Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Trump Coverage Should Reflect That He Is Historically Unpopular

There are lots of ways the political press continues to normalizePresident-elect Donald Trump’s often radical behavior. From regurgitating his vague tweets as news while he refuses to grant press conferences, to shying away from calling the serial prevaricator a liar, journalists continue to play nice.
Here’s another way Trump’s getting the benefit of the doubt: He’s a wildly unpopular political figure, yet the press continues to gloss over that fact while granting him soft coverage.
In terms of polling data, there’s virtually no good news for Trump. The results generally point in the same direction: He’s widely disliked and inspires little confidence in his presidential abilities.
This stands in stark contrast with characteristically stronger bipartisan approval for presidents-elect in recent decades. For instance, in 2008, “50 percent of John McCain’s voters approved of Barack Obama’s handling of his presidential transition,” noted an NBC News report. And as NPR reported, “Even after a prolonged recount and Supreme Court decision, George W. Bush received 29 percent approval from Democrats in 2001.” This is 14 percentage points higher than the same Pew statistic for Trump.
Trump’s contrast with Obama in late 2008 is stunning: Obama entered 2009 with a 68 percent favorable rating. Today, Trump’s favorable rating stands at an anemic 43 percent. And if history is any indication, that rating is almost certain to go down once the new president takes office. Read full post 

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