This certainly comes as no surprise, and is not news so much as it is confirmation of what is already known and obvious about Donald Trump: a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Trump’s approval numbers as not only the worst of any president, but the worst by quite a long shot — and he’s earned them.
Here’s a link to 15 pages of data in this poll. Some of the simple numbers first: Obama pulled a 33% in the “very negative” column, Dubya pulled 46%, Bill Clinton pulled a 38% — and Trump is twice Obama’s worst number and almost twice Clinton’s, after Clinton was impeached. It almost makes you wonder what he could achieve if he was deliberately trying to piss people off. Here they are, the worst numbers in history. NBC News:
A combined 69 percent of registered voters say they don’t like Trump personally, regardless of their feelings about his policy agenda. A record 50 percent say they dislike him personally and dislike his policies, while another 19 percent say that they dislike him but approve of his policies.
Just 29 percent say they like Trump personally, with 25 percent saying they also approve of his policy agenda and 4 percent saying they disapprove.
On this measure, the high degree of personal dislike for Trump differentiates him from his five most recent predecessors. Majorities of voters said they personally liked Obama, Clinton, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan, even though they might disagree vigorously with their political agenda.
In fact, prior to Trump’s presidency, the highest share of voters saying they disliked the president personally — regardless of their views on his policies — was 42 percent for George W. Bush in March 2006, after Hurricane Katrina.
One fan that Trump has is Dubya. As reviled as he was for the Katrina fiasco and for driving the country off an economic cliff, next to Trump, Dubya looks like Thomas Jefferson. And almost half of voters express trepidation over Trump’s reelection.
Voters also have higher levels of discomfort about Trump’s re-election than about his main Democratic rivals.
Half of voters — 49 percent — say they’re very uncomfortable with his 2020 candidacy. That’s compared to 41 percent who say the same for Sanders and 33 percent apiece who say the same for Biden or Warren.
So, what do you think Trump will do with this information, when he gets it? After the obligatory fake-news-enemy-of-the-people rant? You know he’s not going to take the high road, that’s not in his lexicon. Raw Story:
Political analysts have warned that Trump will likely fight his lack of favorability not by being a nicer or better person, but by dragging everyone else down to his level.
Washington Post analyst Aaron Blake explained in July that the Trump campaign knows how to do this because it has already mastered it.
“Given Trump’s long-standing unpopularity, a big question has always been whether he will be able to take the eventual Democratic nominee and drag them down to his level,” Blake wrote. “He showed he could do it in 2016 with Hillary Clinton, who ended the campaign as unpopular as Trump was, but it’s not clear whether he’ll be able to do it again.”
I can only reiterate a conclusion already stated here many times. 2020 is going to resemble a barroom brawl more than an election. Trump’s base loves chaos. They feed on it. And it may devolve into a street brawl, literally. We had crazies threatening to pick up muskets and riot in 2016. Who knows what will happen?
If the way that Trump and Giuliani immediately went into action against Joe Biden, three days after he declared his candidacy, by contacting Ukraine and looking to perpetrate a smear is any indication, then as Biden has already opined, “there’s no bottom to Trump’s willingness to abase his power.” Amen. Because Trump doesn’t even know he’s abasing power. He’s such a low life, he’s just doing what comes naturally. And there may be no bottom to exactly how low a life he is. We’re going to find out.