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Trump Continues To Slump In The Polls

Donald Trump

With the Trump Administration approaching the six-month mark, a new poll from ABC News and The Washington Post shows the President’s job approval continues to stand at historically low levels:

President Trump’s standing with the American people has deteriorated since the spring, buffeted by perceptions of a decline in U.S. leadership abroad, a stalled presidential agenda at home and an unpopular Republican health-care bill, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Approaching six months in office, Trump’s overall approval rating has dropped to 36 percent from 42 percent in April. His disapproval rating has risen five points to 58 percent. Overall, 48 percent say they “disapprove strongly” of Trump’s performance in office, a level never reached by former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and reached only in the second term of George W. Bush in Post-ABC polling.

Almost half of all Americans (48 percent) see the country’s leadership in the world as weaker since Trump was inaugurated, compared with 27 percent who say it is stronger. Despite the fact that Trump campaigned as someone skilled at making deals that would be good for the country, majorities also say they do not trust him in negotiations with foreign leaders and in particular Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Just over one-third of all Americans say they trust the president either “a great deal” or “a good amount” in any such foreign negotiations. Asked specifically about Trump-Putin negotiations, almost 2 in 3 say they do not trust the president much, including 48 percent who say they do not trust the president “at all.”

Perceptions about the role of Russia in the 2016 election and possible collusion or cooperation with Trump campaign associates continue to be a drag on the president, though like many other questions, results show a clear partisan divide.

The Post-ABC poll finds 60 percent of Americans think Russia tried to influence the election outcome, up slightly from 56 percent in April. Some 44 percent suspect Russian interference and think Trump benefited from their efforts. Roughly 4 in 10 believe members of Trump’s campaign intentionally aided Russian efforts to influence the election, though suspicions have changed little since the spring.

Last week, information was revealed by the New York Times that Donald Trump Jr. and two other senior campaign officials met with a Russian lawyer and others after being offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton and told that the information was part of a Russian government effort to help Trump.

Asked about this revelation, more than 6 in 10 Americans say the meeting was inappropriate, with just about a quarter saying it was appropriate. But almost half of all Republicans call the meeting appropriate.

Suspicions of Trump have eased at least slightly on one front. While 52 percent think he is trying to interfere with investigations into Russia’s possible election interference, that is down slightly from 56 percent in June.

The president’s strongest assets continue to be the healthy economy and a view among many Americans that the Democrats do not have a coherent message or program in opposition, other than opposition to the president.

Trump’s approval rating on the economy, in contrast to his overall rating, is about one-to-one, with 43 percent giving him positive marks and 41 percent giving him negative ratings. Meanwhile, fewer than 4 in 10 say the Democratic Party currently stands for something, while a slight majority say it “just stands against Trump.”

Beyond those areas, Trump continues to be deeply unpopular. His standing is a mirror opposite of Obama and Bush at this point in their first terms. Each held a 59 percent job approval rating in Post-ABC polling. Trump’s standing is closer to that of Bill Clinton’s, who hit a record low 43 percent approval in late June 1993, before rebounding later that year.

Half of Americans say Trump is doing a worse job than most past presidents, while just under one-quarter say he is doing better, and a similar share say he is faring about the same as previous presidents. A 55 percent majority say Trump is not making significant progress toward his goals.

This, of course, continues a trend that we’ve seen since the beginning of Trump’s Presidency. Outside of a handful of times when his approval numbers have been positive in the Rasmussen tracking poll, there hasn’t been a single job approval poll conducted since he took office on January 20th that has shown the President in a positive light, and the trend seems to show that this is unlikely to change anytime soon. In the RealClearPolitics average, for example, Trump stands at an average of 40.2% approval and 54.7% disapproval. This is somewhat better than where he stood two months ago, when disapproval hit a high of 56% and approval hit a low of 38.6%, but it’s not much better either. In the Pollster average, Trump stands at 40.7% approval and 55.3% disapproval. Again, this isn’t quite as bad as the President’s worst standing in the average, but it’s not much better either. When you look into the detail of the polls, you find that Democrats continue to overwhelmingly disapprove of the President’s performance, while Republicans overwhelmingly give him outstandingly positive reviews. Independents, on the other hand, largely follow the national trend. This is pretty much the same thing we saw during President Obama’s time in office, except that it was Democrats who thought the President was doing an excellent job while Republicans overwhelmingly disapproved and Independents largely followed the national trend.

