Yesterday a new ABC News / Washington Post poll put Donald Trump’s approval rating at 36% (Sign up for the free Palmer Report mailing list
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So by hyping this 36% number, the media is serving to drive his next round of polls even further downward. In fact the media all pushed that ABC/WaPo so hard yesterday, it managed to bait Donald Trump into tweeting about it. He tried to round 36% up to “almost 40%” which he insisted is “not bad at this time” (link). But by merely acknowledging his bad poll numbers, Trump is bringing further attention to them, thus unwittingly helping to contribute to the downward spiral.
The question is why the media is choosing now to go there. Trump’s polling average is now at its lowest point, but he’s had worse individual poll numbers than this in past months. Now that collusion has been proven between the Trump campaign and the Russians, the media seems to have decided that the general public is ready and willing to hear about just how historically unpopular Trump is. So after months of the media propping Trump up to make sure its ratings cash cow lasted a bit longer, the media seems to have collectively decided that its best post-collusion ratings play is to begin destroying Trump for all to see.
The irony here is that the ABC/WaPo poll in question was conducted before the worst of the collusion story surfaced, so it’s not even a result of the collusion story. It’s just another pre-collusion poll that demonstrated Donald Trump’s long term unpopularity, like the last hundred polls have. But the media has collectively decided that now is the time to send Trump’s presidency into an unpopularity death spiral amid the collusion scandal, and it couldn’t be bothered to wait another week for poll numbers that actually reflect that scandal. So be it. The downward spiral is now in effect. If you find Palmer Report valuable, make a donation.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report