Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Base Erosion

Polls are not always reliable, but since Trump is always telling anyone who will listen — and those who won’t — how much “everybody” likes him and agrees with him, so there, neener neener, this might at least open a few eyes among the Very Serious People who think that the Trump base is impenetrable… just like his wall.

From the Washington Post:

Trump loves to talk about how much Republicans love him. Given his long-standing unpopularity with the broader public, Trump often homes in on his overwhelming popularity in the GOP. And then he takes that overwhelming popularity and Trump-ifies it, jacking up the numbers and falsely claiming that it’s a “record” amount of support within the GOP.

For a president whose political identity is so tied to his base support, a new poll has some bad news.

A new Washington Post-Schar School poll shows support for an impeachment inquiry rising to a new high after Democrats formally launched one. The 58 percent who support the inquiry is higher than in any other poll; the 38 percent who oppose it suggests only Trump’s most devoted base is now opposed.

But even that isn’t quite accurate — because it shows some of Trump’s base does support the inquiry and even his removal.


It’s possible that support for impeachment in GOP circles is rising, as Trump’s actions vis-a-vis Ukraine come into focus. It’s also possible this is just a lot of polling noise. But despite Trump’s high level of support in the GOP, there has long been reason to believe there is something of a soft underbelly there, with many Republicans liking but not loving Trump and even disliking him personally. It’s possible many Republicans like Trump and even approve of his job performance but think there are legitimate questions here.

The party as a whole isn’t suddenly going to jump on board with impeaching and removing Trump. But it’s notable that the rising support for impeachment appears to include at least some of the base that Trump likes to tell us is so devoted to him.

As with any president facing this kind of news, there are two sure things: First, there will always be a solid core of supporters no matter what.  We saw it with Nixon and with Clinton.  But it’s always very small and fanatical, basing their devotion on nothing that has to do with politics or the rule of law.  The second sure thing is that polling is a lagging indicator; it is showing results from surveys taken two weeks ago and hasn’t caught up with the latest outrages, such as the WTF? letter sent by the White House Counsel that said Congress cannot investigate the president at all and you can’t make me cooperate.

As for the overall reaction to the poll, I’m thinking that even the Trump fan base is seeing they’ve gotten very little from him that he promised and are just tired of the noise.

One bark on “Base Erosion

  1. My feeling has always been that Trump’s support consists of the 27 percent John Rogers “crazification” factor, plus another amount who are just too stupid to know any different (remember the 13 percent in a recent poll who can’t identify Mike Pence, or the two in 10 American adults who can’t find the Pacific Ocean on a map?), and another amount who are either too cynical or too self-satisfied (either “I got mine so screw you” or “they’re all crooks anyway”) to care. I think at the end only the crazies and the stupid will stick with him.

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