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Sinking Feelings

Two new polls from Gallup and Pew Research are bad news not just for Donald Trump, but for Republicans in general.

The number of Americans who say that Trump keeps his promises has plummeted from 62% in February to 45% (a drop of 17 points). “Can bring about changes this country needs” went from 53% to 46%. “Is honest and trustworthy” from 42% to 36%. Gallup measured a total of six characteristics, and his rating went down in all of them. In fact, “Is a strong and decisive leader” is the only characteristic that is above 50% (having dropped 7 points from 59% to 52%).

And that’s the good news. The bad news is that other Republicans even less popular. Since Trump took office the approval rating of the GOP has dropped from 47% to 40%. And the approval rating for the most powerful Republican other than Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan, is a pitiful 29%.

The even worse news for the Republicans was the special congressional election yesterday in Georgia. This is a district that hasn’t elected a Democrat in a long time (Republican Tom Price won it by 23% in the 2016 election before he resigned to become Trump’s Secretary of HHS). But Democrat Jon Ossoff (who has no experience in public office, although he did once have a job as a congressional staffer) won 48.3%, compared to his nearest competitor, Republican Karen Handel (who is a former Georgia Secretary of State) with 19.7%. Despite Donald Trump attacking Ossoff repeatedly on Twitter (using lies).

Unfortunately, in Georgia a candidate has to get more than 50% of the vote in order to avoid a runoff, and the GOP vote was somewhat splintered, so the Republicans have a good chance to retain this seat in the runoff. However, the really bad news for the GOP is that statistically, there are 47 congressional seats held by Republicans that are more Democratic than this district. The Democrats only have to win 24 seats to take back control of the House.

Is this election a wakeup call that Trump has become a boat anchor around the Republican Party’s necks?


Also published on Medium.

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15 Comments

  1. David Freeman wrote:

    I have mixed feelings about this “wakeup call that Trump has become a boat anchor around the Republican Party’s necks”. I sincerely want to have responsible rational alternative views challenging my party (I’m a precinct chairman of my County Democratic Party) but this Republican Party needs to crash and burn and be fully exposed for the cowardly response it has to the bigotry and hatred in its midst. I yearn for the day when I can focus more on improving the Democratic Party since I am far from satisfied with our national leadership but at this time the important thing is putting down the rabid elephant in the room

    BYW: “25%” in the 2nd paragraph is a typo [fixed. -iron]

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 6:00 am | Permalink
  2. Squeaky Wheel wrote:

    The Republican’s AstroTurf Tea Party, & other such RINO elements of their party are the anchor around the Republican’s necks.
    Pity they purged their ranks of people who can think. I guess ideological purity has a high price–sure hope it was worth it.

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink
  3. Hassan wrote:

    DAVID FREEMAN, you say “I sincerely want to have responsible rational alternative views challenging my party”.

    I am quite suspicious of your sincerity. Because you will be the one deciding what is responsible, what is rational. So this is just useless rhetoric.

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink
  4. paradoctor wrote:

    Don’t count your chickens before they come home to roost.

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink
  5. William wrote:

    I very much hope this provides a(nother) wake up call to Republicans, whether rational or pragmatic. More likely, though, is that they crank up the rhetoric to an ever more fanatical level.

    The 2018 and 2020 elections have extra import, as in many states, folks elected in the latter will control redistricting.

    FYI, you have a subtraction error in your first statistic. A drop from 62% to 25% is a difference of 37%, not merely 17%! As a fraction, 25% is only 40% of 62%, a drop of 60%! (Yes, I’m still a math geek!)

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink
  6. PatriotSGT wrote:

    I give no credence to the polling companies that overwhelmingly blew the election. Their methodologies are obviously flawed or skewed towards their hoped for outcome. Don’t fall for them again.
    I think Trump is doing some things very well including developing unprecedented cooperation between the US and China in getting them to take a major part in stepping on the little fat lunatic’s neck who is in charge of NK. Even Russia is chiming in and Trumps poker face and bringing together 3 naval battlgroups is the all in poker call. Nobody knows, so they are are ratcheting up in earnest.
    I also like how he handled Syria and Obamas old red line. Decisive, appropriate and they got the point.
    Another issue I like is lowering illegal immigration by 67% just by enforcing the laws on the books. Marvelous.
    I think Trump definitely needs to improve his handling of congress and the do nothing Republicans and the new party of NO, the Dems. But short of dismissing congress that’s a tall order. I also think he needs to lead on healthcare reform instead of waiting for an idea. I’d like to see him also lead and develop his tax reform plan instead of waiting.
    All said I’d give him a B for his first 100 days, but he’ll need to bring his A game to get that 4.0

