The president is consumed by his public image, devoting a large chunk of his energy to trying to prop it up. No matter how much the president attempts to make the opposite be the case, his support among the general public continues to shrivel up further and further, as was laid out in a scathing editorial published this week by the Los Angeles Times.
As columnist Doyle McManus explained, the president’s “poll numbers are bad and getting worse.” He held just less than half of the American public’s support at the time he was inaugurated, according to available polling, but since then, polls have indicated that he has record low support levels. He is now supported by only about one third of the American public.
These numbers aren’t confined to “mainstream” polls that Trump is liable to dismiss as nothing more than “fake news.” The president’s own campaign pollster, Tony Fabrizio, recently reported that only about 75 percent of Republicans support the president, a number that is going steadily downward.
The data analysts at FiveThirtyEight, McManus explains, have classified about 15 percent of those who cast their ballot for Trump on Election Day as “reluctant Trump voters,” and among these voters, less than half said they would vote for the president again after seeing him in office for seven or so months.
Truthfully, it doesn’t take one or even a hundred polls to make it evident that the president is seeing his support wither away like no other president in modern American history — just look around. As McManus noted, the president “has created, almost single-handed, an unusually passionate opposition,” with one recent poll having found that “almost twice as many voters ‘strongly disapproved’ of his job performance as said they ‘strongly approved.'”
No matter how tangibly lacking the president’s support base actually is, he isn’t exactly deterred from his obsessive agenda, since so much of why he ever wanted to be president in the first place was simply in order to grow his power.
As McManus explains, his obsession with growing his base is getting in his way of actually growing that base. He needs accomplishments to point to, to use as leverage while trying to earn voters’ support, and for legislative accomplishments to actually become real, he needs members of the legislature to be on board.
Even still, he has been ruthless in his schoolyard bully-esque jabs at various key Republican members of Congress, especially in the wake of the recent failure of GOP ObamaCare repeal efforts.
As McManus explained:
‘A president with an approval rating below 40%, and a base that’s fraying, may find that he needs McConnell and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan… Politics is about addition, not subtraction, an ancient campaign adage holds. Trump’s own polls show that he hasn’t learned that lesson. Or, at least, hasn’t learned how to put it into practice.’
It remains to be seen whether or not Trump learns from any of this and figures out that he can’t just bankrupt his way out of failure as president of the United States.
Featured Image via NICHOLAS KAMM/ Getty Images