Trump’s Job Approval Bounces Back From Post-Shutdown Lows

President Trump's job approval numbers have recovered from the lows they hit in the wake of the government shutdown.

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows that President Trump’s job approval rating has jumped up from where it was during the height of the government shutdown, near some of the highest numbers Trump has seen during his Presidency:

WASHINGTON—President Trump’s job-approval rating has ticked up, but many of his party’s policy positions are viewed as out of the mainstream, and there is broad opposition to his effort to fund a border wall by declaring a national emergency, the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.

Twenty months before the next presidential election, Mr. Trump’s job-approval rating, at 46%, is similar to those of Presidents Clinton and Obama at this point in their terms, though personal ratings of Mr. Trump are below those of the two Democratic predecessors.

The poll also found Democratic primary voters looking for a nominee with aggressive policy ideas.

Some 55% who said they intended to vote in a Democratic primary want a candidate who proposes larger-scale policies that might cost more, while 42% prefer a candidate with a smaller-scale and less-expensive agenda. And a majority of the party’s primary voters said they would pick a candidate who shares their views on issues over one perceived as having the best chance to defeat Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump’s approval rating in the survey, which interviewed 900 Americans from Feb. 24-27, ticked up 3 percentage points from December and January to reach 46%. Some 52% disapproved of his job performance, down from 54% in each of the previous two months.

Mr. Trump’s approval rating has been remarkably static since taking office in January 2017. The Journal/NBC News poll has found between 43% and 47% of Americans approving of the president’s job handing in every poll since last June.

The Journal/NBC News pollsters, Democrat Fred Yang and Republican Bill McInturff, attributed Mr. Trump’s improved rating to an uptick in support from white men without a college degree.

“The 2016 Trump voters are coming back to him,” Mr. Yang said.

These numbers are generally consistent with other recent polls that show the President bouncing back from his lows earlier in the year:

  • The latest Economist/You Gov poll shows the President’s job approval numbers at 43% approve and 53% disapprove;
  • In the latest Politico/Morning Consult poll, the President’s job approval stands at 42% and his disapproval at 54%;
  • The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll puts the President’s job approval at 41% and his disapproval at 55%;
  • In the latest Harvard/Harris poll puts the President’s job approval stands at 45% and his disapproval at 55%;
  • The latest poll from The Hill and Harris, meanwhile, puts the President’s job approval at 45% and his disapproval at 55%;
  • In the latest Emerson College poll, the President’s job approval stands at 43% and his disapproval is at 51%:
  • The latest Fox News poll, the President’s job approval stands at 46% and his disapproval at 52%;
  • In the latest Gallup poll, the President’s job approval stands at 48% and his disapproval at 51$; and,
  • Finally, the most recent Rasmussen poll unsurprisingly gives the President his best numbers with approval and disapproval tied at 49%

These polls ere conduced between the beginning of February and last week and therefore may not be the best measure of where things stand today. Nonetheless, they are a strong indication that the President’s numbers, while still exceedingly negative, have improved from where they were a month ago.

Turning to the polling averages, we find similar evidence that the President’s numbers have improved from their lows. In the RealClearPolitics average, for example, the President stands at 44.4% approve and 52.8% for a deficit of -8.4 points. On the specific issue of the economy, the President’s job approval is much better, with 49.4% approving and 46.4% disapproving, resulting in a +3.0 margin in Trump’s favor. On foreign policy, meanwhile, the numbers are negative with 41.3% approving in of the President’s performance while 53.5% disapprove. In the FiveThirtyEight average, the President’s job approval stands at 42.2% and his disapproval stands at 53.4%, for a deficit of -11.2 points. Both of these averages are at better points than where they were in the immediate aftermath of the shutdown, and as the RealClearPolitics shows there’s definitely been a positive uptick in the President’s favor:

The last time we looked at the President’s job approval numbers was in the wake of the shutdown that lasted from December 22nd to January 25th. As expected given the fact that polling throughout the shutdown made it clear that voters blamed the President, and to some extent Congressional Republicans, for the shutdown far more than they blamed Congressional Democrats. In the six weeks or so that have passed since then, though, it’s clear that the President’s base has returned to him just as it has in the past. What that suggests is that, while it is unlikely that we’re going to see the President enter positive territory any time soon, it is clear that the President’s political fortunes aren’t quite as dire as some of his opponents would like to believe. If Trump’s job approval were to drop below 40% and stay there for a sustained period of time, then he’d have something to worry about. What these numbers suggest is that notwithstanding all the controversy and all of the inflammatory rhetoric there is still a floor to the President’s support that means that ruling out the possibility of re-election in 2020 is, to say the least, a premature conclusion.

All that being said, there are some numbers in the new poll that should be signs of concern for the President:

Amid the increased approval rating, the poll found an array of warning signs for Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump leads a generic Democratic opponent, 46% to 40%, in five Midwestern states he carried in 2016: Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. But he trails a generic Democrat, 50% to 39%, in five Sun Belt states Democrats aim to flip in 2020: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas.

(…)

The poll also found that majorities of Americans believe the Democratic position on climate change, health care, immigration and abortion rights are within the political mainstream, while majorities see the GOP position on those issues as outside of the mainstream. On fiscal issues and taxes, a roughly equal number of people found both parties within and outside the mainstream of opinion.

The poll gave hints that this could shift as Democratic presidential candidates and lawmakers add detail to their proposals. When respondents were asked whether they were willing to pay higher taxes so that everyone could have health-care coverage, half said yes and half said no.

Assessing Mr. Trump’s position ahead of the 2020 election, Mr. McInturff, the Republican pollster, noted that 53% of Americans in the survey said they didn’t expect an economic recession in the next year, compared with 33% who foresaw one. “As long as the economic numbers look like this, and there are no combat deaths around the world—that always keeps an incumbent president in the game.” he said.

Warning signs for Mr. Trump, he said, include a core of voters who say they won’t consider supporting his re-election, along with the majorities of voters who say Democrats are in the political mainstream on key issues while Republicans aren’t. When a candidate’s approval ratings are in the low- to mid-40s, Mr. McInturff said, “you’re in the ballgame, but you’re on the soft end of the stick in terms of a starting point to where you need to be in a two-person race.”

Mr. Yang, the Democratic pollster, said Democrats aiming to win back the White House should be wary of an economy widely seen as strong, as well as the Democratic tilt among people who say the country needs a third party in national elections. Those Democrats could be at risk of voting for an independent.

“To me, that’s a caution signal,” Mr. Yang said.

It is, quite obviously, far too early to make any prognostications about the 2020 election based on these or any other numbers. That being said, it’s worth keeping in mind that it’s exceedingly rare for a President with negative job approval numbers at election time to get reelected and, absent a situation similar to what we saw in 2016 when third-party candidates such as Jill Stein and Gary Johnson received a combined total of roughly 6% of the popular vote and roughly 13.4% in the three Midwestern states that decided the election. it’s unlikely that Trump will be able to pull off a repeat of what happened in 2016 when he won the Electoral College but lost the Popular Vote. That being said. the fact that Trump continues to bounce back from the lows he experiences in the polls suggests that counting him out at this point is, at best, premature.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, Donald Trump, Politicians, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    So, no to shutdowns, yes to corruption, bigotry and incompetence. Got it.

  2. Ben Wolf says:

    You’ll need every angry memaw and pap-pap Democrat to jump on their riding lawnmowers and roll for glory to stop Trump. Those 50-year plussers are the bright young future.

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  3. reid says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Lying, too. Lots of lying.

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  4. KM says:

    @Michael Reynolds :

    So, no to shutdowns, yes to corruption, bigotry and incompetence. Got it.