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink
  7. David Freeman wrote:

    Bullshit Hassan! You have and you offer ZERO evidence or reason for questioning my sincerity. We all decide what is reasonable and responsible and in a Democracy it is our responsibility to express our views – that is not useless rhetoric.

    Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 4:45 am | Permalink
  8. Hassan wrote:

    DAVID FREEMAN, you already proved my point. “We all decide what is reasonable and responsible and in a Democracy it is our responsibility to express our views – that is not useless rhetoric.”

    So I am not much interested in your statement that you want responsible alternative views, when most likely they will be categorized as irresponsible and irrational. That is how liberals roll.

    Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink
  9. Michael wrote:

    “I give no credence to the polling companies that overwhelmingly blew the election. Their methodologies are obviously flawed or skewed towards their hoped for outcome. Don’t fall for them again.”

    It turns out the polling wasn’t nearly as off as what it seemed at the time. Two things came into play: systematic sampling bias and timing. The former supports your claim that their methodology was flawed, but only slightly. The latter argues against your claim.

    The vast majority of the state and national polls were within the margin of error. I.e., there was nothing wrong with them. The polls in some key states (WI and OH, in particular) were outside the margin, and were enough to swing the election. And even states that were within the margin underestimated Trump’s performance. This does suggest a systematic sampling bias in how the polls were identifying likely voters. Not much, but enough to make a difference.

    The real problem wasn’t flawed methodology or sampling bias, though. The real problem was timing. A poll using responses collected a week before the election does not actually measure how people are going to vote on election day itself. It measures how they think they will vote on the day the poll is conducted. Views can change in the meantime.

    Enter the Comey letter. There is enough evidence piling that the letter had enough of an effect that it changed some people’s votes at the last minute. This last-second change of heart occurred too late for the polls to measure. That’s not a methodology flaw, that’s just a problem of timing. Polls conducted closer to the election (but released after) did show that there was a small change happening.

    The problem wasn’t the polls. The problem was there were enough fickle voters who changed their mind too late for the polls to measure.

    Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink
  10. David Freeman wrote:

    Well Hassan, at least we agree that each proves the others point lol

    Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink
  11. Ralph wrote:

    Patriot – it’s interesting you give Trump a solid B for his first 100 days, given the multiple flip-flops he’s done since his pronouncements on the campaign trail.

    China? They were currency manipulators then and he promised severe trade sanctions, now they’re our good buddy keeping NK in check. Couldn’t be anything to do with those trademarks they granted Ivanka or his other business interests there, I’m sure. Syria? He admonished Obama to keep out, now it’s bombs away, thus far on a single airfield that was back in biz within 36 hours (and yes, Obama erred with his “red line” warning, but still). Healthcare reform? It was Job 1 on Day 1 and so far has floundered with a withdrawn bill that appeared to be little more than high risk pools with inadequate vouchers that all added up to tax breaks for the uber wealthy. Even most Republicans blanched. Still waiting on an amended attempt there. Tax reform? Nowhere yet on the horizon as I can tell and that’s an even tougher haul than healthcare. The Wall? Haven’t heard much about it lately, nor how it’s to be paid for. Congress certainly has no stomach for spending billions on something that adds little, if anything, to our national or economic security. By all accounts, illegal immigration is approx. net 0 in recent years, and 40% of any illegals entering comes through different routes anyway (air, sea, overextended visas).

    And how about Turkey? Are you happy with his ringing endorsement of Erdogan, who appears to have stolen a crooked election? Presidents past have stood down as dictators take hold, but till now have not made such overt congratulatory phone chats. Couldn’t have anything to do with those Trump properties there, I suppose.

