ChrisWeigant.com

Trump Slumps In Polls

[ Posted Tuesday, May 16th, 2017 – 15:35 PDT ]

I thought it'd be fun today to take a look at President Donald Trump's poll numbers. This is mainly because any casual interpretation of such polling would have to conclude that Trump's numbers are about to fall off a cliff. So I thought it'd be fun to take a "before" snapshot, to see where Trump was before the whole "telling secrets to Russia in the Oval Office" thing is reflected in his job approval polling. Over the next week or two, the impact of this week's scandal will become clear, but for now the polling data doesn't reflect any of it.

If I had to summarize where Trump finds himself with the public in a Trumpian tweet, it'd have to be: "Trump poll #s still terrible. Sad! Obama miles better." That pretty much says it all. On the Real Clear Politics polling average page, Trump is currently at 40.7 percent average job approval and 53.9 percent disapproval. At the same point in his term, Barack Obama was at a whopping 60.8 percent approval and only 32.0 percent disapproval -- over 20 percent better, in both directions, than Trump.

Trump's very first day in the polls put him just barely "above water," with 44.3 percent approval and 44.2 percent disapproval. Since that start, he has spent every other day below water, with his disapproval above (by double digits, at times) his average approval rating. Trump hit an all-time high in approval in his first weeks in office, reaching all the way up (yes, that was sarcasm) to 46.0 percent. He then slid down to a low of 39.8 percent, which matched Obama's lowest daily average for his entire eight years in office.

Trump then saw his only real polling bump to date, after launching 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield. The "rally 'round the president" war bump seemed to actually be lasting until a few weeks ago, even through all the "first 100 days" hype in the media. On May 2nd, Trump hit 43.6 percent approval, but since then it's all been downhill.

The interesting thing (that few noticed) was that what was supposed to be Trump's first big legislative victory actually seems to be where the polls turned against him again. Getting the American Health Care Act through the House of Representatives was supposed to be a big win politically for Trump, but it had the opposite effect on his polling. Now, this may be overanalysis, since daily polling averages go up and down quite a lot, and these minor fluctuations seldom turn out to be meaningful. It may have all just been "noise" in the data, in other words. But whether real or just an anomaly, Trump's approval started heading downward just after the A.H.C.A. passed the House.

Then Trump fired James Comey, the head of the F.B.I. His polling has continued to fall since last week, although the real reactions to it may just be showing up now (as I've always said, it takes anywhere from four days to a week to even see the public's reaction to any particular event -- a few days for the news to spread and sink in, a few days to run the poll in the field, a day or so of data crunching, etc.). While Trump is above his low point for job approval today, his disapproval rating is now at its highest point ever. Even without the bombshell Russia revelations yesterday, Trump was likely slated to continue downward for at least the next week, since the Comey firing played out throughout all of last week. There was the initial reaction to the firing, the initial disbelief at the stated reason Comey was fired, and then Trump gave a sit-down interview to Lester Holt and blew all of it up. By Friday, Trump was tweeting about "tapes" and appearing downright Nixonian. So that pretty much guaranteed a drop off in the polling throughout all of this week, even before the big Washington Post scoop.

But now Trump is piling crisis upon crisis. The revelation that Trump is passing secrets to the Russians inside the Oval Office is a pretty easy one for the public to grasp. It's not all that complicated to understand both what happened and why it's a very bad thing. Unlike scandals that get far off into the weeds, this one is pretty cut and dried.

All of this makes me wonder if we've finally reached the point where Trump's base starts to erode in a serious way. Up until this point, Trump fans could listen to Trump and scoff at the "liberal media" for not understanding what great things Trump was accomplishing. But it's impossible to spin "sharing secrets with the Russians" as anything other than, you know, "sharing secrets with the Russians." No amount of lipstick is going to disguise that particular pig.

Up until now, Trump has been able to count on roughly 40 percent of the country's approval, no matter what he does. This is similar to Barack Obama, who always held that 40 percent floor while president, I should point out. But it is unlike George W. Bush, who sank below 40 percent for the entire last two years of his second term. Bush went down to 25 percent approval, in his darkest days, so Trump's got a ways to go before he starts setting "worst ever" records. Richard Nixon resigned with only 24 percent approval, which is also germane, since everyone's been tossing his name around for the past week.