The RealClearPolitics chart shows that Trump’s numbers seem to be staying at the same levels:

RCP Trump Approval 71617

 

As I’ve said before, these are the worst numbers that a newly elected President has seen since job approval polling began, and there’s little sign that they will improve at any point in the foreseeable future. Indeed, as I’ve said in the past it’s usually the case that a new President is given a honeymoon period of sorts by the public during which their job approval numbers remained relatively high. In most case, a newly inaugurated President will see positive job approval numbers for at least the first two years of their Presidency. In extraordinary cases, those numbers have remained positive for much longer thanks to events beyond the control of an individual President such as the Persian Gulf War for George H.W. Bush, the aftermath of the September 11th attacks for George W. Bush. In every President’s case, though, there came a point where the honeymoon came to an end and reality set in. In most cases, recent Presidents have been able to bounce back in time to be re-elected and generally have been viewed more positively than negatively by the time their second term ended. The exception to this rule, of course, is George W. Bush, whose poll numbers began to collapse in his second term due to both the Iraq War and a crumbling economy. In Trump’s case, we have a President who’s already in negative territory, and it seems unlikely that this is going to change anytime soon.

Practically speaking, though, these bad poll numbers are unlikely to have an immediate impact on either the Administration or on Republicans on Capitol Hill. As Dave Schuler noted in a recent post at his site, Trump seems to have a floor of around 40% when it comes to job approval. No doubt, this is largely due to the fact that he remains immensely popular among Republicans, while Independents remains roughly consistent with the national average. Until that changes, it’s unlikely that there will be serious repercussions for the Administration, or that Republicans on Capitol Hill will find it politically expedient to distance themselves from him except perhaps in extreme circumstances driven by the demographics of their particular Congressional District or state. What this means, of course, is that talk of impeachment or anything similar is largely nothing but fantasy and that Trump’s fate will depend on what happens on Election Day 2020, which is simply too far off to predict with any degree of reliability.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    He Tweeted this morning that even though the WaPo/ABC poll is very inaccurate, “almost 40%” approval is “not bad” for this point in time.

    Yeah, I know.

    ReplyReply

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  2. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: given the point in time we are at — a failed, petulant President mired in scandal, leading a woefully ineffective administration — I would say that almost 40% approval isn’t just “not bad”, but pretty amazing.

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  3. CSK says:

    @Gustopher:

    Well, he did claim in the Tweet citing this number that the WaPo/ABC poll was very inaccurate. If that’s the case, maybe his true favorability rating is actually 17%.

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  4. @CSK:

    He was wrong on both counts.

    For one thing, the final ABC/WaPo national poll was Clinton 49% Trump 46%. The actual Popular Vote number was Clinton 48% Trump 46%

    Second, even if you do round up to 40% he’s doing worse than any incoming President since the end of World War II.

    ReplyReply

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  5. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Oh, indeed he was wrong. But that’s Trump. He’ll lie cheerfully even when the evidence to refute him is staring him in the face.

    Actually, I’m amazed that he would use a locution such as “not bad.”

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    What this means, of course, is that talk of impeachment or anything similar is largely nothing but fantasy and that Trump’s fate will depend on what happens on Election Day 2020,
    when the inevitable fecal matter hits the spinning air mover.

    ReplyReply

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  7. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    His defense of Junior’s indiscretions seems distinctly lacking in vigor, doesn’t it?

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  8. TM01 says:

    Man.
    With poll numbers like that he’s never going to win the election.

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  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: That really has me curious. I would have thought that if he was going to throw somebody under the bus it would be Kushner.. Then again, a lot of people will accept the inevitable pardon of his flesh and blood with a shrug of the shoulders and a “What did we expect? Of course tRump pardoned him.”

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  10. al-Ameda says:

    Last week, information was revealed by the New York Times that Donald Trump Jr. and two other senior campaign officials met with a Russian lawyer and others after being offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton and told that the information was part of a Russian government effort to help Trump.

    Asked about this revelation, more than 6 in 10 Americans say the meeting was inappropriate, with just about a quarter saying it was appropriate. But almost half of all Republicans call the meeting appropriate.

    Translation into Non-Elite Salt Of The Earth Common Working Man:
    “Yes, but Hillary would have been worse and Obama was worse.”

    By the way, I’m still not convinced that even if it was disclosed on audio-video tape, that Trump and his associates had knowledge of, and actively encouraged, Russian tampering with the election – that Trump’s base supporters would disapprove. I’m sure that a few Republican congressmen and senators WOULD disapprove, however I’m not sure that it would be enough to motivate about 23 Republican House members to sign on with Democrats for a Judiciary Committee investigation to seriously consider articles of impeachment.

