Tag Archives: RealClearPolitics

Trump standing improves, but with others’ support

I hear that Donald John Trump’s standing among Americans is improving.

His job approval rating is now just less than 42 percent, according to RealClearPolitics’ average of polls; Rasmussen puts the president’s approval 49 percent, with 49 percent disapproving of his job performance.

The president is touting the Rasmussen survey as evidence that, by golly, he has won over the public’s well-chronicled skepticism of the job he is doing.

Pardon me, Mr. President. This survey doesn’t include yours truly’s feelings about his ability to lead the nation.

I haven’t yet taken part in a public opinion survey about the president’s job performance. No one has called me to ask me how I feel about Donald Trump’s standing. That’s fine. I am able to express myself here, in this venue, using this platform from which I can bellow my own bias.

I want it known that you likely can count me as a permanent member of the “Never Trump Movement.” What might change my mind? That requires some thought.

  • One factor might be if the special counsel, Robert Mueller, concludes that Donald Trump’s campaign did not collude with the Russians. Mueller also might have to declare that Trump sought to alert the FBI in real time as the Russians were hacking into the electoral system, but that the FBI laughed at him. Then again, if those are the findings, why wouldn’t Trump reveal it himself?
  • Another might be that he can release his tax returns and we would learn that he really is as rich as he boasted about and that he really didn’t have any business interests in Russia. Again, I wonder: Why hasn’t he revealed all of that already?
  • Yet another might be that Trump secretly has been studying hard about the Constitution and has wrapped himself up in the works of the Founding Fathers, that he has read the works of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

Do I seriously expect any of those fantasies to come true? Of course not! Thus, I remain committed to opposing the president, who I still consider to be uniquely unqualified to occupy the office to which he was elected.

Trump needs help coping with his delusion

Donald Trump’s delusion is well-chronicled.

He keeps touting all the “success” he has enjoyed since becoming president of the United States. Trump keeps lying about having passed more legislation than any president in history.

If matters were going as swimmingly as Trump keeps insisting, then I am forced to ask this fundamental question:

Why do polls keep showing a tangible, real distrust among Americans?

The RealClearPolitics average of polls now stands at 39.3 percent approval of the president; 56.2 percent of Americans polled disapprove of the way he is doing his job.

I mention the RCP poll average because of its reliability. It factors in all leading public opinion surveys and averages them out. As near as I can tell, 39.3 percent approval stinks.

If I were in Donald Trump’s shoes, I’d be mighty concerned about it. I also would exhibit a ton of reticence in talking about the phony success rates.

This guy doesn’t get any of it. He doesn’t know most Americans feel about him. Sure, he has his base. The diehard Trumpkins around the country are standing by their man. The president is feeding off of that and conflating their support for his policies with the national mood — which reality should tell him doesn’t reflect the infatuation of those among his political base.

Indeed, the president is delusional.

Keep an eye on those polls, Mr. President

Donald John Trump Sr., perhaps more than any president in recent history, governs by polls.

He watches ’em religiously, or so it appears. He governs by them, too.

I just took a gander at the most recent RealClearPolitics poll average. They don’t look so hot for Trump. All the leading polls show him at 39.3 percent approval rating. It’s low, man! Barely eight months into his presidency, and Trump hasn’t yet unified the country. He hasn’t yet achieved a single major legislative victory. He hasn’t gotten his self-proclaimed “fine-tuned machine” running on all cylinders.

Does this bode well for whatever passes for a legislative agenda? Hmmm. Let’s see:

He continues to insult his supposed Republican “friends” in Congress by blaming them for every failure in which he must share responsibility.

Now he’s doing business — actually working with — congressional Democrats.

He continues to tweet like there’s no tomorrow, spouting this and/or that policy position via a social medium.

Trump continues to propose policy matters that appeal only to the slim — and shrinking — minority of voters who still think he’s the best thing to happen since the beginning of time.

How does the president of the United States govern like that? How in the world does he function in a poll-driven environment?

Those mid-term elections are now coming ’round the bend. Democrats, still steamed at losing the presidency to this guy in the first place, are beginning to circle beneath him.