Whether Trump falls below 40 percent in the next week or so will be significant, as will whatever new floor he manages to find. He is already on his way into this territory, even before the secrets-to-Russia scandal hits the poll numbers. In the seven individual polls listed on Real Clear Politics which took place this month, Trump is at or above 40 percent in only three (Rasmussen - 43 percent job approval, PPP - 40 percent, Economist/YouGov - 43 percent). In the other four, he is already in the 30s (Gallup - 38, NBC/Wall Street Journal - 39, Quinnipiac - 36, IBD/TIPP - 39). And that's throughout the whole month -- several of those were taken before the Comey firing had even happened.

And all of this polling is before the secrets-to-Russia scandal hits. There is undoubtedly a percentage of Trump supporters for whom this will prove to be a bridge too far, but how big that percentage will be is still unknown. How many people are going to decide: "I can write off everything Trump's done up to this point, even the Comey firing, as just 'the liberal media being mean to him' -- but this is just too far, even for me"?

If that number is tiny, Trump might find his floor in the high 30s. He could fall to only 37 or 38 percent approval, and halt his slide. But if that number is bigger, Trump could be heading to the point where only one in every three Americans approves of his competence in office. That's a dangerous point for any president to be in, because as job approval slips so does your political power in Washington. Fewer people in Congress (and elsewhere) are afraid to break ranks with an unpopular president, to point out just one way this power drain happens.

Of course, it hasn't happened quite yet. This is only the "before" snapshot, remember. At this point in time -- just before the secrets-to-Russia scandal hits the polls -- Trump is already on a downward trajectory. He has lost almost all of the "rally 'round the president" bump he got after the missile strike. Trump stands at 40.7 percent job approval and 53.9 percent disapproval, which is a whopping 13.2 percent underwater. His job approval rating is still almost a full point higher than his lowest rating ever in the category, but his job disapproval rating is already at an all-time high. Trump looks poised to sink down into the 30s in job approval, so the next few weeks will certainly be interesting for those of us who obsessively track the polls.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

58 Comments on “Trump Slumps In Polls”

  1. [1] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Note:

    I've been resisting it for a while now, but maybe I should start putting together monthly charts for Trump. I'm not going to do a "Trump Poll Watch" column every single month, but when I do write these it might be handy. Although Trump is so peripatetic that one monthly average might be almost useless to track his trajectory, I dunno... Anyway, it takes a lot of time and effort to track the polling, which is the main reason why I haven't up until now.

    What does everyone else think? Should I create Trump charts? Let me know...

    -CW

  2. [2] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Yes. It could morph into a Pence Poll Watch on short notice - but you could just change the color of the points.

  3. [3] 
    Paula wrote:

    Gee, you know all those pubbies and their "security" concerns re: classified info?

    https://apnews.com/5e675fb16ff643cb9082ba242b72c859/Trump-transition-handling-of-classified-info-raised-concern

    I'm sure Jason Chaffetz is leaping right on it...

  4. [4] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i was also wondering how the comey firing would impact poll numbers. presumably those effects are hitting right about now. the impromptu intel sharing just broke now, so my guess is that won't show up in the polls until next week. during the campaign, trump's poll numbers had a very firm floor somewhere in the thirties, so my guess is it holds firm. there is a substantial cross-section of society that seems more willing to accept space aliens or holocaust denial than the possibility that donald trump is not such a good president.

    JL

  5. [5] 
    michale wrote:

    Almost 90% of the MSM coverage of President Trump is negative...

    Is it really so remarkable that his poll numbers reflect this??

    As I am wont to do, a reminder of reality and the facts..

    Those same polls said that Trump had less than a 10% chance of beating NOT-45....

    I think it's cute that ya'all STILL put all your faith in those polls.. :D

  6. [6] 
    michale wrote:

    The only thing I would say here, Chris is perspective. Perspective is all. I'm holding two headlines from the Washington Post, one of May 25th, 2014, “White House mistakenly identifies CIA chief in Afghanistan.” The Obama administration put the name of the CIA on the press release, exposed him and endangered his life. The second one, June 30, 2016, “U.S. Offers to share Syrian intelligence on terrorist with Russia,” which is to say the Obama administration wanted to give their intelligence to the Russians. All I'm saying here is there’s perspective. We need to find out the facts and let’s have perspective.

    Where was all ya'all's hysteria then???

    Once again, I must point out that THIS is exactly why it's simply impossible to take ya'all's anti-Trump hysteria seriously..

