Baby Trump Balloon was down and out. An angry British right winger had rushed the usually airborne symbol of resistance to the 45th U.S. President and stabbed it with a pair of scissors while it was temporarily grounded in London.
BTB lay in a sad puddle of latex, the stabber was arrested, and no doubt political comics quickly started writing jokes about gas bags and thin skin. But our latest CNN poll shows it is not really clear who should be laughing.
Because while most voters still do not approve of the way Donald Trump is handling the office, the majority — 55 percent — still think he will be re-elected. And that number is rising. It’s a peculiar phenomenon which feels even odder when you look at the numbers behind it.
Do most Americans think he is helping the middle class? Nope. Our poll found only 45 percent giving him a thumbs up on that issue. So they support him on immigration? No, again. Only 43 percent like how he is handling it. How about trade? Uh uh. Only 42 percent are in his corner.
Do most voters think he is an inspiring leader? As the kids say, hell-to-the-no. Among reasons cited in the poll for his abysmal approval rating (Trump has still never been above 50 percent) is a general feeling that he is “not presidential” and “disrespectful, insulting [and] rude.”
However, he crosses the halfway threshold to approval on a single, whopping item: The economy. 53 percent of voters think he’s doing an OK job on what many political analysts have long considered the thing that matters most.
Add to that the homefield advantage of an incumbent president (I mean, who else can just stand next to a helicopter, start yakking, and have all the major news channels take it live?) his rabid support among Republicans, the Candidate-Palooza going on among the Democrats — and it’s easy to see why most voters might see re-election on the horizon.
But is all this enough to truly help the president with consistently the lowest approval rating in modern history to win again? Hard to say. Because as dedicated as his supporters are, the opposition is also extremely fired up — and even Baby Trump Balloon has been patched and is flying again.