I offer this observation with an important caveat.

Donald Trump has defied political gravity every step of the way on this most improbable journey he has taken. He has said things about people and demographic groups that should have doomed him long ago. His base only rallies more strongly behind him. He draws strength from it.

The longer he continues to levitate, though, the odds of a complete collapse/implosion are likely to shorten.

Hillary takes the blame — and places it elsewhere, too

Let’s stipulate something right up front: Political historians and journalists have a monumental task on their hands trying to assess and analyze the mind-boggling results of the 2016 presidential election.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, the candidate who lost the election to Donald John Trump, did not make their jobs any easier when offering her own view of how she snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Clinton spoke during a Women for Women conference in New York City.

Clinton took responsibility for the errors she made. She has determined that she ran a flawed campaign. She also said FBI Director James Comey’s letter to Congress revealing that he was taking a fresh look at the e-mail controversy played a part; so did the release of data from WikiLeaks, which raised questions among undecided voters about Clinton’s candidacy.

“It wasn’t a perfect campaign — there is no such thing — but I was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on Oct. 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me and got scared off,” Clinton told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

She also blamed a latent misogyny among voters who just couldn’t vote for a woman to become president of the United States.

Was it Comey? The WikiLeaks release? Misogyny? Campaign incompetence?

All of the above.

Hillary did note something that continues to rumble in the president’s craw, which is that she did win nearly 3 million more popular votes than Trump. She just was unable to win in those Rust Belt states that had voted twice for Barack H. Obama.

I’ll just add as well that pollsters took a lot of heat in the immediate aftermath of the election. But get a load of this: The RealClearPolitics average of polls shows that Hillary won the popular vote by a bit more than 2 percentage points, which is just about where the RCP pre-election poll average had pegged it.

What we have here is a perfect storm of circumstances that produced the most shocking U.S. political upset of, oh, the past 100 years.

Good luck, political historians, as you sort all of this out.

Congress sees spike in approval rating … what gives?


Given my occasional fascination with public opinion polls, I want to share an observation about RealClearPolitics’ average of polls.

It is that public approval of Congress has spiked up about 10 percentage points since Donald J. Trump became president.

Why is that? I think it’s a legitimate question. I might have the answer, although I could be coming at this from deep left field.

It well might be that the public sees the president of the United States as the greater threat to the nation’s stability. RCP’s average of polls puts Congress’s approval rating at more than 22 percent. During the eight years that Barack Obama was president, the RCP poll average usually pegged Congress’s approval in the low teens, occasionally dipping into single digits.

Might it be that the public saw Congress less favorably during President Obama’s time because respondents were concerned about the continual obstruction orchestrated by the Republican Party leadership?

Moreover, might it now be that the RCP polling reflects a public view that Congress can act as a check against the current president’s reckless rhetoric and fickle policy pronouncements?

Just thinking out loud, dear reader.

Your thoughts?

Obama’s poll numbers spiking in final days

I have a good time following certain public opinion polling sites, my favorite of which is the RealClearPolitics average of polls.

Here’s what it shows now about President Obama’s poll standing among Americans: The nation is falling back in love with the guy.

The average of polls shows Obama’s standing at 57 percent. There’s now an 18-percentage-point spread between the “favorable” and “unfavorable” ratings.


How does the poll average rate Congress? It’s about 14 percent. Interesting, yes?

Why the poll spike for the president? It might have something to do with how voters view him in relation to the man who will succeed him in just a couple of days.

He’s conducting himself with remarkable calm, grace, dignity. Donald J. Trump, meanwhile, is continuing to lash out at his foes, the media, almost anyone who makes a critical statement.

What’s not to admire about a president who is leaving the stage with such style?

Media actually called the ’16 election … really!


This just in: The media called the 2016 presidential  election correctly … sort of.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is leading Donald J. Trump by just a shade less than 2 percentage points in the popular vote. She’s up by 2.5 million votes and the number might climb.

So, why are the media taking such a battering over “missing” the results? Oh, yes. The Electoral College.


The media and the pollsters all across the country might have been too transfixed by the overall national mood and less intrigued by what was happening in rural communities blanketing those critical “swing states” that voted for Trump on Nov. 8.