    Remember “He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting”? Well, now that Trump’s not actively and immediately hurting the “wrong people” anymore, they’ve gone back gleefully watching him hurt the “right people”. The CPAC speech was just re-affirming that to them and they lapped it up. Nevermind they’re *still* suffering lingering effects from when they were in the line of fire – he’s no longer actively punching them in the face so the fractured eye-socket’s NBD because now he’s looking to punch-out somebody they can’t stand. They’re ok with that. They’ll accept the next punch and the next and the next….. until one day it’s too much and the backlash will seem to come out of nowhere. But until then, they’ll take it as it comes and the corruption’s not so bad as the active life-ruining, you know? It’s all about context.

    Honestly, it’s like watching a case of Battered Spouse Syndrome in progress – you *know* it’s not going to end well but interrupting the cycle takes a hell of a lot of effort and the cooperation of the victim. They’ll put up with Trump until the second they don’t have to anymore… and that’s when he’s in for it.

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  5. Kathy says:

    I glance at the consolidated poll at 538 often. I noticed the disapproval rating (it’s negative, so it can’t be an approval rating, right?) began to go down right after the shutdown. But it’s been inching up lately, before el Cheeto even went to Vietnam.

    I’m in the last third of Woodward and Bernstein’s “All the President’s Men.” The book has a lot of details extraneous to the actual wrongdoing, which is good. things like what the White House responded to specific stories, and how, and who.

    The parallels with today are amazing, down to attacks on the press. although back then the attacks were mostly against the Washington Post, not all the press and media.

    The one major difference between Watergate and latter scandals, is that back then no one assumed the president was involved in all the chicanery. The bit about “What did the president know and when did he know it,” came after months of investigation.

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  6. CSK says:

    Whitaker has left the DOJ.

  7. Jax says:

    Off track a little bit, but can I just vent a little about how freaking disgusted I am that the President of the United States of America says things like “I told FEMA to roll out the A plus treatment for the Great State of Alabama” (which voted for him, of course), but when California was on fire and scores of people died, he’s nitpicking about them needing to rake their forests? Selfish, petty, good for nothing tyrant.

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  8. Kathy says:

    @KM:

    They’ll accept the next punch and the next and the next….. until one day it’s too much and the backlash will seem to come out of nowhere.

    It will be blamed on the recession, if there is one.

    Or maybe on his lack of actual results.

    Remember the excuse by the Soviets and their enablers, that you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs? At some point, people noticed many broken eggs, and no omelets at all.

    He may not lose much support, but dispirited people tired of waiting are less likely to vote.

    I pity the next president, hopefully in 2021. they’ll inherit a country splattered with broken eggs.

  9. Mikey says:

    @Jax: 2,975 dead Americans in Puerto Rico were unavailable for comment.

  10. Jax says:

    @Mikey: Right?! Grrrr. Maybe it’s just Monday, but I’d really love to stuff him head first into a trash can right now. I’d say maroon him on Puerto Rico, but they have been thru enough.

  11. Michael Reynolds says:

    @KM:

    “He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting”? Well, now that Trump’s not actively and immediately hurting the “wrong people” anymore, they’ve gone back gleefully watching him hurt the “right people”.

    Yep, that about says it.

  12. Teve says:
  13. the Q says:

    Pop quiz, whose looked down more in their constituencies: people of color in the wingnut party or white males without a college degree in the Democratic Party?

    If the Democrats had a choice between assisting an illegal immigrant or a white male high school dropout coal miner legal citizen, who would they choose? Jack Benny comes to mind…”I’m thinking, I’m thinking”….actually we all know the answer to that one….phuck the white boy.

    Before I hear the predictable response, just remember, those white guy high school grads are the cohort which were once the backbone of the original New Deal generation which taxed the rich at 90%, put in Glass Steagall, whipped the bankers for 50 years into submission, enforced anti trust laws, elected Dems to Congress from 1932 – 1992, and basically paved the way for the middle class entitlements now essential to our society.

