Monday, November 18, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He bragged about imaginary poll numbers that don't really make him look good anyway.

Trump's ability to survive the Ukraine bribery scandal has a lot to do with his standing among the Republican politicians who will be forced to decide whether or not to risk their own reputations to defend him. He injected himself into two gubernatorial races in conservative southern states recently, campaigning hard for the Republican candidates, only to see Democrats elected—likely because he helped energize his opponents more than his allies. 

Today, he repeated a familiar claim on Twitter: that Republicans are "united" behind him, with a 95% approval rating in the party. He went on to say that this meant he was "winning" the impeachment process. As usual, he didn't cite any particular poll or other evidence. 

In reality, his support among Republican voters is actually much lower now that the Ukraine scandal has come to light: only 74% approve of his performance, according to a recent poll. That's not absolutely terrible by modern standards of same-party support, but there's another problem: Trump has almost no support outside the GOP, including among independent voters. Republicans make up about 28% of the electorate.

In other polling news released today, an ABC/Ipsos poll reported that 51% of Americans think he should be impeached and removed from office. Even worse, with the impeachment inquiry barely underway, fully 70% already think he did something wrong by demanding that Ukraine interfere in the 2020 election or risk losing desperately needed military aid. The results are in line with all other recent polls on impeachment.

Who cares?

  • At least after grade school, pretending you are popular doesn't make you popular.
  • Presidents are supposed to care about all Americans, not just the ones they think might vote for them.
  • In a democracy, voters choose the government, not the other way around.