    Because the FACTS clearly show that it's not what President Trump is doing or not doing that is at the heart of ya'all's hysterical complaints..

    It's simply the FACT that it's a guy with an '-R' after his name is doing or not doing it..

    The facts that PROVE this are too numerous and too conclusive to come to any other conclusion..

    It's not what President Trump does that bothers ya'all to the point of hysteria..

    It's simply that it's PRESIDENT Trump, a POTUS with an '-R' after his name...

  7. [7] 
    michale wrote:

    Tips For Reading Washington Post Stories About Trump Based On Anonymous Leaks
    http://thefederalist.com/2017/05/16/tips-for-reading-washington-post-stories-about-trump-based-on-anonymous-leaks/

    ALL ya'all have to back up your side of the story are "anonymous sources"... On the other side of the coin are THREE named eyewitnesses ON THE RECORD...

    But, of course, ya'all believe the "anonymous sources" because you WANT to believe them...

    What's REALLY funny is ALL of ya'all denigrated and ignored "anonymous sources" during the Obama Administration..

    NOW... ALL OF THE SUDDEN, "anonymous sources" are golden and everything they say is dead on ballz accurate...

    Once again.. More evidence to support the FACT that it's all driven by NOTHING but Party zealotry and partisan ideology..

    When the POTUS has a '-D' after his name, anonymous sources are lying and can't be trusted...

    When the POTUS has a '-R' after his name, anonymous sources are speaking the gospel truth and MUST be believed at ANY cost. Including the cost of one's own integrity..

    "These are the facts of the case. And they are undisputed."
    -Captain Smilin' Jack Ross, A FEW GOOD MEN

    Get those "anonymous sources" to man up and put their names and their eyewitness testimony on the record..

    Until you can do that, ya'all have nothing. LESS than nothing...

  8. [8] 
    michale wrote:

    But since ya'all like polls so much, what about the WaPoop/ABC Poll that shows just a few short weeks ago that not only would President Trump win the election *AGAIN*, he would have also won the VANITY VOTE...

    Care to discuss THAT poll???

    {{ccchhiirrrrpppp}} {{{chhiiirrrrrpppppp}}}

    No?? Didna think so.. :D

  9. [9] 
    michale wrote:

    And now for a little dose of reality to my Weigantian friends.. :D

    Trump will likely win reelection in 2020
    http://theconversation.com/trump-will-likely-win-reelection-in-2020-77362

    I mean, honestly.. Who can Dems run in 2020??

    NOT-45!??? :D

  10. [10] 
    michale wrote:

    Ya'all just HAVE to know that we have seen this movie before...

    Ya'all are acting *EXACTLY* like ya'all accused the GOP of acting when Obama was elected..

    "But when the LEFT does it, it's justified!!!" ya'all screech hysterically... :D

  11. [11] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    wow.

  12. [12] 
    Kick wrote:

    "As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining....

    ...to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism."

    I guess Trump didn't want to share this information with the United States so naturally the American journalists weren't allowed in for this "openly scheduled W.H. meeting." It's always good to plan ahead, though, and Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Putin/Russia is ready to provide the United States Congress with a transcript of the talks between President Donald Trump and the 2 Sir Gays... {spelling?} *LOL* :)

    So no worries, Americans of these United States; there is a president who is willing to step up and provide what President Trump either cannot or will not. How fortunate for the White House that there exists a President who is concerned about our First Amendment rights and "pravda"... Vladimir Putin... a real VP! /sarcasm off

  13. [13] 
    TheStig wrote:

    You know Trump is facing a crisis when he loses Ann "Wicked Witch of the Northeast" Coulter. "Monstrosity" says Ann. That's pretty harsh! When directed at a Republican...it's pretty much how she routinely treats any Democrat. Trump is now an honorary Democrat! Oh - the horror!

    Keep in mind that witches are notoriously maneuverable and can turn several revolutions on a dime. It's those thrust vectoring brooms they ride. Still, this is a serious portent. Coulter could potentially turn Trump into a Newt!

    ...which is:

    a Republican Cable TV elder statesman without portfolio who was run out of Washington on rail and whose wife is about to be ambassador to the Vatican.

  14. [14] 
    michale wrote:

    wow.

    I know.. It's incredible how much ya'all are acting EXACTLY like the GOP was acting under Obama..