    A Perfect example of Dem indifference?….NAFTA….Trump is a fascist racist but he did modestly change NAFTA for the better. I was an adviser to one of the first Japanese Maquiladora companies in the 80s, pre NAFTA, so I am very familiar with this sellout of American labor. Obama could have made a few changes that Trump did, but he didn’t. For example, Mexico has agreed to pass a law giving workers the right to real union representation, and to adopt other labor laws that meet international standards set forth by the United Nations. American auto companies that assemble their cars in Mexico would also need to use more US-made car parts to avoid tariffs, which would help US factory workers. And about 40 percent of those cars would need to be made by workers earning at least $16 an hour — three times more than Mexico’s minimum wage.

    Now one can argue that these changes dont add up to much, but if you are a blue collar GM worker who is voting for President, they mean a lot. They mean at least your concerns are being understood, even if it is a vile misogynist doing the assistance.

    The Dems could have changed NAFTA just this little bit, but they are whores to the same financial interests as the GOP, hence Trump eeks out by 70,ooo votes the Presidency.

    Just to show you how right I am about the disdain for white high school grads…just read the responses in 5….4….3…..2…..1

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  14. Kathy says:

    @the Q:

    You could be right.

    But other than not changing NAFTA, which Obama, and Bush the younger, might not have tinkered with for many reasons, what is your basis for making this very wide claim?

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  15. Gustopher says:

    @the Q: Trump said a lot of things that were meant to appeal to the non-minority high school graduates.*

    He said that people like him should be paying more taxes, and then cut taxes on people like himself.

    He said that NAFTA was the worst deal ever and needed to be renegotiated, and made some modest advancements there.

    He promised awesome cheap health insurance, and didn’t deliver anything other than an attempt to dismantle ObamaCare. He didn’t even deliver a policy proposal.

    He promised to raise tariffs, and that’s probably a promise he shouldn’t have kept.

    He spoke like an economic populist — and changed the Republican coalition a bit because of this. Democrats have to run against this — point out his failures to do what he said, and convince people that they are going to do it. 46% of America likes Trump, and only 27% are racists.

    *: I use “non-minority high school graduates”, rather than “white males without a college degree”, to separate out the policies and promises that are based on protecting white male priviledge, and keeping brown people in their place. (“Lock her up!” and “He’s a Kenyan” also appeal to white male high school graduates.)

    Women and brown folks without a college degree are hurting too, and income inequality and a failure to promote our industries and our workers hurts them too.

    The progressive wing of the Democratic Party gets this — add a bit of economic populism, and propose the big taxes on the wealthy and the revilization of America. Free Trade can lift everyone up, or it can grease the tracks for the race to the bottom, depending on how it is implemented.

    We ignore the needs of the high school graduates of whatever colors and genders they might have, at our own peril.

    As Howard Dean said, “even a guy named Cletus with a Confederate Flag on the back of his pickup truck needs affordable health care.” (Not sure he actually named him Cletus)

  16. Gustopher says:

    @the Q: Trump said a lot of things that were meant to appeal to the non-minority high school graduates.*

    He said that people like him should be paying more taxes, and then cut taxes on people like himself.

    He said that NAFTA was the worst deal ever and needed to be renegotiated, and made some modest advancements there.

    He promised awesome cheap health insurance, and didn’t deliver anything other than an attempt to dismantle ObamaCare. He didn’t even deliver a policy proposal.

    He promised to raise tariffs, and that’s probably a promise he shouldn’t have kept.

    He spoke like an economic populist — and changed the Republican coalition a bit because of this. Democrats have to run against this — point out his failures to do what he said, and convince people that they are going to do it. 46% of America likes Trump, and only 27% are racists.

    *: I use “non-minority high school graduates”, rather than “white males without a college degree”, to separate out the policies and promises that are based on protecting white male priviledge, and keeping brown people in their place. (“Lock her up!” and “He’s a Kenyan” also appeal to white male high school graduates.)

