Is anyone surprised by a new ABC News/Washington Post poll that shows Donald Trump is the least popular president approaching 100 days in office since they started taking such surveys? Trump won the office while losing the popular vote and was inaugurated as the least popular new president.
Since then, Trump has failed to repeal and replace Obamacare and, among other distractions, has been dogged by publicized palace intrigue in the West Wing and an FBI investigation
In a bifurcated nation where Republicans are seemingly unaffected by the cacophony of disdain thrown at Trump, his ability to hang on to his voters may, as it did in 2016, yet prove decisive in determining the future of his presidency.
Throughout this difficult period during which he has been almost continually blasted by the mainstream media as unprepared and incompetent, his supporters and apologists have continued to point out that Trump's base is still with him. That point has left his critics unimpressed.
Sure, they concede, Trump's fans are sticking with him now, just as they did when a tape of his admission of sexual assault surfaced and at every point during the 2016 campaign. But as the new poll shows, with only a 42 percent approval rating, he's losing independents and Democrats at a rate that theoretically dooms any hope that he will be able to garner majority support for any of his legislative projects.
That's why his opponents are not merely fantasizing about impeachment. They're also increasingly confident of a midterm comeback for the Democrats in 2018 and treat the very notion of Trump securing re-election in 2020 with contempt. But a deep dive into the ABC/WaPo poll should remind us that the same sort of thinking had most pundits convinced Trump couldn't win in November.
Trump has had no traditional post-election honeymoon. But he has done something remarkable. A stunning 96 percent of those who say they voted for him in 2016 would do so again. This stands in contrast to the buyer's remorse of Hillary Clinton voters, with 15 percent saying they would not vote for Clinton again if given the chance.
Together these numbers explain why the poll shows Trump winning the popular vote in a rematch with the Democratic nominee. How is that possible with such low popularity ratings for Trump? It all comes down to the stark partisan divide in our current political culture.
As was plainly illustrated in 2016, right- and left-leaning voters not only disagree; they also don't listen to/watch/read the same media and thus draw vastly different conclusions from the same events.