Trump’s Popularity

Since the start of his presidency, Trump has gotten fairly low approval ratings from Gallup Poll, generally between 33 to 45% approval ratings.  But this isn’t the worst ratings by far.   Harry Truman (22%) and George W. Bush (25%) still hold the record in lowest  approval ratings during their time in office.

There is a tendency to relate Trump’s popularity to the news of the day, and I think this is unwarranted from survey data.  Basically,  the distinguishing feature of Trump’s approval rating has been how little reaction there has been to any news, positive or negative.   The graph below comes from an excellent website, fivethirtyeight.com which combines polls from various organizations.   I also examined the Gallup poll on approval ratings which has very similar results.

I consider two periods,  a declining trend from around 45% to 38% approval in the first 6 months of his presidency, and then basically a flat period after that. The intersection of these two trendlines is shown as July 10, 2017  is a bit arbitrary, and one can easily make a case for the flat period beginning weeks before or after this date.

 

Survey results will vary because the polling uses a very small sample (usually less than 2,000) and organizations will conduct surveys in different ways.  In the graph above, the range of results is shown in the lightly colored red and green shading.   The surveys are estimates of how the larger population feels about the president, approve, disapprove or no opinion/unsure.    This larger population can be the entire adult population of the US,  or the registered voters or those residents who are likely to vote in an election.  Which population is targeted can make a difference.

The links below provide good summaries of approval rating polls of President Trump for the different organizations.   One of the more surprising aspects is the variation of  the “unsure” group, from 1% to 12%.    There may  be a number of reasons for this variation.  An automated telephone poll may only allow for people to respond as approve, disapprove or unsure, while a live pollster may attempt to coax out of a respondent, a disapproval or approval rating.

The “Doubling” Story from Breitbart – Fox – Trump

Breitbart news (an online news service, which is known to be highly supportive of Trump’s policies) recently declared, “Donald Trump’s Support Among Blacks Has Doubled Since 2016, Amid Racism Claims”   followed by “Two new polls show President Donald Trump’s rising support among black voters, highlighting his political gains from pushing employers to hire Americans instead of lower-wage migrants.”   This quickly went from Breitbart to Fox News to a White House tweet as follows:

Unemployment for Black Americans is the lowest ever recorded. Trump approval ratings with Black Americans has doubled. Thank you, and it will get even (much) better! @FoxNews

By any measure, approval ratings for Trump are very low among blacks.  The “doubling” result came from using an exit poll, which showed 8% of blacks voted for Trump as compared with a recent poll by Survey Monkey, showed a 17% approval rating from black respondents.  One survey was with actual voters, and the second was done by a different organization (Survey Monkey) picking people at random from the entire population, so the results are not comparable.   Gallup polls showed Trump’s approval rating among blacks was highest just after the election (about 15%) and in the range of 10 to 14% for the next four months.  In the last six months, the approval ratings are in the range of 6 to 11% without a discernible trend.   The average in the last six months (June to December) appears to be about 8%.  When consistent survey results are compared, there is no doubling of approval, as claimed by President Trump, who was quoting Fox News, who was quoting Breitbart.

The last polling data released from Gallup on black Americans a 6% approval for the time period of Dec 25 – 31, 2017.   There’s a lot of apparent random variation in the survey numbers so I wouldn’t read much into this number, as opposed to the six month trend of 8% approval.

We tend to vote by Party and stay loyal to this party

My main point, is that if you look at either polls focused on the population in general, registered voters or specific groups, such as black Americans, there hasn’t been much variation, except what one would expect from survey inaccuracies.

Based on Gallup data,  approximately 80% of Republicans approve of Trump, while only 8% of Democrats approve of Trump.   If the country is split 50:50 between Republicans and Democrats, this would give Trump an approval rating of 44%,  which is what he had at the beginning of his term.  The 2016 popular vote, would certainly support the idea of a nearly even split  between parties.   So, each party must some how win over the undecided vote, while still maintaining their base.

I tend to believe Trump supporters voted consistently for Republicans, while Clinton supporters voted consistently for Democrats.  So,  it’s more of a loyalty to the party’s agenda than the individual running the country,.

