September 1, 2017

Poll Watch: It's Bad Out There

If you're the president and you hate the mainstream media except for Fox News, which you pretend is not the mainstream media, you're apt to look to Fox News for your good news, right?

Well, the latest poll from Fox, released on Wednesday, is not the kind of good news president Trump would be looking for.

Sure, his approval rating is holding steady at 41%, and the percentage of people who strongly disapprove of him is down a percentage point, even though the overall disapproval rate is up 2 points to 55% from the July numbers.  The shift there was in that small category who 'don't know' whether they approve or disapprove. Assuming that's the conflicted group ("yes, he says and does horrible things, but Hillary..." or "he's going to save me money so I guess I can look past all the rest of it...", I guess), I'm surprised it's not a larger percentage of registered voters. I guess is shows how easy it is to justify things (and yes, this kind of justification is a bipartisan trait, don't start yelling at me).

Here are some of the topical disapproval numbers:
  • Economy: 43%
  • Terrorism: 45%
  • Afghanistan: 43%
  • North Korea: 50%
  • Immigration: 54%
  • Taxes: 45%
  • Environment: 56%
  • Russia: 56%
  • Health care: 60%
  • Race relations: 61%
There will almost certainly be a shift in those numbers on the next poll; for example, 18% of those surveyed don't know whether they approve or disapprove of his performance on taxes - one of his signature legislative ideas -  so we'll have to watch what the reaction is if he's unable to get tax reform through "the swamp." Other categories with high 'don't know' numbers are Russia (10%) and Afghanistan (15%).

Speaking of the swamp, Congress still has an abysmal 15% approval rate, but the number of people with mixed opinion on that bumped up by 2%. Are those the people who are happy that Loser John McCain gave his thumbs down vote on health care, maybe?

On the positive side, 28% say they're sleeping better with Trump in the White House; 40% indicate no change. And, just about everyone who voted for Trump - 96% of them - are satisfied with their vote. That's way more better than Clinton; only 93% of her voters are still satisfied with their choice. #winning

Other interesting outcomes?
  • Trump constantly talks about the economy and how well he's doing there. However, only 4% are very satisfied with how things are going, compared to 32% saying not very satisfied and an equal number not at all satisfied. Only 6% give an 'excellent' rating to economic conditions; 45% give an 'only fair' rating here. 
  • 56% of survey responders believe Trump is tearing the country apart; 11% are unsure, leaving only 33% who think he's pulling us together. Note that he's been calling for unity since his speech on election night, and most recently, following the violence and murder in Charlottesville. 
  • On that subject, only 41% of those surveyed believe Trump respects racial minorities; 43% believe whites are favored over racial minorities, and more than half (52%) believe that the white supremacists were more to blame for the violence. 56% disapprove of how Trump responded to everything that happened. One more question on this subject: 47% think that white supremacists are a bigger threat to America than the media, even though 70% think that Trump dislikes the media more than he dislikes white supremacists. Clearly, he is not at all convincing on this stuff. Not. At. All. 
  • Trump's other big initiative, the border wall, is not faring well in the survey, either. Only 39% favor building one; of those, only 45% think shutting down the government if the wall is not funded is a good idea.
The silver lining for Trump in the poll? A slight majority of participants - 42% - were Democrats,so he can point to that, if he wants to, as a reason the outcomes are not as bigly fabulous as he would like. And, I think on every single question, white evangelicals were by far the most supportive demographic in the survey. 

That will almost certainly make him feel better -- and will almost certainly mean we'll see a whole lot more of him talking directly to his base and a whole lot less of him unifying the country. 

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