If you want to understand why Donald Trump’s 2020 poll numbers are terrible and getting even worse, all you need to consider is this: instead of trying to fix the numerous things that are going wrong for him right now, Trump is instead obsessed with trying to demonize former FBI Director James Comey. He’s playing solely to his base, because he’s still incapable of understanding that he can’t get reelected with his base alone.
By any available math, Donald Trump’s base is no more than around twenty percent of the country. His approval rating is around forty percent because another twenty percent of the country has been trying to hang in there with him despite never having really been a fan. But Trump seemingly never has been able to parse this. He’s losing his non-base supporters because they care about things like the worsening economy and the fact that world leaders are walking all over him, even as he continues to pander solely to his base supporters by focusing on nonsense like Comey.
Trump apparently thought he was going to be able to put James Comey on criminal trial for false charges during the 2020 general election, and that this was somehow going to magically cause him to become popular enough to win in 2020. Even for a man whose decision making is so bad he’s gone bankrupt six times, this is one of the most self-defeating ideas he’s ever had. Now that bad idea has been taken off the table.
Donald Trump’s Department of Justice almost did Trump a favor by releasing an Inspector General report which clears James Comey of any criminal wrongdoing for publishing his memos about Trump. This means Trump can’t have Bill Barr bring false charges against Comey after all, because any judge would take one look at the IG report and immediately throw the charges out.
You almost wonder if Bill Barr allowed the DOJ Inspector General report to be published because he knows that Donald Trump would be committing political suicide by putting James Comey on trial. In any case, Trump’s desire to prosecute Comey was always a dead end strategy, and now even that dead end strategy has reached a dead end.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report