Thursday, May 18, 2017

What will it take for GOP voters to cut Trump loose?

Donald Trump’s overall approval ratings have cratered to the lowest point in his nascent presidency, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult survey and the RealClearPolitics and HuffPost Pollster polling averages. Yet among the Republican base, the president’s standing remains strong in the face of a mounting series of scandals. His seeming defiance of the laws of political gravity is so astounding that it has official Washington wondering, what exactly will it take for GOP voters to cut him loose?

It’s not an easy question to answer. Despite a seemingly never-ending series of gaffes, missteps and scandals that would have derailed other politicians, voters’ perceptions of Trump have been remarkably steady since he launched his presidential campaign nearly two years ago, pollsters say.

Some things have moved the needle — like last year’s “Access Hollywood” tape in which Trump bragged about assaulting women, or the initial failure in March to advance the GOP health care bill through the House. But Trump rebounded within weeks of each event, suggesting his support is unusually, and exceptionally, durable.

“It seems like he is trading in a very narrow band, at 38 [percent] on the low end and 44 [percent] or 45 [percent] on the high end,” said Patrick Ruffini, co-founder of the GOP tech firm Echelon Insights.

In the case of this week’s news — reports that Trump disclosed highly classified information to Russian government officials last week, and that former FBI Director James Comey outlined in a contemporaneous memorandum Trump’s request to “let … go” of an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — it’s too early to evaluate the impact. Even the latest Gallup daily tracking poll still includes some interviews conducted before both stories were first reported.   Read full story here 

No comments: