Friday, September 7, 2018

Labor Day Blues

Democrats roll into the post-Labor Day political season with a head start according to the latest national polls. Although President Trump appears to hold onto his hardcore base, the edges have eroded under the onslaught of bad news from the Paul Manafort trial and the Michael Cohen plea agreement. The just published Investor’s Business Daily poll (IBD/TIPP) reports Trump’s approval rating is down 5 percent and is now at 36 percent. Disapproval is up 3 points to 56 percent. The poll reflects a 7-point falloff among Republicans (83% to 76%) and 4 points among independents (37% to 33%). The closely watched generic congressional metric shifted 11 points toward the Democrats. It was tied at 45 percent in July and is now 50 percent Democrat and 39 percent Republican.

In the Gary Langer conducted Washington Post/ABC News poll of August 26-29, 2018, Trump has a record-high disapproval of 60 percent, with 53 percent who offer strong disapproval. It was the first time his strong disapproval went over 50 percent. His approval was 36 percent. Seventy-eight percent of Republicans approve of Trump in the Langer/ABC poll and 35 percent of independents. This poll was in the field a week after the Manafort and Cohen news.

Finally, USA Today/Suffolk University poll taken after the Manafort and Cohen decisions saw a 3-point drop in approval to 40 percent, down from 43 percent in June. Fifty-six percent disapproved of his job performance, a 16-point negative spread.

Gallup’s August data (Aug. 20-26, pre-Manafort/Cohen) shows a continuing base of support at about two-fifths of the public (41%), with the strongest feelings tilted toward “strong disapproval” (40%).

Donald Trump’s job performance has dropped since the legal fireworks in late August. Hardly a time for Republicans to be losing ground with Trump’s already tattered reputation as the post-Labor Day campaigns for Congress begins in earnest.

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