Even the least popular of politicians have their wheelhouse. They know where their core base is, they know it’s difficult for them to do anything wrong in the eyes of their base, and they know they can go running into the arms of their base any time they’re in trouble. Donald Trump has become so unpopular over the past year, his base is all he has left. There’s no better place to find his base than at the Country Music Awards, right? Wrong.
On Wednesday evening the Country Music Awards show opened with a song mocking Donald Trump. It was a gentle ribbing, largely limited to the foolishness of his tweeting habit, but it was nonetheless mocking him. Not all country music fans, and not all country music singers, are conservatives or Trump supporters. But statistically speaking, the country music circuit should be right in Trump’s wheelhouse. Yet the CMA awards made the calculated decision that even its own largely Trump-leaning audience has concluded by now that Trump is an idiot.
This drives home what we’ve all increasingly come to suspect: Donald Trump’s support is even softer than the numbers suggest. Trump’s approval rating is still hanging around in the thirties, which gives him the lowest approval rating of any first year U.S. President in the history of polling. Many have asked why it isn’t even lower. The answer is straightforward: there’s a reason why no President, no matter how badly they might have stumbled out of the gate, has ever previously dropped this low in the first year. It’s too soon for most of his voters to admit, particularly out loud to a pollster, that they blew it. It doesn’t mean they don’t know they blew it.
So when you see the Country Music Awards opening by taking a dig at Donald Trump, it’s a sign that he truly is a goner. Trump’s base of supporters may not be ready to admit to a pollster that the guy they voted for is an incompetent idiot who can’t function, but they darn well know he is by now. It’s why the CMA awards knew it could get away with mocking Trump. Even his wheelhouse has silently admitted by now that he’s a joke.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report