How much stronger is Trump than he seems?
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Opinion polls never tell the whole story… and sometimes muddle the picture more than they clarify. But in Trump’s strange case, it’s easy to see how his electoral strength can be better than the ratings show.
That’s because some chunk of citizens who disapprove of Trump’s performance are likely to vote for him anyway come crunch time… and some are absolutely going to vote for him no matter what happens.
By his own measure, Trump has underperformed so far as President. The biggest example? He hasn’t built the wall he promised. There are reasons for that, but excuses are for losers in
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But by other measures, he has far exceeded expectations, and definitely defied the most grim predictions levied on him by critics.
He has kept us almost completely out of war, and done the bare minimum on wars he hasn’t been able to end. His China policy has realigned Washington. Unemployment, especially for women and minorities, sits at or near historic lows. He singlehandedly pushed the Fed to lower rates instead of hiking them.
These are all major achievements. Yet many of them will not impact Trump haters and die hard Democrats. At the same time, many of Trump’s supporters, and voters who will never vote for a Democrat in 2020, are deeply frustrated by the limits of Trump’s ability to drain the swamp, break the deep state, and control the border.
So many Americans feel pretty good about Trump’s record to date, yet oppose him bitterly. And many on the Right harbor painful disappointments that will only move them to double down on Trump.
Current polls show that Trump’s approval ratings are the most stable in generations. He hasn’t dipped below 35 percent. He hasn’t risen above 46 percent.
Pollsters note that the average range for presidents elected after World War Two, over the same time span as Trump, has been 30 points. Only Eisenhower had a range nearly as tight at Trump’s… 18 points.
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So what percent of voters expressing disapproval with Trump will end up voting for him anyway? That’s the $64,000 question.
And what percent will slide into that column based on how radical a nominee the Democrats choose? That might be an even bigger question.
Yet nobody’s asking. Not yet.
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So the rumors that Trump’s strength is being under-counted continue to grow… just at the time Democrats are most divided and confused, yet most Democrats are united around Biden.
Trump still has good reason to think the presidency is his to lose.