    Women and brown folks without a college degree are hurting too, and income inequality and a failure to promote our industries and our workers hurts them too.

    The progressive wing of the Democratic Party gets this — add a bit of economic populism, and propose the big taxes on the wealthy and the revilization of America. Free Trade can lift everyone up, or it can grease the tracks for the race to the bottom, depending on how it is implemented.

    We ignore the needs of the high school graduates of whatever colors and genders they might have, at our own peril.

    As Howard Dean said, “even a guy named Cletus with a Confederate Flag on the back of his pickup truck needs affordable health care.” (Not sure he actually named him Cletus)

    (Ugh. Haven’t made a typo in my email address in a while… there’s a duplicate trapped in an admin queue. Le sigh)

  17. An Interested Party says:

    Hmm…

    “We had eight years of nothing,” said Diane Pappert, 75, a retired school guard, referring to President Barack Obama, “and this guy’s trying to clean up everybody’s mess.”

    She said she would never vote for a Democrat because she believed that the party favored generous welfare benefits. “When you see people who have three, four, five children to different fathers, they have no plans of ever going to work,” she said.

    Mr. Iezzi could vote for a Democrat in 2020 if the nominee “sounds like he’s talking honestly,” he said. His choice of the male pronoun was deliberate: “I just can’t see a woman running this country.”

    So these are the people that the Democrats should be trying to woo? Idiots and bigots…I think not…

    Before I hear the predictable response, just remember, those white guy high school grads are the cohort which were once the backbone of the original New Deal generation which taxed the rich at 90%, put in Glass Steagall, whipped the bankers for 50 years into submission, enforced anti trust laws, elected Dems to Congress from 1932 – 1992, and basically paved the way for the middle class entitlements now essential to our society.

    Uh huh…that coalition included Southerners who did their best to make sure black people were excluded from all those benefits you describe…and when that coalition actually started doing things for black people, it eventually fell apart as so many of those Southerners ran into the open arms of the Republicans…

    Now one can argue that these changes dont add up to much, but if you are a blue collar GM worker who is voting for President, they mean a lot. They mean at least your concerns are being understood, even if it is a vile misogynist doing the assistance.

    Bullshit…Trump appeals to the worst instincts of those blue collar workers, playing on fear to spread racism and misogyny…but he is doing nothing to help them financially…on the contrary, he’s doing much more financially to help the fat cats who employ those workers…

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  18. the Q says:

    I remember Bill Clinton leading the charge for passage of NAFTA. A good idea in some ways, but way too generous to the corporate powers. Remember, Bill’s the boomer who declared the era of big government over. Bill’s the guy who cheerfully wasted Glass Steagall to pay back his Wall Street banker benefactors.

    Ross Perot was exactly right on what would happen. We hollowed out our manufacturing base, actually lowered wages in Mexico and got the blue collar backlash with the Trump Presidency.

    Its truly amazing how much slack Dems give Bill and Hill over some of their truly destructive policies.

    Look at a Stanley hammer – the retail price in 1992. About 10 bucks? Stanley made those hammers for 150 years in New England, was one of the first NAFTA companies.

    Mexican labor was one tenth the U.S rate. Did that stanley hammer suddenly go down in price to reflect the huge savings in their labor? (about 70% of the cost of manufacturing)? Hell no!!!!

    What happened was that U.S companies kept the retail price the same, but pocketed the now huge difference in labor costs. Rinse and repeat with hundreds of companies that did the same.

    Take Carrier last year. They make top end industrial HVAC systems. Does anyone think that the price of a 10,000 dollar unit would go down to 5,000 after moving to Mexico???????

    And this is what exactly happened. Retail price stays the same. Corporations get the benefit of huge discounts in labor and then don’t pay taxes on that foreign profit. Instead they take that foreign profit and invest it into making BIGGER factories that produce more and more.

