The #1 factor that determines results of midterm elections is this: the approval ratings of the president.
President Donald Trump’s job approval among independent voters as shown the CNN Poll has dropped 16 points in just one month — from 47 percent approval in early August to just 31 percent approval now.
The news could not be worse for the GOP. It is independents who are the “swing” voters who determine election outcomes. Only about one-third of voters identify as Republicans, so no matter how much they love Trump it won’t matter. The rest of the country can’t stand him, and will probably take it out on Republican candidates in November.
What’s really scary for the GOP — but great news for Democrats — is that Trump’s approval rating has not bottomed out.
Trump’s horrible month started with the Michael Cohen guilty pleas implicating the president as a co-conspirator in crimes. And of course Trump’s former campaign manager was found guilty on eight different criminal counts, which further turned off swing voters. Up until that point many independents had been giving Trump the benefit of the doubt, but no longer.
Donald Trump has too many legal troubles to discuss at length here. But it is not just Bob Mueller who is threatening him. He has several other prosecutors after him (and his family) for crimes committed in the State of New York. And he has many private lawsuits against him also.
Then there is the bad publicity surrounding the anonymous op-ed piece in the New York Times and Bob Woodward’s frightening book, appropriately named “Fear.” These documents provide unsettling insights into the Trump White House. And they have solidified the point of view among average Americans that we have a presidency out of control, being led by a president who poses a grave threat to national security.
And even Omarosa has been releasing more of her secret recordings which prove Trump’s off-the-wall behavior. Things just keep getting worse for the president.
It seems that new revelations and new legal problems keep coming all the time. And that will probably continue between now and election day.
This means that Trump’s approval ratings could drop farther. George W. Bush at one point had approval ratings in the low 20’s, and that is where Trump may end up very soon.
The CNN Poll shows Trump’s approval among independents is on a continuing downward slide. Fully two-thirds of them now disapprove of the job he is doing as president.
Many of these people are in suburban congressional districts currently held by Republicans. In these districts are millions of college-educated voters who have left the GOP — possibly forever — because they don’t want to be associated with The Party of Trump. The poll shows that just 26% of independent voters say that Trump is someone they are proud to have as president.
Like everything else in the Trump White House, the president’s approval ratings are spinning out of control. And with more bad news on the horizon, things will only get worse for Donald Trump and his party between now and election day.