This story is unavailable.

Thanks for your response and encouragement, Biff. You make good points. I like to look at the bottom line: is the opposition actually hurting Trump politically? The recent data, at least, seems to say no, given that a couple recent polls have put Trump’s approval/disapproval at 53/47 and 48/47. They came from Rasmussen and Fox News respectively. That said, a Gallup poll has him at a disastrous 40/53, while an Economist/YouGov poll has him at a mediocre 46/49. These are the four most recent approval polls. Throw out the two outliers (Rasmussen and Gallup) and you’re left with an average approval of 47% and a disapproval of 48%.

Interestingly in that Gallup poll, strong majorities say Trump “keeps his promises (62%)” and “is a strong, decisive leader (59%).” 53% say Trump “can bring about the change this country needs.” His immigration policies also enjoy strong support, and that includes among Hispanics.

I bring this up to make the point that the attacks don’t seem to be harming him all that much. What helped Republicans with their unbending opposition to Obama is that it turned out a lot of people liked Obama himself, but not his policies. That’s why, I think, you saw Obama dominate elections in 2008 and 2012, when he was on the ballot, but his party got routed in mid-terms, when he wasn’t on the ballot, just his party’s policies.

So Republicans were basically winning the argument on substance during Obama’s term, meaning they were getting through to voters in their rigid opposition to Obama’s policies. But they couldn’t get through to voters emotionally and personally, which Obama did very well.

With Trump, I think he’s less popular than his policies, actually. I think the country might be more supportive of Trump’s policies than they were Obama’s, and that could work against Democrats.

Like what you read? Give Austin Frank a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.