Trump Defies Gravity

UPDATED 08/14/18

I was against Trump until he was nominated by the GOP. I became pro-Trump once he was nominated because the alternative was a Democrat. I have become increasingly pro-Trump as I have watched his deeds and ignored (most of) his words.

How is Trump doing with the electorate, despite the internet-media-academic complex? Trump’s strong approval rating remains above Obama’s at the same stage of of his presidency. It is truly amazing that Trump is doing so well given the successive waves of anti-Trump hysteria that emanate from the media. Dennis Prager, Ned Ryun, and Alex Castellanos see it for what it is. This is from Castellanos:

There is evidence [that] Trump has the power to defy gravity: When this president slips, he doesn’t fall, he floats. It is frustrating the establishment to no end.

President Trump went to Helsinki, made Vladimir Putin look the taller man, and undermined his own country’s intelligence agencies. He came home and resentfully explained he misspoke, only to reverse that and then face accusations of silencing an affair with a Playboy model. All this while separating immigrant parents from children. And continuing his street fight with Iran’s mullahs. And Twitter-bombing the Russia investigation. For anyone else, it would not have been a stellar week, but Trump’s polls ratings rose….

To understand, Washington may have to imagine an unfamiliar nation, the America that exists beyond the Beltway. There, Trump’s mistakes are not “screw-ups.” His “gaffes” are the reason he was handed the highest public office in the land.

Remember why Trump thrashed both big political parties and won the election….

When Trump rends the fabric of the establishment’s universe, he is doing exactly what his supporters want him to do. Instead of being shocked, disappointed, or offended, his fans cling to him. They pray, “Please God, help him do it again.”

Which tells us several things:

1. Millions of Americans remain repulsed with the Washington status quo and find its return so perilous that they prefer the human embodiment of nitroglycerin in the White House, even with its attendant collateral damage, rather than taste again the malignant gruel Washington was serving them. They judge that the explosive ingredient in dynamite is safer than the stew of venomous elitism that fed the decline of their country. Trump’s steadfast support is an appraisal: It measures how America feels about Washington, D.C….

2. Nothing has changed in Washington since Donald Trump was elected. The D.C. establishment and the creaky, old political parties and legacy media have not learned anything from the beating this outsider gave them. As long as they hold enormous power, Trump voters will continue to cheer the bull in Washington’s china shop, as he breaks the remaining tea cups in the establishment’s precious displays.

3. Until someone in Washington does change and provides an acceptable alternative, Trump can not only shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, he can get caught in the Kremlin on Vladimir Putin’s desk with a goat, and his supporters won’t care….

Yet, every time Trump disrupts and disturbs norms, the establishment faints and reaches for the smelling salts. They are convinced that this time he’s gone too far. In a desperate bout of establishment thinking, for example, Joe Scarborough writes, “Trump may finally be feeling gravity’s unforgiving pull as one summer scandal bleeds into another.”

Fat chance, Joe. Trump’s job approval in The Real Clear Politics poll average has moved all the way from 43 percent approve, 53 percent disapprove the day he sat with Putin, to 43.2 percent approve, 53 percent disapprove in the latest sampling. Trump’s poll ratings are flatter than Kansas, the state scientifically proven to be flatter than a pancake. [“How Trump Has Managed to Defy Gravity”, RealClearPolitics, July 31, 2018]

Thus:

FIGURE 1
Figure 1Derived from Rasmussen Reports approval ratings for Trump.

Lest you believe that Trump’s current and recent numbers are week, consider this:

FIGURE 2
Figure 2 and widget imageDerived from Rasmussen Reports approval ratings for Obama and Trump.

In this age of polarization, it’s hard for any president to routinely attain high marks:

FIGURE 3
Figure 3Source: Same as Figure 2.

Ratios of the ratios in Figure 2 yield enthusiasm ratios: the strength of strong approval ratings relative to overall approval ratings:

FIGURE 4
Figure 4Source: Same as Figure 2.

Despite a retreat from the spike at the time of the Singapore summit, Trump’s enthusiasm ratio remains high, relative to Obama’s.

There is a different poll that is more revealing of Trump’s popularity. Every week since the first inauguration of Obama, Rasmussen Reports has asked 2,500 likely voters whether they see the country as going in the “right direction” or being on the “wrong track”. The following graph shows the ratios of “right direction”/”wrong track” for Trump and Obama:

FIGURE 5
Figure 5Source: Rasmussen Reports, “Right Direction or Wrong Track“.

The ratio of “right direction” to “wrong track” averaged about 0.5 during Obama’s eight years in office; that is, about one-third of respondents said “right direction” and about two-thirds said “wrong track”. The ratio for Trump, after a quick honeymoon start, fell into the same range as Obama’s. But it jumped with the passage of the tax cut in December 2017. It has stayed relatively high since then, despite the faux scandals concocted by the leftist media and their concerted attack on Trump.

Trump’s relatively high enthusiasm ratio suggests that the squishy center is lining up behind him, despite the incessant flow of negative “reporting” about him and his policies. His base is with him all the way.

Trump’s coattails will be decisive in November. As of now, I expect the GOP to lose no more than a handful of House seats, and to gain seats in the Senate.

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