    This then gets sold in the U.S., which lays off more domestic workers and the cycle perpetuates. Again, the Dems did NOTHING to AMEND NAFTA and it cost them the POTUS.

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  19. Gustopher says:

    @the Q: If any plausible candidate were to start talking about trade deals from a lefty populist perspective, they would have my primary vote.

    Can an American worker really compete against someone who works in a sweatshop for 80 hours a week? No. And we shouldn’t want to. Trade deals should give preferred access to our markets to countries that promote worker rights.

  20. the Q says:

    Bullshit…Trump appeals to the worst instincts of those blue collar workers, playing on fear to spread racism and misogyny…but he is doing nothing to help them financially…on the contrary, he’s doing much more financially to help the fat cats who employ those workers…

    So AIP, please tell me again how Obama took on the 350 billion dollar chinese deficit? How the KORUS doubled our trade deficit with South Korea.

    How the Dems did ZERO to renegotiate any parts of NAFTA? And please show me ONE trade treaty we have signed that LOWERED our trade deficit. You can’t because none have.

    Sorry folks, this is my metier. My brother started selling California grown fruits and vegetables to our army bases in the Pacific after the war (the big one), then got sole distribution right to these things in the 60s called “fast food chains” and opened them up in Guam, Saipan etc.

    I’ve followed trade issues for 60 years so I really can’t abide the liberal revision on the sell out of our manufacturing base.

    Don’t get me wrong, on balance, trade is a positive, but so is fire, until it burns down your house.
    NAFTA and Clinton allowing the Chinese into the WTO were HUGE mistakes.

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  21. Gustopher says:

    @An Interested Party:

    So these are the people that the Democrats should be trying to woo? Idiots and bigots…I think not…

    How much of a price do you want to pay just to have a woman on the ballot? Which would be better for equality in America, a failed campaign with a woman at the helm, or a successful campaign with yet another boring white guy?

    Idiots and bigots are some of the people we have to persuade, either by changing their minds about their prejudices, or not challenging them, or making the alternative to our candidate that makes them uncomfortable seem even worse.

    I don’t know how much of a difference a vagina or two on the ballot will affect things. All other things being equal, it will likely hurt, but all other things are never equal. An inspiring woman will do better than an uninspiring man.

    But there is some price. Some group of voters that will be uncomfortable, and who we shouldn’t automatically write off because they are idiots and bigots.

    The numbers are just too close to give up on them, just because we don’t like them.

    I don’t think we have to pander to them, and nominate Hickenlooper with a slogan of “please rest assured that your president will have a penis.”, but, yes, we have to try to appeal to them.

    Uh huh…that coalition included Southerners who did their best to make sure black people were excluded from all those benefits you describe…and when that coalition actually started doing things for black people, it eventually fell apart as so many of those Southerners ran into the open arms of the Republicans…

    And, in the meantime, we got Social Security, and then Medicare, neither of which we would have gotten in the first place had Roosevelt not essentially made a deal with the devil. Probably a net positive.

    I’m not going to say that there are fine people on both sides, just that their votes at the ballot box are important. The Klan is solidly Republican these days, as are the Klan-adjacent, but the Klan-adjacent-adjacent are reachable. Maybe Klan-adjacent-adjacent-adjacent.

  22. An Interested Party says:

    So AIP, please tell me again how Obama took on the 350 billion dollar chinese deficit?

    You do realize that the current trade deficit with China is even higher than that?

    How much of a price do you want to pay just to have a woman on the ballot? Which would be better for equality in America, a failed campaign with a woman at the helm, or a successful campaign with yet another boring white guy?

    I’m sure before 2008 a lot of people would have said that a campaign with a black man at the helm would fail…there’s no reason that history can’t repeat itself, only this time with a woman rather than a black man…

    Idiots and bigots are some of the people we have to persuade, either by changing their minds about their prejudices, or not challenging them, or making the alternative to our candidate that makes them uncomfortable seem even worse.