    This Republican Congress is all their radical agenda, and as long as tMcConnell and Ryan can say that they’re getting it done, they know that the base will be happy, even if audio-video tape shows Trump asking Russians operatives to release the Hillary-DNC-Hack-Materials at a date specific.

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  11. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    If I were capable of feeling sorry for any of the Trumps, I’d feel sorry for Junior, loathsome as he is. His father has never been able to disguise the contempt he has for his oldest son, who refused to speak to him for a year after Daddy-O publicly trashed and dumped Ivana, and refused to attend Trump’s wedding to Maples. On the other hand, Junior would like desperately to be in Trump’s good graces.

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  12. CSK says:

    @TM01:

    All his predecessors who won their elections had better ratings than he does at this point in their terms, so what’s your point?

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  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: It would be tough being that a-holes son/daughter, no matter what one did. I do feel a little bit of sympathy for each of his children. That sympathy is far outweighed by the utter disgust and loathing I feel for all of them.

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  14. george says:

    Despite what Trump says about polls, 40% sounds about right.

    However, he doesn’t have to run again until 2020 (and its probably unlikely he’ll do so in any case). The question is, will his low popularity affect the 2018 elections? One can hope it will, but there’s no guarantee; in fact, from what I recall midterm elections tend not to reflect the popularity of the sitting President, either pro or con.

    Dems have their work cut out for them for 2018; counting on Trump to pull down the rest of the GOP is probably a mistake.

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  15. CSK says:

    @al-Ameda:

    It’s a mistake to think that Trump’s base likes McConnell and Ryan; they hate them–and the rest of the Republicans in the house and senate. They see all those people as impeding Trump’s vision and agenda.

    Their allegiance is to Trump, period. In their view, it’s them and Trump against an evil cabal of Republican and Democrat elitist globalist one-world socialists who want to overrun this country with dusky pagans.

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  16. teve tory says:

    8 reasons evangelicals still support trump

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  17. Smooth Jazz says:

    “Trump Continues To Slump In The Polls”

    Lawdy, Lawdy. You far left cranks really need to get out more. You only interact with folks in your Northeast “bubble” and that is why you cannot make out the forest from the trees and spot propaganda looking you right in the face

    I remember a week before the 2016 election when ABC/Wash Post hived up a poll showing Clinton had a 14 point lead on Trump and OTB joined far left propaganda sites like 538 claiming Clinton had a 99% chance of winning the election. How did that prediction turn out for you. Don’t answer. Well, you can always claim: RUSSIA. RUSSIA. RUSSIA.

    I don’t care what ABC/Wash Post final 2016 election poll was; They were obviously hiving up a more credible number to make sure their bogus 14pt lead from a week earlier didn’t stand out. They obviously couldn’t keep the fake poll ruse going any longer.

    Anyways, their national polls meant nothing. Candidates are not elected by national polls or the national vote. What were their final swing state poll numbers?? Yeah. Right.

    What’s the D versus R demo in this fake poll anyway. Even though the country hates the Dems, I bet ABC/Wask Post samples 15% – 20% more Dems to come up with the 36% JA number. Btw, were they polling “adults” or real voters. You do realize adults is a phony metrics when it comes to predicting elections correct?

    Btw, Quinnipiac came out with a 35% job approval number for Trump right around the time that Liberal got spank in the GA special election a month ago that Liberals thought they had won. How did that election turn out for you leftists??

    Like I said, you need to associate more with people outside the MSDNC, Wash Post, CNN bubble to understand where the country really stands. Just some friendly advice so you are not hoodwinked again by fake polls.

    ReplyReply

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  18. MarkedMan says:

    The Republicans are scared to death of Donald’s voters. In the 2018 election Donnie Combover is not running, yet in an awful lot of districts and states they know they will need a good Republican turnout and only a moderate loss of independents. But those Republican voters despise them and will blame them more and more for Trump not building the wall or kicking out the Muslims or bringing back 1.2 million steel jobs. They are not going to blame Trump.

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  19. teve tory says:

    @george: not quite.

    “Since 1946, when presidents are above 50% approval, their party loses an average of 14 seats in the US House in the midterm elections, compared with an average loss of 36 seats when presidents are below that mark.”

    At the moment, Trump’s approval rating sits at 40% in the latest Gallup poll. The highest Trump’s approval ratings has been in Gallup polling since the start of his presidency is 45% in the three-day rolling average on March 11.

    cnn

    GOP is up by 23 in the House.