    Let’s not even get into his promise to release his tax returns upon taking office, or once the alleged and interminable audits are complete (despite the absence of evidence they are ongoing at all). Hey, says he, the election is over, who cares? How about the unprecedented nepotism? Did you see that one coming? Happy with it? And no, for the record, I was not happy with Hillary trying to reform healthcare behind closed doors during the Bubba Admin. Overt lack of transparency from either party is not acceptable to me and shouldn’t be for anyone interested in a healthy democracy.

    My only other questions are – were you counting, or merely hoping, on these reversals in policy and behavior? What metrics do you employ prior to pulling the lever beyond some gut feeling?

    Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink
  12. Hassan wrote:

    RALPH, can someone explain to me about Turkey? I heard condemnation from all sides, but when tried to find what exactly happened, did not find much objectionable. It seems before they were parliamentary (like UK), but now they are more like US (still not that much) with more powers to President. In fact what I found interesting that their parliament picks most of supreme court nominees and now president will get to pick few. Other than that I did not find much content (that will be considered as un-democratic)

    Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink
  13. Iron Knee wrote:

    PatriotSGT, I must say that I am a bit surprised that you actually like what Trump is doing in foreign affairs. I would have expected that you, as a soldier, would react negatively to someone who is being a bully (and an inconsistent one at that). Acting like a lunatic with a nuke is not a good foreign policy. I also had to laugh when you mentioned the “3 naval battlgroups” since we now know that that was a big lie (see today’s post).

    Friday, April 21, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink
  14. Ralph wrote:

    Hassan – I’m certainly no expert on Turkey, but the handful of reports I’ve read and heard suggest the recent election/referendum was no model of democracy, to say the least. The OSCE, for example, an international monitoring group overseeing and promoting human rights and fair elections, reported the process was rife with widespread physical intimidation of the opposition and outright electoral fraud. Several other observer groups reported similar findings.
    http://www.politico.eu/article/turkey-referendum-erdogan-5-takeaways-from-doubt-inducing-referendum/
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/18/world/europe/turkey-referendum-is-haunted-by-allegations-of-voter-fraud.html?_r=0

    The sorts of tactics employed by Erdogan are hardly unique, I suppose, particularly in that part of the world, but my earlier point was that Trump’s (literal) ringing endorsement is disturbing on several levels, assuming we’re still a country that ostensibly stands at the forefront for free and fair democratic elections, as well as the appearance of a conflict of interest given his property holdings there.

    I’m no Constitutional expert either, but we have this Emoluments Clause and I don’t understand how much more it takes to invoke it, given what we’ve already seen, whether there or in China and the Middle East. His attempt at a Muslim immigration ban, for example, curiously omitted any majority Muslim countries in which he owns properties, not to mention the seven he wanted banned had committed no terrorist incidents in the US.

    Patriot – to IK’s point, not only was that battlegroup moving in the opposite direction from where Trump claimed it was heading, didn’t he criticize Obama for broadcasting the intention to re-take Mosul last year? But I guess that was then, this is now. Not to mention the fact that trying to keep secret a joint strike force amassing in the middle of a desert would be virtually impossible anyway. Seems to me, between inheriting a cratered economy and the Iraq mess, Obama spent the better part of both terms putting out fires set by the previous administration. But I digress.

    Friday, April 21, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink
  15. PatriotSGT wrote:

    IK, when I was stationed in Korea in the 90’s and after Clinton announced the deal that would rid NK (under the current kids father’s leadership) of nuclear weapons, while they were still shooting at the South Koreans I wanted to step on this fat idiots fathers neck. I don’t like extortion. The current bully who executes family and career military people with anti-aircraft guns has no place in this world while he starves his people to try and look bad. Our Navy was in route to Australia for a port call resupply and rest, but they got turned around and it caught the attention of the Chinese and Russians. The USS Ronald Reagan task force was stationed in Japan and the Nimitz group in the eastern pacific. All will be headed there. But in the mean time, China is marking uncustemary remarks directed NK to stand down, while praising the US. I like what I see from this administration, and I just retired last month for good. ( too old and can’t hear anymore). Just like the Clinton deal in the 90’s the recent Obama deal with Iran will not keep them from acquiring nuclear weapons. Give it a few years, you’ll see. People like Kim and the Ayatollah’s don’t follow rules, but only listen to force. Just like Assad, when Kerry, Rice and Obama all hailed the great agreement to rid Syria of its chemical weapons. How’d that deal work out?

    Friday, April 21, 2017 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

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