No American president has had a higher approval rating in May of his fourth year for almost 25 years, according to the Gallup daily tracking poll. Donald Trump is an anomaly, and he has a clear path to victory in November. Or does he? Trump’s done everything wrong since he was born. And yes, he’s made of pure Teflon and bronzer. Speculation revolves around assuming Americans are “giving Trump a lot of slack,” or because he’s keeping the economy afloat (which he isn’t).
But the data suggest an obvious answer. Trump has never moved around much in the polls. Why? The base. Right now, his base is standing behind him because they have nothing else to hold onto. But there’s something else going on with Trump’s support that leads us to conclude his November odds are actually quite poor, and even his base can’t guarantee he’ll succeed.
Newsweek reported that Trump’s approval ratings has dropped the most among independents, older Americans, and black voters. This is bad for Trump for some obvious reasons. Independents, not Trump’s base, are what matter in November. Swing votes are what decide most presidential elections, and this one will not be an exception. Older Americans are typically far more conservative than younger Americans and they have a much higher voting efficacy. Lastly, Trump never had more than a sliver of support from black voters, but their recent decline in support for him solidifies the black vote even more.
If these voting blocks are truly pulling away from Trump through November, he’s in serious trouble. Truly, presidential elections are decided by a small number of counties. That’s right—not even regions or states, but counties. Trump has targeted campaign efforts in these places and places like them since he started campaigning for his first term. This time, it looks like even that might not have been enough.
Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic response and general animosity towards competence have frustrated Americans. Voters in 2016 wanted a bad boy when the times were good, and they got him. But Trump’s bad boy persona doesn’t help him navigate complex issues, and finally it looks like Americans are punishing him for that with their withdrawal of support. Lady Liberty might like flirting with bad boys, but she also knows a deadbeat when she sees one. It’s time to kick him out of the apartment.