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  20. george says:

    @teve tory:

    That’s encouraging; I’d only heard that both popular and unpopular Presidents tended to lose seats in mid-terms, not the differing degrees.

    Still think its not a good idea to relax and count on that to do the trick.

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  21. teve tory says:

    no, of course not. But if the Dems retake the house this repeal bullshit is over. The real prize would be the senate. Cuz right now it’s good odds that trump gets at least one more SCOTUS pick. Then, shit would be fucked up and bullshit.

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  22. Kylopod says:

    @teve tory: One caveat I’d add is that it’s not clear how much the electorate separates Trump in their minds from Republicans in general. In 2016, Trump generally performed worse than Congressional Republican candidates in states or districts that he won. That suggests that at least back then, a disproportionate number of voters were slightly more forgiving of the party than the man the party produced.

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  23. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @TM01: He doesn’t have to win the actual election; he only has to win Texas and 29 or 30 other states where credulous people live.

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  24. Kylopod says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    far left propaganda sites like 538 claiming Clinton had a 99% chance of winning the election

    538 said no such thing. Their final projection was a 70% chance of winning. That meant that they considered Clinton a favorite, but they also believed Trump had a significant chance of winning. In fact they repeatedly warned readers that Clinton’s victory was anything but a done deal. For instance, just four days before the election they posted an article stating that Trump only needed a very normal polling error in order to be elected president. They were also one of the earliest sites to note that Trump had an advantage over Clinton in terms of the vote distribution in the Electoral College.

    It’s fair game to point out that numerous pundits and prognosticators were foolishly overconfident about Clinton’s chances of winning. (For instance, Sam Wang gave Clinton a 99% chance, HuffPost 98%.) But 538 isn’t one of them, and you aren’t helping your credibility by lying about what the site actually said.

    ReplyReply

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  25. Mister Bluster says:

    Like I said, you need to associate more with people outside the MSDNC, Wash Post, CNN bubble…
    I sure hope that the SJ Approved list of Real News Sources includes Shep Smith: “Lie after lie after lie!”

    MSDNC?

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  26. Mister Bluster says:

    If Republican President Pork Chop Pud is so smart why does he hire such dumb lawyers?
    I knew that Donald Trump Jr. was not covered by Secret Service protection during the campaign and after seven years of drinking and partying and some Political Science classes I never a college degree.

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  27. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mister Bluster:.. I never got a college degree. duh

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  28. MarkedMan says:

    Re: Trump pardoning Jr. My understanding is that once someone is pardoned they can be forced to testify. Lawyers?

    ReplyReply

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  29. KM says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    Like I said, you need to associate more with people outside the MSDNC, Wash Post, CNN bubble to understand where the country really stands. Just some friendly advice so you are not hoodwinked again by fake polls.

    Considering the buyer’s remorse is kicking in all along flipped states like Pennsylvania, you might want to take your own advice. People voted for Trump because they thought they would get jobs and a better life, not have heathcare yanked away from them and Donny golfing every weekend while their companies close one by one despite his promises and “interventions”. They can and will flip right back if you don’t deliver – some friendly advice so you don’t get shocked when the elections are over. You should associate with more people outside your red-state bubble since they clearly can’t write checks their asses can cash even when they own the bank.

    ReplyReply

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  30. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Smooth Jazz: it is true that a lot of people did not actually believe Americans were stupid enough to vote for a low life like Trump. And in fact, the polls were accurate in regards to popular vote. Most voters never voted for Trump. But since the election, Trump has proven to be such a disaster that I doubt very much if he could find that many idiots to vote for him again.

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  31. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Kylopod: Smooth Jazz has credibility? Did I miss something?

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  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: They can no longer claim the 5th. If they then perjure themselves they are open to charges for that.

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  33. wr says:

    @Smooth Jazz: Hey, aren’t you the guy who claimed the polls were all fake, and that’s why Sarah Palin was going to be president?

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  34. KM says:

    @Terrye Cravens :

    But since the election, Trump has proven to be such a disaster that I doubt very much if he could find that many idiots to vote for him again.

    Republicans are acting like those states that went red for Trump will (1) stay red and/ (2) stick with Trump. It’s a pretty dangerous assumption to make, especially when those voters have clear demands and expectations that aren’t being met. We just saw that being “not-X” wasn’t sufficient to earn the votes – you have to stand for something they want to hear…. and then actually get. If the GOP doesn’t start delivering, fickle voters might very well decide to try the next guy promising the moon.