    No outlandish theory is too incredible for you Lefties.. :D

  15. [15] 
    michale wrote:

    No outlandish theory is too incredible for you Lefties.. :D

    And what's even MORE outlandish is that ya'all have absolutely NO FACTS to support ya'all's hysteria..

    NOTHING but "anonymous sources", disparate and irrelevant facts that mean nothing and ya'all's irrational hatred that President Trump had the temerity to utterly devastate your chosen champion...

    Patriotic Americans are sick and tired of the Left's hysterical BS and will make the Democrats pay for it in 2018...

  16. [16] 
    michale wrote:

    http://www.lifezette.com/polizette/media-reach-peak-meltdown-over-comey-memo-russian-disclosure/

    Media is in major hysterical meltdown over President Trump...

    For those who actually have two brain cells to rub together and can think logically and rationally, this just HAS to worry ya'all how Trump is playing the MSM like a badly tuned fiddle... :D

  17. [17] 
    michale wrote:

    I know.. It's incredible how much ya'all are acting EXACTLY like the GOP was acting under Obama..

    No outlandish theory is too incredible for you Lefties.. :D

    Put another way....

    If the Right had owned the MSM in the manner that the Left owns the MSM, then we would have been seeing these EXACT same kinds of headlines when Odumbo was in office...

    And, if you think that Trump's low poll numbers are relevant to job performance, then ya'all *MUST* agree that the MSM's abysmally low poll numbers are relevant to THEIR job performance...

    Looks like ya'all get hoisted by ya'all's Picard.. AGAIN!!! :D

  18. [18] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    if comey wrote the memo that was attributed to him, and if it says what the times reported that it says, president pence is a real possibility.

  19. [19] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Update:

    RCP updated yesterday's figures later in the day (as they do when new polls come in). Here are yesterday's new numbers, which are worse that what I reported in this article:

    40.2 - Approval
    54.6 - Disapproval
    ====
    14.4 - underwater

    Today's numbers currently stand at

    39.9 - Approval
    55.0 - Disapproval
    ====
    15.1 - underwater

    but it's early, and they could get even worse (Gallup's daily tracking poll hasn't been updated yet).

    -CW

  20. [20] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    michale -

    I know you like movie quotes, so here you go:

    King Arthur: [after Arthur's cut off both of the Black Knight's arms] Look, you stupid bastard, you've got no arms left!
    Black Knight: Yes I have.
    King Arthur: Look!
    Black Knight: It's just a flesh wound.

    [the Black Knight continues to threaten Arthur despite getting both his arms and one of his legs cut off]
    Black Knight: Right, I'll do you for that!
    King Arthur: You'll what?
    Black Knight: Come here!
    King Arthur: What are you gonna do, bleed on me?
    Black Knight: I'm invincible!
    King Arthur: ...You're a loony.

    Heh. Just keep telling yourself that: It's just a flesh wound...

    :-)

    -CW

  21. [21] 
    Paula wrote:

    The GOP Borg Drones get the word from the Borg Central:

    You do have to admire Republicans/conservatives. They are all - from Ryan and McConnell down to the lowliest Twitter egg - running with some version of "oh, haha Trump was just kidding with Comey and THE REAL STORY is Comey should have resigned and/or told Congress about it." This is so fucking stupid for reasons I don't even need to explain, but I am impressed that this was apparently beamed out directly into all of their brains at about 3AM. They're good.

    http://www.eschatonblog.com/2017/05/if-enough-people-say-something-stupid.html

  22. [22] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @CW,

    compare those numbers to exactly two weeks ago, may 3rd. then the RCP average was 43.6 - 51.3, a gap of 7.7 points. who's taking odds on next week?

    she turned me into a newt!

    - A newt?

    https://flipsidesf.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/newt-gingrich-threatens-to-punch-president-obama-in-the-face-in-fundraiser-email.jpeg

    ... I got better...

  23. [23] 
    Paula wrote:

    Someone help me remember this…I seem to remember at various points Sgt. Schultz screaming (along with the other Borg Drones) about the supposed "missing 30,000" Hillary emails because they KNEW those emails would reveal ????????? --- SOMETHING to her discredit. They never really advanced any motivations on Hillary's part as to why she was doing whatever their fevered imaginations formulated, other than vague swipes at The Clinton Foundation, but Schultzie KNEW -- KNEW!-- the evidence was there and we Dems were just covering for her out of tribal loyalty.