    I’m curious how you appeal to someone who thinks that Democrats favor generous welfare benefits for ethnic minorities who have a lot of babies or who think Obama did absolutely nothing positive and Trump is now supposedly cleaning up the mess…which leads to…

    The numbers are just too close to give up on them, just because we don’t like them.

    It’s not about disliking them, but rather, how does a Democrat craft a message that will appeal to them…

    And, in the meantime, we got Social Security, and then Medicare, neither of which we would have gotten in the first place had Roosevelt not essentially made a deal with the devil. Probably a net positive.

    I don’t deny nor disagree with any of that, but Q brings up that time as if it can be repeated…

  23. Gustopher says:

    @An Interested Party:

    I’m sure before 2008 a lot of people would have said that a campaign with a black man at the helm would fail…there’s no reason that history can’t repeat itself, only this time with a woman rather than a black man…

    I think this country may actually hate women more than black men. It’s certainly much more acceptable to use words like “b.tch” than “n.gger”, and wear your bigotry on your sleeve with women.

    I’m curious how you appeal to someone who thinks that Democrats favor generous welfare benefits for ethnic minorities who have a lot of babies or who think Obama did absolutely nothing positive and Trump is now supposedly cleaning up the mess

    I think there are a lot more people who are “uncomfortable “ than who actually think minorities have it made.

    I would avoid making them feel excluded — Clinton’s ads had so many women and minorities that I felt excluded, and I was on her side. I’m a big boy, so I voted for her anyway, but I didn’t think she was asking for my vote. There’s an impression out there that the Democrats care more about women and minorities than white men, so we should be careful about reinforcing that.

    Rather than having the ad with a woman talking about her family’s healthcare, find the man whose job is cutting the healthcare benefits. Coddle white men — they’re fragile. Acknowledge their fears that they are falling behind (don’t mention who they are falling behind), and then tie that into an economic populist message.

    Hit Trump on his failures to protect white men. How many people got laid off at Carrier after Trump “saved” their jobs? Surely we can find one for an ad.

    Make damn sure to say that the candidates first priority isn’t something that primarily helps minorities and women. Pivot on immigration questions “unemployment is at 5%, so we have enough jobs to absorb more immigrants, but the real problem is that the jobs that are available don’t pay enough to raise a family, either for immigrants or for Americans who are here right now.”

    Target ads by demographics more. Make the ads look like the America the target audience sees, rather than America as it is.

    Yes, this is putting minorities and women on the down low. Yes, it means a whole different ad campaign in minority neighborhoods. It’s sacrificing a bit of representation in broadly promoted messaging. Don’t sacrifice ideals, but sacrifice images.

    People don’t make intellectual decisions, they make emotional decisions.

    People are idiots and bigots. They have trouble figuring out that if you are making things easier for that black woman who has the same problems they do, that it’s making things easier for white men too. Don’t make them make the jump.

    I wish white men weren’t so fragile. I wish I wasn’t so fragile. But that’s not the world we live in.

  24. Kylopod says:

    @the Q:

    Remember, Bill’s the boomer who declared the era of big government over. Bill’s the guy who cheerfully wasted Glass Steagall to pay back his Wall Street banker benefactors.

    Bill’s also the last Democrat to win a plurality of the white working-class vote, and he won a larger share of that demographic in 1996 than any Democrat since. What does that say?

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  25. An Interested Party says:

    I would avoid making them feel excluded — Clinton’s ads had so many women and minorities that I felt excluded, and I was on her side. I’m a big boy, so I voted for her anyway, but I didn’t think she was asking for my vote.

    That’s part of the problem right there…too many men in this country are, like Trump, not big boys and get their little itty bitty feelings hurt far too easily…

    Coddle white men — they’re fragile.

    Funny how the one group in this country that probably holds more power and wealth than any other group is so very fragile…