 100 days was totally self-generated.
These polling numbers have more significance than just giving political junkies something to pore over on a Sunday afternoon. A President who is perceived as limping along has limited leverage to bring to bear against a recalcitrant Congress.
A Congress which is cleaving into four parties in the House (Freedom Party/Establishment Rs and Progressive/Moderate Ds) appears to be in no mood to be dictated to by President Obama, Steven Bannon, or anyone else at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.
President Trump didn’t know what he was talking about when he promised all that “Day One, 90 Day, 100 Day” activity, but he should be learning.
There is more to being President than he thought.
Mr. Galen is a veteran political strategist and communications consultant. He blogs at www.Mullings.com.