    So, as Sgt. Schultz is, of course, NOT loyal to the giant orange out of mere tribal loyalty -- he rises above the rest of us that way -- I'm convinced he, too, is calling for those tapes to be heard! ALL THE TAPES -- let's hear what 45 had to say to the Russians, shall we? And let's hear Kushner advising him to can Comey and hear his reasoning!

    Sgt. Schultz is doubtless positively confident that DT's tapes will VINDICATE, I repeat VINDICATE, his beloved. So he'll join in the chorus of people demanding the tapes be handed over and shared, I'm sure.

  24. [24] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    impeachment/resignation/removal might not be so good for democrats though. if it happened this year, pence would have a solid three years as an incumbent, and by comparison he could come out looking quite good.

    JL

  25. [25] 
    Paula wrote:

    [24] JL: Pence will suck, no doubt about it. But that's tomorrow's problem. And one thing about Pence -- he's not 45. He does not have 45's popularity with the deplorables.

    More importantly, Pence-is-GOP, and GOP policies are NOT popular. Without 45's ability to distract attention the GOP policies will be front and center. People are already giving Repubs hell at Town Halls. Imagine Pence at the top and Ryan trying to kill Medicaid or privatize Social Security.

    Pence isn't a shoe-in either. He's been playing along with Pumpie's various illegal activities.

    But one step at a time.

  26. [26] 
    Paula wrote:

    Love this, from Ross Douthat of all people:

    By contrast, as Ross Douthat writes, if you “read the things that these people, members of his inner circle, his personally selected appointees, say daily through anonymous quotations to the press,” it’s clear that “they have no respect for him, indeed they seem to palpate with contempt for him, and to regard their mission as equivalent to being stewards for a syphilitic emperor.”

    https://www.vox.com/2017/5/16/15651138/trump-gop-oversight

  27. [27] 
    michale wrote:

    CW,

    Heh. Just keep telling yourself that: It's just a flesh wound...

    TRUMP IS TOAST

    Just keep telling yourself that. :D

  28. [28] 
    michale wrote:

    I'll say it again, since no one can address it..

    And, if you think that Trump's low poll numbers are relevant to job performance, then ya'all *MUST* agree that the MSM's abysmally low poll numbers are relevant to THEIR job performance...

    Ya'all can't believe how much I am laughing right now.. :D

  29. [29] 
    michale wrote:

    I mean, honestly...

    Ya'all have been saying TRUMP IS TOAST for over a YEAR now!!??

    And *NOW*, I am supposed to believe ya'all??? :D

  30. [30] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Nypoet22-24

    You make a good point. The Democrats tend to benefit from drawing the I/R/R process out towards '20.

    On the other foot, should enough Republicans decide Trump is an unsustainable liability, they have every incentive to get I/R/R done as quickly as possible, so they can build something to run on for Pence and themselves.

    As Macbeth puts it: "If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well It were done quickly"

    I think the chances of Trump deciding to resign should not be considered all that remote. He is not having much fun or success with job. Once he works out the ego agenda in his own mind to contrive resignation as a stunning personal victory, he should be sprinting to Marine One as fast as his legs, or a golf cart, will carry him.

  31. [31] 
    Kick wrote:

    "I won't tell you how much I saved you on the F-35."

    Hey, dumb flake, the USCG doesn't employ fighter jets, but they are fully trained in saving those who are drowning. :)

    "Look at the way I have been treated lately, especially by the media. No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly.

    Whiny Little Bitch uses a Coast Guard commencement speech to work through his victim issues, and I say this with great surety, and to prove without doubt his ignorance regarding United States history. *LOL*

  32. [32] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Michale [28]:

    If you're blaming the MSM for all of this, you're not paying enough attention to the headlines on conservative sites. A sample of headlines from today:

    FOX NEWS

    CRACKS IN THE WALL
    Comey ‘memo’ has Republicans increasingly leery of Trump drama

    Wall Street Journal

    D.C. Tumult Jolts Stocks, Sends Dollar Lower

    Russian State-Run Bank Financed Deal Involving Trump Hotel Partner

    Washington Times

    John Kasich: Hate to say ‘I told you so’ about Trump

    RedState

    Was Jared Kushner Behind the Firing of James Comey?

    Did Donald Trump Jr. Just CONFIRM the Details in Comey Memo?

    Republican Congressman Justin Amash Mentions Impeachment

    BREITBART

    Knives Out: GOP Establishment Makes Its Move

    Franklin Graham: ‘All Churches Should Pull Out of the Boy Scouts Completely’

    (That last one isn't relevant, but is so unintentionally funny, I had to include it.)

