In the past couple of weeks, Donald Trump has been crowing about what he says is unprecedented unity within the Republican Party. He couldn’t be more wrong. Trump repeatedly cites a 95% approval rating for him by GOP voters. That’s a false stat for which he never bothers to provide a source. Most other polls put it in the low 80s at best, and it’s heading down. Even Trump’s favorite, ultra-biased pollster, Rasmussen, is showing him near his lows for the year.
However, there is an argument that Trump can make regarding the devotion of his dwindling cadre of supporters. They are enraptured by their Dear Leader to a degree unseen since the Manson Family. And a new poll by Fox News confirms that the worshipful adoration of Trump’s glassy-eyed followers is a powerful force, albeit only effective on a small minority of the electorate. The Fox News poll reveals that a majority 53% of voters want Trump to be impeached. And 49% want him impeached and removed from office. But the most notable figures in this poll address the subset of Trump supporters:
“Among those opposing impeachment, 57 percent say nothing could change their mind, while 34 percent say new evidence could make them support impeachment. […and…] over half of Republicans (53 percent) say it is generally okay for the president to ask foreign leaders for help in going after his rivals.”
So a majority of those who are currently against impeaching the President won’t change their minds regardless of the evidence. That means even if a “smocking“ gun is found that incriminates him for treason, they will still back Trump. These are the people that Trump was talking about when he said that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose any support.
This is not the sort of movement that is generally associated with a political campaign. It is the defining characteristics of a cult. Trump’s followers don’t care whether he broke the law, or breached his oath of office, or violated the Constitution. They don’t even care about his policies that are demonstrably worse for them than for the public at large. They only care about genuflecting before “The Chosen One” (as he calls himself).
The poll has other bad news for Trump that is also ignored by his faithful Deplorables. It found that he is underwater on immigration (40% approve, 57% disapprove), foreign policy (37-56), and health care (35-53). He has a slim 3-point margin (49-46) on the economy. What’s more, Trump is shown to be losing to the top four Democrats included in the survey: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Hillary Clinton. Although why Fox polled Clinton is a mystery, or perhaps wishful thinking.
Trump spent much of Sunday morning tweeting about his pathetic victimhood. Which is a peculiar position for someone who occupies what is often called the most powerful office on Earth. Much of his whining featured praise for the One America News Network (OANN), a channel so tiny that Nielsen doesn’t track their ratings. This must be part of his campaign to drive his followers away from Fox News, which he said “doesn’t deliver for US anymore,” and declared that “We have to start looking for a new News Outlet.”
So the cult is shopping around for a network that will be more complimentary and obedient. It’s hard to imagine that Fox News wasn’t sufficiently fulfilling that objective. But then, Fox is having problems of its own as their ratings have sharply declined lately. That’s more likely due to viewers tiring of the bias and lies, than to Trump’s temper tantrums. But he certainly isn’t doing Fox any good. Which just happens to be quite good for the rest of us.