Much is being made of President Trump’s lagging approval numbers, which remain historically low, but the narrative being sold with those numbers doesn’t tell the whole story. In a recent survey meant to gauge public opinion coming up on the first 100 days of Trump’s tenure, the question was asked whether voters would change their minds if they had a do-over for 2016. The results, depending on your perspective, might surprise you.
Report from the Washington Examiner:
A new Washington Post poll that declares President Trump as “the least popular president in modern times,” waits until the second to last paragraph to reveal another tidbit: He’d still beat Hillary Rodham Clinton if the election were held today and in the popular vote, not just Electoral College.
The poll found that Trump’s polls continue to be upside down, with a 42 percent approval and 53 percent disapproval.
Also unchanged: His base still likes him.
It’s not until the second to last paragraph of the long story that it’s shown Clinton would still lose to the president, despite the high disapproval ratings and problems with his first 100 days detailed by the paper. It reads:
The new survey finds 46 percent saying they voted for Clinton and 43 percent for Trump, similar to her two-point national vote margin. Asked how they would vote if the election were held today, 43 say they would support Trump and 40 percent say Clinton. [Emphasis added]
It’s the last line that is interesting since it means that many voters who chose Hillary back in November say they would change their vote and support Trump if they have the option again. Certainly some of that is simply due to a desire to be on the winning bandwagon, but some of it probably is a genuine reflection of the mood toward Trump since he’s been in office 3 months now.
Jonathan Karl of ABC News points out that the margin change would have given Trump the popular vote in addition to the Electoral College:
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) April 23, 2017
Now, polls like this don’t necessarily matter much, but they are entertaining to write about and discuss.