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Author Topic: Politico: Has Trump Made Approval Polls Meaningless?  (Read 159 times)
polychronopolous
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« on: November 30, 2017, 01:11:44 PM »

I've been telling you people for months now. The man is simply far too good at what he does.



By JEFF GREENFIELD November 29, 2017

It’s been just another 24 hours or so in the alternate political universe where we dwell. The president of the United States has retweeted incendiary—and some inauthentic—videos of supposed Muslim depredations that brought angry words from America’s oldest ally, and even from INFOWARS—home of Alex Jones’ conspiracy theories. His press secretary says it really doesn’t matter whether the videos are true or false. In another tweet, Trump implied that Joe Scarborough may have killed someone in his office—a death investigators have unequivocally ruled a tragic accident stemming from a heart condition—and hints at something sinister about a top NBC News executive. We are told by the New York Times that the president now says the voice on that infamous “Access Hollywood” tape—for which he publicly apologized in October 2016, and for which Billy Bush was fired—may not be his at all, and he has been reanimating the baseless, racist smear that Barack Obama may not have been born in the United States.

And none of this will affect the fact that this looks like a week of major victories for the president and his agenda.


The stock market keeps breaking records, and the latest gross domestic product data show that the real economy is roaring, too. The tax cut bill—despite being about as popular as North Korea—moved significantly closer to Senate passage on Wednesday, as Republican senators on the fence swallowed their doubts and voted to move it to the floor for a Thursday vote. This same tax bill will do much to gut the same Affordable Care Act that was “saved” a few months ago by three defecting Republicans. Another Trump nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals was confirmed by the Senate, meaning that Trump will have placed nine of his nominees on federal appeals courts, three time as many as Obama had placed at this point in his presidency. A federal district court has allowed Trump to place his budget director as temporary head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; the same budget director, who as a congressman, called the agency “a sad, sick joke.” Across the executive branch, industry lobbyists have been placed in charge of everything from drug pricing to environmental policy, while some of the sharpest critics of decades’ worth of trade and immigration policies are now in charge. And in Alabama, Trump’s preferred choice for the Senate, former Judge Roy Moore, has opened up a significant lead over Doug Jones in the days after highly credible accounts of sexual misconduct with teenage girls.

All of this—and much, much more—is happening under a president who, month after month, earns the lowest job-approval ratings of any first-year president, and whose policies—from taxes to health care to immigration to the environment—are rejected by thumping majorities of Americans.

How is this possible? How could a historically unpopular president be in a position to preside over more consequential changes, at least at this stage in their terms, than presidents like Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama who were elected with clear electoral mandates? The same way he won the White House in the first place: by capitalizing on a unique political mix of geography, a last-minute intervention and the right opponent. He is where he is because roughly 80,000 votes in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania—about 1/30th of 1 percent of total votes cast—gave him his Electoral College margin. And what did it take to put Trump in that close a position in the first place? A Democratic opponent almost as unpopular as he was, whose campaign was fatally paralyzed by complacency in the face of pervasive attacks by a hostile foreign power.

Once in office, a different but still utterly unique mix of factors has enabled Trump to break the laws of political gravity, including the long-standing axiom that a deeply unpopular president cannot see his agenda succeed.

The president has been able to freeze his standing among Americans. If you look at where the polls have been over the past six months or so, the trend line looks like the brain activity of a patient who has flat-lined. His approval ratings have stayed within a 2-point range from May until now. The stories about Trump reaching “a new low” or “rebounding” look more like rounding errors than any meaningful movement, or the usual variation between different pollsters. For roughly 4 in 10 Americans, nothing Trump has said or done—not the insults, the White House chaos, the failure (so far) to achieve any of his biggest legislative goals, has mattered in the least. And if past is prologue, there is no reason to think his latest effusions, conspiracy theories and head-snapping denials of the patently obvious, will make any difference. At this rate, would anyone be surprised if the president actually tested one of his most famous theories about his popularity by wandering onto Fifth Avenue with a Smith & Wesson and shooting somebody?


https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/11/29/donald-trump-polls-meaningless-greenfield-215986
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Dos Equis
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2017, 01:18:40 PM »

Pretty meaningless, particularly when 90 percent or more of the media coverage is negative. 
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jude2
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2017, 08:01:37 PM »

For him yes.
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