Generic Balloting

The polling organizations are attempting to assess the outcome of  the  2018 Congressional Elections by asking respondents,  whether they would be likely to vote for candidates from the Republican or Democratic party.   The question posed to respondents may also be which party they would like to see control Congress.  This is referred to as Generic  Ballot.   So far, polling has shown Democrats lead Republicans (46% to 39%),  but a lot can change before November.   In the last few weeks, Republicans seem to be edging higher, but there is a lot of variation in the data, so it would be very premature to consider this a trend.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_approval_rating

http://news.gallup.com/interactives/185273/r.aspx?g_source=WWWV7HP&g_medium=topic&g_campaign=tiles

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/01/14/donald-trump-support-from-blacks-spikes-amid-racism-claims/

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/congress-generic-ballot-polls/?ex_cid=rrpromo

Thank you horrible, horrible people

All governments and businesses are inherently closed and dishonest organizations. This is not being negative, because  I’m not saying they are closed and dishonest all the time, in every aspect.  Just occasionally when something goes very wrong.   The public wants to know why VW manipulated their emission tests and how stupid the EPA could have been to accept these tests. Or how could  Wells Fargo opened up millions of fake accounts.   We want to know  the details of how VA  military  hospitals were able to cheated the system in reporting the time veterans had to wait for their urgent medical needs.  Or the IRS scandal where non=profit organizations  were systematically targeted if their  applications contained certain keywords, almost always related to conservative causes.  We want to know what was hit when the bombs dropped in Yemen missed their target under Trump.  Or when a Children’s hospital was bombed under Obama.    And we want to know how many times, Obama took vacations to go golfing.  Same with Trump.   And the same with the next president.

Another words, we want dirt.  It is our right.   Freedom of the press is how we keep our government and businesses honest.

Trump has been blasting  unfavorable media commentary to a new level.    Much of his problems stem from the way he portrays events.   The dishonesty of reasons behind Comey’s firing is a case in point, which I and others have covered enough. Commentary which blends the news with insight  is  either incredible, amazing, terrific or despicable, horrible, dishonest  or totally fake.   When the mother of all bombs was dropped on Afghanistan, CNN brought in a group of  military experts and  all were in full support of Trump’s action.  No problem with CNN.  But after Trump  said more had been done to defeat ISIS in Afghanistan in 8 weeks of his administration  than 8 years under Obama, one former military expert described that as a highly derogatory statement  to those serving in  armed forces.

He can’t be satisfied with his own accomplishments; he has to show he is better than Obama and Democrats.    His wild exaggerations are quickly picked up by dedicated  reporters.    Case in point, the Obama administration wiretapped the Trump towers.  Director Comey replied there is no evidence of this.   Should Comey have said, “No comment, it is under investigation” ? Would he have score some loyalty points?

Trump  stated in his latest interview with Judge Jeanine Pirro, that she is a fair and balanced reporter as she tossed a number of  softball questions at Trump.    I turned the channel at this point.  She is known for her non-stop rants against Hillary Clinton:

 Hillary, snap out of it,” Pirro said. “I’m tired of going through this with you. You’re a two-time loser who lost because you were a lousy candidate, you didn’t have a message, you lied every time you opened your mouth; you didn’t know what states to campaign in, you put our national security at risk with your amateur email setup, you were in a foundation that was nothing more than an organized criminal enterprise parading as a charity, four men died under your watch as you lied about a video, and there [were] a billion dollars missing from the State Department when you left. And I could go on and on, but I just don’t have the time. So, stop with the poor me nonsense. We’ve had it with you Clintons always claiming victimhood. The two of you haven’t followed the rules since the day you both showed up in your bell bottoms in Arkansas.”

Imagine if she said the same words to Trump, “You lied every time you opened your mouth,” Wow, end of interview, I sure. I watch Fox News for the news segments, not the commentary. I would not watch her show as too much tabloid gossip (Hillary steals a billion from the State Department).   Gee,  wouldn’t you think there would be an investigation?

Reporters are not going to get the straight story from government and inside information is fundamental to full reporting.    Piecing together the truth requires getting facts from people on the inside.   Leaking was given high praise by candidate Trump, and now widely condemned by President Trump.  Every person he fires from government can talk freely about their experiences.

Keep up the good work you horrible, horrible reporters from the mainstream media.    America needs you, for this president and all future presidents.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

The Media

 

laugh fest

Image from Africanews.com on South Sudan Laugh Festival last week.

The  four axioms of media reporting are:

  1. If it bleeds, it leads.*
  2. Incidences closer to the viewing audience are far more important than further away.
  3. The more similar the victims are to the viewing audience, the more likely people will watch
  4. Commentary should  conform to long held beliefs of viewing audience.  Fox has conservative  commentators and MSNBC has liberal commentators.

A terrorist attack in a shopping mall in Iowa.  Hasn’t happened, but if it does,  you will have every reporter in the country swarming down to cover the story.  And every political candidate will have something to say with tweets and text messages flying around within milliseconds.

A 178 people have die from an epidemic of  yellow fever in Angola. Reported last week. It was on BBC, one of my favorite news channels. Relatively unimportant as it is in Africa.

A blend of happy and sad news is nice.  Obama dancing the tango is fine. Of course, if you’re Fox News,  everything can be Obama’s fault.  Instead of dancing the tango, our Chief-in-Commander should be flying to Brussels in Air Force 1 , dressed on combat gear,  on the phone to the Brussels’ police demanding two Muslim terrorists are caught right now.

