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Trump’s Slippage in Support is Real

The president is losing support—not just among independents, but from his evangelical and white-male base, too.
January 20, 2019
Trump’s Slippage in Support is Real

The veteran and shrewd New York political operative Bruce Gyory, who’s always worth listening to, writes:

Wanted to drop you a note. The slippage we anticipated for Trump’s standing in terms of public opinion from the shutdown is coming to pass.

The slippage is the worst kind—the slow erosion of support from key blocs: swing voters (independents and suburbanites) and those who put Trump over the top (blue collar white men and Republicans over 60).

It’s been registering in a cross section of polling data, not just one poll. Trump’s job approval rating is down to 31 percent among independents in Gallup. His approval ratings in Rasmussen are down from the 48-49 percent range of late last year to the 43-44 percent level of the past week or so. The Marist data for PBS shows a drop of 10 percent in job approval among Republicans and a decline of 11 percent among white evangelicals and 17% among suburban men.

And Trump continues to enrage the Dem base while this erosion in his base continues to progress. Blue collar white men being turned off from Trump shouldn’t surprise anyone, for they know the difficulty of living paycheck to paycheck. This, plus the skew of the tax cut package, spells political trouble for Trump long term, especially if a slow down, much less a recession, looms in 2020.

As an aside, it’s fair to ask why hasn’t this decline in the polls registered more with pundits and pols. I wonder if it’s because Gallup is not doing daily tracking polls anymore? In any case, Trump’s decline in the polls is significant precisely because slow declines are like weight gain. The quick gain of 5 pounds on a vacation can be easily shed. The slower gain of 10 pounds over a long winter can be brutal to reverse. As can the slow and steady erosion of your political standing.

This all seems right to me.

William Kristol

William Kristol is editor-at-large of The Bulwark.