    It seems to be getting harder and harder to find pro-Trump media any more...

  33. [33] 
    michale wrote:

    And it all means absolutely NOTHING because the American people who the MSM in LESS regard than they do Trump..

    This is fact..

  34. [34] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @michale,

    This is fact..

    no, it's opinion. that's why they're not called "fact polls."

    JL

  35. [35] 
    michale wrote:

    no, it's opinion. that's why they're not called "fact polls."

    And yet the OPINION polls are consistent....

    But if you want to concede that Trump's poll numbers are nothing but opinions... OK...

  36. [36] 
    michale wrote:

    But if you want to concede that Trump's poll numbers are nothing but opinions...

    And, as such are MEANINGLESS, then I am fully prepared to agree with you.. :D

    But don't tell me, let me guess..

    The OPINION polls that show that MSM approval is in the garbage are meaningless..

    The OPINION polls that show that Trumps numbers are in the garbage... THOSE OPINIONS are a perfect reflection of the facts and reality...

    Right??? :D

  37. [37] 
    michale wrote:

    You people can't have it both ways...

    Either opinion polls are a sign of competence or they are not..

    If they ARE a sign of competence, then the Media's competence is in the toilet..

    And THAT means that they have it all wrong about President Trump...

    BY YOUR OWN STANDARDS... :D

    "Don't cross brains with Spock. He'll cut you to pieces every time.."
    -Ensign Sulu

    :D

  38. [38] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    opinion polls are not meaningless, but their validity is limited. limits include the methodology of the pollster, the complexity of the issue, and the knowledge and interest of the general public. public approval of congress has been in the teens for years, while obama's approval ratings averaged in the high forties. in general approval of individual politicians is higher than approval of nameless, faceless groups.

    JL

  39. [39] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    It was probably Max Boot who first lit an obstruction of justice match in the narrative the night the Director was fired, and I doubt he could imagine how fast that fire has grown by events since. The narrative is still focused on the legalities of of criminal conduct, ignoring the fact a president does not face judicial system criminal jeopardy.

    The problem the Republicans face is how easily big cohorts of their base can grasp the optics of a boss corruptly asking a professional to act unprofessionally, and when he will- or can- not, he is fired. That resonates in the life experiences and world views of those voters. Watch the Freedom Caucus; movement, if any, will come first from genuinely conservative districts.

  40. [40] 
    michale wrote:

    opinion polls are not meaningless, but their validity is limited. limits include the methodology of the pollster, the complexity of the issue, and the knowledge and interest of the general public. public approval of congress has been in the teens for years, while obama's approval ratings averaged in the high forties. in general approval of individual politicians is higher than approval of nameless, faceless groups.

    So, you still trust the MSM even though their poll numbers are worse than Trumps..

    And you trust them because they are saying what you want to hear.. :D

  41. [41] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @michale,

    you're falling into the same trap as paula when she talks about "the GOP." "the MSM" is a group of many people. each individual member of the mainstream press has his or her own level of credibility, earned through objective reporting. the facts that are reported can be verified true or false, and i trust my own ability to read their stories with a fair amount of objectivity.

    JL

  42. [42] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @LB,

    good point regarding the difference between legality and optics; they're very different standards.

    public opinion polls only matter insomuch as they reflect the attitudes of voters - and hence, their likelihood to vote one way or another. politicians care about polls because public opinion may have some impact on whether or not they get elected.

    JL

    JL

  43. [43] 
    michale wrote:

    Trump Rules Out Moving Israel Embassy to Jerusalem for Now, Official Says
    https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-05-17/trump-said-to-rule-out-moving-israel-embassy-to-jerusalem

    Trump is really beginning to piss me off...

  44. [44] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    Many people may hold that the House members are acting like feckless, amoral, day traders. Yet, they are the House of Representatives, and as such, e.g., if the majority of the public in michale's district shares his basic position, his Congressman better, too; that's how it's supposed to work.

    One way changes in position might manifest first is through public statements by Members (particularly those with gerrymandered super-majorities) or leadership, that health care and/or tax reform will not be completed any time soon. It wouldn't matter if those statements were laments or ascribed to legislative reality.

    Whatever motives we might ascribe to the politician, it would suggest the foundations of primacy of those concerns were crumbling. Whatever the reasons, that would signal mortal danger for this Presidency.