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  35. MarkedMan says:

    @KM: I don’t think it’s as simple as Republican candidates are assuming their states will stay red. Rather, their first step in getting re-elected is to avoid or win a primary. For that, only Republican voters matter. And Republican voters love them some Trumpy goodness. 85% like what they see.

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  36. gVOR08 says:

    Congratulations are in order. Every time Doug posts that Trump’s approval is down I check Gallup Daily Tracking and his approval is back up to 40 after having dipped to 36 or so. Today it’s still down to 38. Maybe it won’t come all the way back up this time. I’ll believe something is changing when his approval among Republicans drops. It’s been steady between 87 and 81 since February and after all the Russia revelations is at 85 today.

    Shoot someone on 5th Avenue? I’m starting to think video of Trump in bed in the WH being peed on by a naked Putin wouldn’t affect his approval among Rs.

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  37. Facebones says:

    @gVOR08:

    I’m starting to think video of Trump in bed in the WH being peed on by a naked Putin wouldn’t affect his approval among Rs.

    Hannity: “What’s the big deal? That’s just how diplomacy works! The real crime is how Hillary got away with murdering that DNC staffer!”

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  38. Mister Bluster says:

    @KM:..fickle voters might very well decide to try the next guy promising the moon.

    So for Democrats to win elections in 2018 they will have to promise these fickle voters a (one way) trip to the moon.

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  39. MarkedMan says:

    I’ve given up on Republicans dropping support for Trump. They are the permanent 85% as far as I can see. The question I’m interested in: are there fewer of them? I guess it depends on how polls work. Do they call people already identified as Republicans? Or do they ask people what party they are registered with? If the former, then there is no hope. If the latter, then it would be interesting to know if the number of self identified Republicans is dropping.

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  40. Tony W says:

    @Kylopod:

    Their final projection was a 70% chance of winning.

    Which sounds much stronger than a 50% chance of winning – basically even chances. 538 was very solid in their caution throughout the process.

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  41. Tony W says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I’ve given up on Republicans dropping support for Trump.

    I think what’s happening is that those who cannot support Trump are leaving the Republican party.

    It is not so much that the Republicans support Trump, it’s that he’s chasing away all the country-first Republicans.

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  42. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Tony W: There are “country first” Republicans? Again, as with Smooth Jazz, am I missing something?

    I’m more familiar with this as the heart and soul of the party.

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  43. Mister Bluster says:

    Four Republicans block Obamacare repeal bill in Senate
    Republican President Pork Chop Pud FAILS AGAIN!*

    *I reserve the right to withdraw my gloating just in case Mighty Mitch pulls off some sort of advanced political extortion.

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  44. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    There is always a possibility, but what is the likelihood that McConnell can manage that contentuous lot into a strategic bloc?

    They must get over their contempt for heretic Rs or their contempt for the other flavor of heretic Rs. And then focus a united caucus on something other than themselves.

    This would be much more likely if their “Healthcare Bill” was polling above 20%.

    And that votes from swing state’s were reliably in McConnell’s corner.

    Then there’s the House.

    Magnify McConnell’s headache x5.38

    Less respect for leadership, less fallout from failing to obey leadership – actually more respect for defying leadership.

    Paul Ryan is cursed. Thankfully. There may not be a more deserving failed leadership.

    They are fighting ineptitude. They are fighting inexperience. They are fighting their skill set.

    Proposing legisltation, negotiating, gaining compromise, avoiding situations that require compromise, counting votes, whipping votes, recounting, rewhipping.

    Utterly alien to their experience, their expectation, their desire and their skills.

    Passing legislation is the last reason that Rs run for office.

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  45. de stijl says:

    At the national level, Rs are built to be the oppostion party.

    They have goals.

    They don’t have plans.

    Those are two different things and their membership and staff either can’t differentiate between the two or utterly lack the skills to create a plan to effectuate a goal let alone execute a plan.

    They may be the worst, most inept “majority” caucus in American history.

    They are literally built for “No.” And cannot fathom what it takes to be a party that can propose, draft, and pass effective legislation.

    I’m surprised when they can rename a Post Office or proclaim National Bratwurst Week.

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  46. de stijl says:

    National Rs are also now at much more risk than usual for a wave midterm election. In the normal course of events, even factoring in Ds laxity in voting in off year elections, Rs are looking at a tsunami unless Trump gets to -10, even then dicey.

    Obviously, unexpected economic or military situations have traction. But that applies mostly to a President with some cross-party pull. A disaster on a loser’s watch plays differently.

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  47. de stijl says:

    Outside of True Believers, Trump has no banked good will.

    Actually, the opposite.

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