Faithful readers of The New York Times were probably surprised on Wednesday when reading its political column “The Upshot” as it examined both President Trump’s favorability and job approval ratings.
The column is titled “Don’t Assume Trump’s Approval Rating Can’t Climb Higher. It Already Has,” and it provides some sobering analysis for the increasingly hostile Trump haters:
Donald J. Trump doesn’t always seem like a candidate focused on expanding his base of support. He may have done so anyway.
The share of Americans who say they have a favorable view of him has increased significantly since the 2016 election.
And over the last few months, some of the highest-quality public opinion polls, though not all, showed the president’s job approval rating — a different measure from personal favorability — had inched up to essentially match the highest level of his term.
It’s not really necessary to chronicle just how awful the media coverage of the president has been during that time span.
“CHILDREN IN CAGES!”
“RACIST RHETORIC MASS MURDER OR SOMETHING!”
And so on.
The Lunatic Left (which really is as nice as I can be when referring to them now) has been unloading on this president in ways we on the other side have been hoping they’d do regarding dictators and terrorists.
The leftists in this country are myopic and rarely exposed to people who don’t agree with them. They truly believe that all of the hate spewed at President Trump by the MSM is received in the same manner that they receive it.
That myopia is leading to some miscalculations:
One common view of the 2020 election, for instance, takes 2016 as a starting point. It notes that Democrats fell just short of victory, and that therefore any number of changes — a better candidate, higher black turnout, and so on — would be enough to win the election in 2020. This way of thinking assumes that the president’s support would remain unchanged — that he could do little to match incremental increases in Democratic turnout or support, compared with 2016.
But it is not 2016 anymore. Millions of Americans who did not like the president in 2016 now say they do. Over all, his personal favorability rating has increased by about 10 percentage points among registered voters since Election Day 2016, to 44 percent from 34 percent, according to Upshot estimates.
My evidence is only anecdotal, but I truly have lost count of how many people I know who didn’t vote for Trump in 2016 but have already made up their minds to do so in 2020. All cite the insanity of the Democrats and the media as the determining factor.
Of course, this column just examines the data, and doesn’t take a deep dive into what might be driving it. That’s a level of introspection that no one at the Times is ready for.
The penultimate paragraph of the column keeps the rough news coming for the Democrats:
Over all, 28 percent of Republican-leaning voters with an unfavorable view of Mr. Trump in 2016 had a favorable view of him by 2018, according to data from the Voter Study Group. The aggregate national data suggests that Mr. Trump has gained more support than that — if not from Republicans then perhaps from some number of independents or former Democrats.
As I only semi-sarcastically tweeted a few weeks ago, at the rate the Left is going, Trump may not even have to campaign to get reelected.