  45. [45] 
    Paula wrote:

    [44] LeaningBlue:

    Yet, they are the House of Representatives, and as such, e.g., if the majority of the public in michale's district shares his basic position, his Congressman better, too; that's how it's supposed to work.

    Do those representatives owe the country or their constituents honesty? Or an intelligent review of facts? Are they accountable AT ALL if they either knowingly, or because they are idiots, spread misinformation or outright falsehoods?

    Is it acceptable to say: "Lies work because they fool people into voting for things I want (even if they will do great damage to the world, other people, their own constituents) and therefore, I will lie." And once I've fooled people I can claim that I am simply following their wishes, even if their wishes are based on demonstrable falsehoods? Is that acceptable?

  46. [46] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Good news Michale! Ratings for Cable news are up, across the board, in the wake of the Trump Show.

    In total viewers, Fox News led in weekday prime time last week with 2.6 million viewers, with MSNBC not far behind at 2.4 million, and CNN at 1.3 million.

    Last week, for the first time since 2009, MSNBC was the most-watched cable news network in weekday prime time (8-11 p.m.) in the advertiser-coveted 'Adults 25-54' demo. Three MSNBC shows finished first in their time periods in the demo for the week: The Rachel Maddow Show, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell and The 11th Hour with Brian Williams.

    Stacked up against all Cable shows, Fox took No. 1 and MSNBC took No. 3 in total viewers for the week (all 7 days).

    Source: http://www.adweek.com/tvnewser/category/ratings

  47. [47] 
    TheStig wrote:

    The Trump Motto: semper dufus

    or, the more casual semper du

  48. [48] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    Paula:

    What if we (rhetorically ;) alter your rhetorical "Lies work because they fool people into voting for things I want (even if they will do great damage to the world, other people, their own constituents) and therefore, I will lie." Put in its place "The majority of people in my district came to believe that the current leader of my Party will try to do the Right Things as they define those things, and no one else will."

    None of those citizens owe it -to anyone- to put their cultural and political beliefs under any lens of logic or reality. Does a representative in a democracy have the right to fail to represent those beliefs and to advance laws to enact those beliefs? With all due respect, I think that's a more legitimate question in political terms.

    I don't even know if there is an answer to that question. Nonetheless, this presidency will persist until either the people abandon their belief in the President, or the House Republicans answer a constitutional exigency that doesn't yet exist.

  49. [49] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    [47]: The Trump Motto: semper dufus

    I still like the TPM guys' Trump's Razor: The stupidest explanation for his behavior is most likely to be correct.

    Its batting average continues to be near the top of the leaderboard.

  50. [50] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    this presidency will persist until either the people abandon their belief in the President, or the House Republicans answer a constitutional exigency that doesn't yet exist.

    It's actually all in Paul Ryan's hands until Nov. 2018, and judging by his latest statements, he's prepared to continue looking the other way until either his own agenda (tax and program cuts) becomes impossible to pass, or more than half his caucus turns against the president.

    The question is: did gerrymandering after 2010 give enough safe seats to the GOP to allow them to keep whistling in the dark while Trump alienates the rest of the country?

    Keep an eye on Trump's support among Republicans in next week's polls. If he slips significantly, he's in trouble. If not, well, one wonders what he would have to do to lose support among establishment GOP voters.

    This foreign trip will have lots of gaffe opportunities, and Trump will have to be unusually disciplined not to make at least one head-slapping mistake as he struts and frets his moment on the world stage.

    Meanwhile, with Trump away, the Congress will have an opportunity to make public ALL of Comey's memos regarding Trump, and possible hear from the tall man himself. Stay tuned.

  51. [51] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    NYT story: Robert Mueller, Former F.B.I. Director, Is Named Special Counsel for Russia Investigation

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/17/us/politics/robert-mueller-special-counsel-russia-investigation.html

  52. [52] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Rosenstein must have figured that his job was safer if he named a SP than if he didn't. If Sessions moves to replace him now, the whole 'obstruction' narrative pops right back up.

    Mueller's pick will certainly be greeted favorably by the Democrats, who will view him as an impartial actor.

    The Republicans, and Trump, will probably be furious with Rosenstein, and I predict that the word 'caved' will be used more tonight than it would be at a national Soufflé baking contest.

