“With all the things I’ve done, they’ve never wavered…Anybody else they’d be down to 2% right now…And we just had our best: 51% and 54%”
He’s talking about his approval ratings, which haven’t blipped up hardly at all since the Barr summation of the Mueller report came out, except for his favorite Rasmussen poll which did have him at 51% on April Fool’s Day. Still, his point is solid even if his approval from a combination of major polls across-the-board sits at around 42%. As he himself appears to be saying, with the way he’s behaved, it should be a lot less.
The President loves to relive the night he beat Hillary Clinton back in 2016. He’s done it at great length and in great detail at almost every rally. But at a gathering of the National Republican Congressional Committee last night, he took a slightly different tack, focusing instead on how he’s going to win in 2020. And you might’ve guessed: it’s all about playing to and further solidifying his base. And Trump’s realization seems to be this: his voters are looking for specific policy, based on making them feel that he’s looking out for their personal security. Whether they like him as a person or not, even if they “are ashamed to say ‘I am voting for the President'”, as he puts it. Doesn’t matter at all. “Am I supposed to like that?”, the President asks. “I do”.
Here’s a clip (click on the photo to watch):
Trump also notes that any respectable pollster should be giving him an extra 10 points based on respondents who refuse to answer whom they’re voting for, asserting 100% of those responses should be counted as votes for him. (And he claims “one great pollster” now is.) And we think he’s pretty right about that, at least that was right in 2016. In fact, back then, we posited that Hillary Clinton would have to be ahead in the polls by somewhere around 10 points on election day to clinch a win. (That was before the last minute “Comey email surprise”, and why that pretty much killed her chances, even though it wasn’t the only reason). And we based our reasoning on pretty much the same theory Trump is: that poll respondents would not be honest about their willingness to vote for Trump. Boy did we take a lot of heat when we wrote that! “That’s why polls are anonymous, you idiot!” was among the kinder comments we got. Now we find it interesting that some of those same people are writing and Tweeting about how despondent they are because they’re convinced Trump is going to win again in 2020. Maybe. But we’re not so sure. We haven’t been writing a lot about the 2020 election yet, because it’s ridiculous to do so right now. We have no clue who the Democratic candidate will be, or how much Trump will hearten or offend the votes he needs to pick up beyond his base in order to win. We do believe Democrats have a chance for the same reason they picked up so many seats in the Midterms: even if a lot of people support Trump’s policies, outside of his base, we’re not sure if they’re all so convinced the craziness and daily roller coaster ride that goes along with a Trump Presidency is really worth it.
And if Trump has a blind spot from a self-promotion perspective, that’s it. Refusing to accept any responsibility for Republicans losing Congress last year. “What the hell did I have to do with it?” he asks the Republican crowd. And that’s also where his conspiracy theory addled mind slips into dangerous territory:
“There were a lot of close elections. They seemed to every single one of them went Democrat (sic)….There’s something going on fellas….We have to be a little bit careful. I don’t like the way the votes are being tallied. I don’t like it, and you don’t like it either, you just don’t want to say it because you’re afraid of the press.”
Trump also expressed some affinity with Joe Biden, quipping the former Vice-President is “being taken care of pretty well by the socialists.” Trump goes on: “You having a good time, Joe?”
The President also spent time trying to focus group his slogan for the next campaign. For a while he’s been heralding a change from “Make America Great Again” to “Keep America Great”. But last night he said even though “in theory” he’s already made America great again, “MAGA” is a lot more catchy than “KAG”.