I’ve been fairly critical of cable news on the whole this past week, thanks to its prevailing narrative that Donald Trump’s acquittal has “emboldened” him and that he’s therefore now somehow on a magic carpet ride to reelection in 2020. The part that’s largely being left out is that Trump isn’t even currently in contention for 2020. Credit where it’s due, MSNBC host Chris Hayes just nailed it:
For all the talk of Trump the juggernaut, the last five polls have him at approval of 41, 40, 50 (Rasmussen), 41 and 40.
It is both true that he is dangerous to the rule of law *and also* that he is politically weak and unpopular.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 13, 2020
This is crucial differentiation. Donald Trump is criminally out of control. But he’s been criminally out of control since the day he took office, and while the results have been devastating to the sanctity of democracy, none of it seems to he helping him much. His roughly 40% approval rating is simply not viable. He’s so far out of the running, if the election were held tomorrow, he’d lose in a blowout. He’s so far out of contention, he wouldn’t even be able to cheat his way to victory.
Donald Trump has nine more months to try to significantly boost his approval rating. He will try any number of new schemes to that end. But none of them have gotten him anywhere thus far – partly because the Resistance has been pushing back against his every corrupt move. The Resistance merely needs to keep up the same level of fierceness it’s shown over the past three years, and Trump will lose. He’s not some supervillain we need to hide from under our desks. He’s a bumbling crook who’s barely maintaining a tenuous grip on his power.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report