    And to answer my own question from [50]:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/17/us/politics/why-calls-for-an-aggressive-trump-inquiry-arent-coming-from-the-gop.html

  53. [53] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    51

    NYT story: Robert Mueller, Former F.B.I. Director, Is Named Special Counsel for Russia Investigation

    Sean Spicer on Monday: "I don't know why you need additional resources when you already have three entities," Spicer said. "The President's been very clear there are two issues at hand. One is the involvement of Russia potentially in respect to the election and then the President's involvement. The FBI Director and others have made it very clear that the president is not the subject of anything."

    You were saying, Sean?

    Firing FBI Director Comey was a stupid move on Trump's part. It is delicious irony that an FBI Director has been appointed by Trump's DOJ to investigate Trump for criminal involvement. The DOJ just appointed an ex FBI Director that served in the position longer than any other FBI Director except for one... J. Edgar Hoover. How unfortunate for Trump that the FBI is now so heavily involved, particularly since Flynn and others lied to the FBI.

    Anyone who knows Trump's history knows how problematic this is for Trump. Being that Trump knows Trump's history, and I say this with great surety, regardless of any statements to the contrary, Poor Donald and his administration have now begun to panic.

    Public opinion polls were showing that approximately 80% of the public wanted a special counsel to investigate Trump, and Rod Rosenstein said he appointed one for the people. Finally, an opinion poll worth a shit. :)

  54. [54] 
    Paula wrote:

    [48} Lean:

    What if we (rhetorically ;) alter your rhetorical "Lies work because they fool people into voting for things I want (even if they will do great damage to the world, other people, their own constituents) and therefore, I will lie." Put in its place "The majority of people in my district came to believe that the current leader of my Party will try to do the Right Things as they define those things, and no one else will."

    Uh, let's don't.

    See, "The majority of people in my district came to believe…" is a construct like "mistakes were made" and other phrases that people use when they want to avoid assigning (which usually means accepting) responsibility for something.

    It is my contention that a majority of Republicans, especially the deplorables, have been systematically lied to for years, and that they have retreated into an alternate reality inside which their news comes from the rightwing propaganda collective and they reject any information that is counter to their preferred sources. (Epistemic closure.) This has been well-documented.

    The lying doesn't come from nowhere. It comes from people. The lies are dreamed up, disseminated to media, sucked up by citizens and their leaders alike (most notably 45, but also, it appears, every Tea Party Rep too), and then traded back and forth among them. Of all the people involved, the citizens are the ones with the least "power", and the least access to know what is true and what isn't. To me they deserve the least blame. But the folks who dream up lies, and the media figures and outlets who spread them, and the Politicians and Consultants who give them even more validation by using them? They are responsible for what they do. They should be held accountable.

    To throw your hands in the air and say: "my constituents believe a lot of nonsense so I guess there's nothing I can do" is certainly the prevailing response by Repub leaders. Now, all politicians have to face the question of what to do when their constituents hold opinions that are counter to what the Pol knows. But shouldn't there be a line, somewhere, between "pragmatism" and "opportunism"?

    Shouldn't we expect our leaders to do better than operate at the lowest level of "buyer beware?"

  55. [55] 
    Paula wrote:

    To throw your hands in the air and say: "my constituents believe a lot of nonsense so I guess there's nothing I can do" is certainly the prevailing response by Repub leaders.

    I would revise that. Some Repub leaders appear to lament the fact their constituents don't know fact from fiction. But there are others, I believe, who know exactly how and why their constituents can't tell the difference between "fake news" and real news, and who use that ignorance to their advantage. That includes the top GOP leaders.

  56. [56] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    TheStig [47] -

    How about "Semper D'oh!"?

    Heh. Or "carpe felinus"?
    "Seize the..." well, you know.

    Heh.

    -CW

  57. [57] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LeaningBlue [49] -

    OK, now THAT was funny! Gotta remember that one.

    Since we're off in the language/slogan weeds, has anyone come up with a snappy moniker that encompasses the whole scandal? "Russiagate" doesn't seem snappy enough...

    Oh, and just an update for everyone:

    New column up, check it out.

    -CW

  58. [58] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    CW [56] carpe felinus

    And that is really funny. Someday someone will write the ballad/lament of the younger Trump (Woody Guthrie already wrote the ballad of the elder). It would be appropriate, in this case, if the ballad were somehow a fraud; plagiarism would be a good start. That could give rise to a lyric stolen from Bobby McGee:

    Somewhere near the felinus tape we should have let him slip away.

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