There is a lot of  election year theatrics.  Interpol exists if  you don’t know.  Fox plays to its audience- like usual. If Obama did try to be involved,   Fox would have come down, full force, that he was grandstanding,  totally superficial and an attempt to score points from a tragic event.  But both Kerry and Biden went to Belgium. and I’m certain discussions are of a longer term strategy for defeating ISIL fanatics.

Reporting from China or Moscow, what six people on the street think about Donald Trump is not international news.

A lot of things happen in the past week.  How many reporters flew to South Sudan to participate in the first Laugh Festival?

South Sudan’s Laugh Festival

From the looks of it, some people were close to dying from laughter.   How in the world do you have a laugh festival in a country beset with so many problems?  South Sudan is one of the world’s newest country,  for 2 years has been in a terrible civil war.

Yes, dear – there are serious events occurring outside of the US – Europe, and the other three “newsworthy” countries Cuba, Canada and Mexico.  The Brazilian Congress has started impeachment proceedings against their president, Dilma Rouseff  this week and over 3 million people protested against the government in Sao Paulo.

And just last week,  South African police launch a graft probe against the President Duduzane Zuma’s son.

Volkswagen and the EPA were supposed to be in court this week to tell the judge if the problems with emissions were fixable.  They got a one month extension.  I think it’s their second extension.

Last week, we learned scientists believe the Zika virus has been around in Brazil for 2 years. To me that’s frightening.

From the country down under, the Great Barrier Reef is disappearing due to climate change:

Great Barrier Reef 

But like the news of South Sudan’s festival, there was plenty of positive news, of which 99% goes unreported.  The new funding for World Health Organization to combat yellow fever in Africa last week has to be one of them.  The agreement signed in Egypt  between defense ministers from 27 African and Arab countries, pledging  information sharing in combating terrorism is another.  Or how women farmers are making a big difference and the great work of the Rainforest Alliance.  Terrific news.

I like to watch BBC  and Al-Jazeera news.   I like One American News, but only for their reporting, not commentary.  They keep them separate.  I like Bloomberg News.   I watch Fareed Zakaria  on CNN which is good,  except he should let others give “their take” as the lead in to the program.

Perhaps, the media could have reported on South Sudan’s laugh fest as kind of a happy news filler.

Stay tuned.

Dave

  • quote from Marshall McCluhen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just turn the channel…

Fox, OANN and MSNBC do “suck-up interviews” all the time.   Fox is the worse.  The guest is promoted as an expert in a particular area.  On Fox and OANN, the questions begin with “We would like your opinion on the terrible mess that Obama has created in ….  ” and you can fill in the blanks.   What ever the expert responds,  the interviewer will act amazed at the answer, with a comment, like “that’s exactly right” , “absolutely”,  etc. Frequently, the interviewer will be the one supplying the opinions, and all the other person has to do it agree with what is being said.

I call them suck-up interviews,  because it is exactly what employees do with a demanding boss, namely agree 100% to whatever is being said.

It is done less on MSNBC, but they will often be interviewing liberal democrats and not critically questioning them.

People can select their particular show, and begin to absorb conservative or liberal ideas as their particular religion.  You too, can join the choir.  If it makes you feel good, it can’t be all that bad.

Unfortunately, this leads to highly conservative and liberal groups, and not much in between.

Who doesn’t do suck up interviews?   For the most part, CNN.   Other stations,  BBC and Al-Jazeera are two good stations.

Don’t listen to the suck up stuff, just turn the channel.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

Trump vs. Chiller- Tough Choice

I watched Trump for a bit last night.  Pretty frightening stuff.  My wife turned the channel to Chiller, which showed make believe blood.  Probably a better choice.

Trump was attacking Caroline Kennedy, Ambassador to Japan, who according to many in the country, has been an excellent ambassador.    Why?  Because she keeps to the mission of an embassy, as the personal representative of the US Government and its policies, in the maintenance of good diplomatic and business relations.

Trump thinks ruthless take-over specialists, like Carl Icahn, would be best for these positions.   Get in your face type negotiations might work in Trump’s work, of spreading the Trump brand around the world.  But if a diplomat tries this,  they get expelled from the country.

As I clicked through the channels,  there was Marco Rubio, praising Trump (his normal feigned praise)  for capturing the frustration and anger of Americans.  What Trump was really doing, was playing on the stupidity of Americans, and Marco wanted some of his ratings.  Little dog following big dog syndrome.

Then, Fox News chimed in, saying Trump was speaking for the silent majority.   This was too much.  If I want something scary,  there’s always chiller.

The real silent group are thousands of diplomats within the State Department and other agencies, working along side diplomats of other countries, to promote better relations.  It’s called quiet diplomacy and given a chance, it works pretty well.

In Latin America, Quiet Diplomacy Bears Fruit

Stay tuned,

David Lord