I won’t give the media a pass.

I’ll just note that the RealClearPolitics average of polls had Clinton leading Trump nationally by 2 to 5 percentage points. She’s going to finish with a 2-percentage point “victory” in the popular vote.

That won’t get her a ticket — let alone the keys — to the White House.

If the media fell short, they missed the signs that were developing in rural America that propelled Donald Trump to the victory that shocked ’em all.

Obama getting some belated love from citizenry


Among the many conventional-wisdom notions that Donald J. Trump blew to smithereens while winning the presidency involves whether Hillary Clinton’s fortunes depended on President Obama’s poll standing.

The better the president’s approval rating stands, the better Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency … or so the theory went. Historians predicted as much. Political scientists, too. Pollsters said it as well.


Barack Obama is now enjoying the highest approval rating since the earliest days of his presidency. He stands at 53.9 percent of citizens approving of the job he’s doing, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls. His percentage of approval-over-disapproval rating stands at 11 percent.

That’s a pretty strong standing, right? Right!


It’s just a percentage point or so greater than where he stood on Election Day, meaning that Clinton was supposed to win the election.

Wrong again!

Trump insulted just about every voting bloc one can imagine, except perhaps white, rural voters who flocked to him by the millions.

African-Americans? Hispanics? Prisoners of war? Handicapped Americans? Muslims? Women? Gold Star families? They all got the treatment from the man who would become president-elect.

It didn’t matter. That was another supposed truth that Trump turned into a myth.

So it is, then, with this idea that Clinton’s fortunes rested with Barack Obama’s polling.

None of it mattered.

Go bleeping figure, will ya?

Right-wrong track polls tell only part of story


One of my social media friends thinks I spend too much time blogging about Donald J. Trump.

I heard him. So I think I’ll shift gears for a moment or two.

Those polls that measure whether Americans think we’re heading on the right or wrong track puzzle me. Take a look at the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls on that subject.


What these averages don’t necessarily say up front is whether Americans want the nation’s directly to veer sharply to the right or sharply to the left.

I generally pay little attention to these polls.

The RCP average says there’s a 30-plus percentage variance, meaning that about one-third more Americans think the country is heading on the “wrong track.”

No one has ever polled me on the subject. If one were to ask me, I’d say we’re doing just fine. I heard the U.S. Labor Department jobs report this morning and learned we added 161,000 non-farm jobs in October; the jobless rate declined to 4.9 percent; wages went up.

Is that a wrong track indicator regarding the economy?

I don’t think so.

Foreign policy issues? Well, we haven’t been hit by a major terror attack since 9/11. We keep killing terrorists around the world. Our alliances seem solid.

Federal budget policy? The deficit has been cut by one-third during the past eight years. Is it still too great? Yes. It’s heading in the “right direction.”

I’m digressing.

Right track-wrong track polls tell only part of the story.

Election will be decided by the Battle of the Bounces

WATERLOO, IA - SEPTEMBER 27: Voting booths are set up for early voting at the Black Hawk County Courthouse on September 27, 2012 in Waterloo, Iowa. Early voting starts today in Iowa where in the 2008 election 36 percent of voters cast an early ballot.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Donald J. Trump got a “bounce” out of the Republican National Convention this past week.

The RealClearPolitics average of polls tells us that Trump is in the lead by a little bit.

This week, it’s the Democrats’ turn and that party’s nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton, figures to get a bounce from the convention that has nominated her.

The question then becomes: Whose bounce will be greater?

Followed by this question: Will the candidate with the bigger bounce be able to sustain it until Nov. 8?

From my perch here in the middle of Flyover Country — in the most Republican region of arguably the most Republican state in the country — my gut is telling me Clinton’s bounce will be significant once the Democratic convention is gaveled to a close.

Sure, we’ve got two more days to go before the end of this phase of the presidential election campaign. Anything can happen, I suppose.

Remember, too, that this is the most unconventional election season in anyone’s memory — as Donald Trump’s nomination by the GOP illustrates so dramatically.

Let’s just follow the bounce.