The Republican argument that voters should elect Donald Trump to be the next president was seriously wounded by a new poll that showed President Obama’s job approval rating hitting its highest level since his second inaugural.
NBC News reported on the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll:
Fifty-one percent of registered voters say they approve of the job Obama is doing as president, compared to 46 percent who disapprove.
The last time more than half of the electorate gave Obama a thumbs up in the poll was in January 2013, when Obama took the oath of office after his successful re-election campaign against Republican Mitt Romney.
Obama’s approval rating remains dismal with self-described Republicans, who disapprove of his performance by an 88 percent to eight percent margin. It’s nearly the inverse image for Democrats, who approve of the job Obama is doing by 88 percent to 11 percent. And more than half – 54 percent – of independents give Obama high marks, compared to 44 percent who do not.
Donald Trump’s entire argument for why he should president is that America is no longer great, but with President Obama holding an approval rating that Trump can only dream of, it’s clear that the majority of the Americans don’t share the presumptive Republican nominee’s view of the current state of the country.
The only people who share Trump’s outlook are his fellow Republicans, and there aren’t enough of them to win a general election against Hillary Clinton. The fastest way for Trump to lose will be if he continues to talk about Obama like he is from some parallel universe where George W. Bush never happened, and Barack Obama is responsible for the economic crash, ISIS, and the Iraq war.
Obama’s popularity guts the Republican change argument. Presidents aren’t popular just because they are nice people. Presidents are popular when they do a good job. Obama’s growing popularity is concrete proof that a majority like what he is doing in office. Obama’s popularity, Trump’s unpopularity, and Hillary Clinton’s competence leave Republicans with only one road to run on.
Republicans are going to have run a dirty smear fest of personal attacks against Hillary Clinton, but this tactic is just as likely to backfire on Republicans than it is to help.
Obama is more popular than he has been in years, which is why Republicans could be facing an impossible uphill fight to win the White House in November.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association