Against heavy odds, Trump rises 6 points in two weeks, according to Gallup poll

His face showing the strains of office, President Trump has obviously been on the job in the coronavirus pandemic.

Apparently the voters have noticed, and Fox News reports that Trump is rising with voters:

President Trump’s job approval soared 6 points in the last two weeks, according to the latest Gallup poll.

The new survey found 49 percent approve of the president’s job in office and 47 percent disapprove, a personal best with Gallup for Trump. Two weeks ago, 43 percent approved of the president’s job, according to the pollster.

Trump also had a 49 percent approval rating in mid-March, according to Gallup, before his rating took a 6-point plunge in the first half of April.

For us, that's reason for 'cautious optimism' as the market guys like to say. Or better still 'the trend is your friend.'

It comes against so many external negatives that would otherwise sink any other politician.

First, the economy is shut down, and doing very badly. No economy, no good approval ratings -- something Presidents Obama and Jimmy Carter never understood (though Bubba Clinton did).  Trump had a stellar economy before the onset of the coronavirus, and it all went kaput quickly as any business not deemed 'essential' was shut down. The latest reading says thirty million people have been thrown out of work - restaurateurs, lawyers, rock concert promoters, wedding planners, florists, masseuses, ice cream parlor operators, fair ground organizers, architects, newspapers, advertising firms, bartenders, just throwing some of the range out there. Worse still, the surge of unemployment claims overwhelmed many state systems, ironically so, because all the attention was on preventing the overwhelming of the health care systems

Second, the government response: The paucity of testing kits was but one detail, most people colored access to that gone and recognized they were on their own. There was also the stimulus check blundering, and while $1,200 is helpful, it's no substitute for a lost job, for most. Worse still, there were the glitches in getting people paid - anyone who filed with Turbotax or H&R Block and didn't get a refund is someone who's still waiting for a paper check, maybe in mid-May. There were those overhwelmed unemployment claim systems, driving many to go to GoFundMe for help. Things like this raise hopes and crush them, leaving voters discouraged.

Third, there was the small business bailout, which while generous on paper, saw a piggish rush for funds from places like Harvard, while little tiny businesses, such as that bike repair shop in Pacific Beach, or the tiny flower shop in Greenwich, were left wanting because the cash ran out. How'd the pigs get to the trough first for this program intended to help the little guys who were obeying the social distancing orders at the cost to their livelihoods, and who allowed this whole fiasco to happen? 

Fourth, there were the insane acts of the state governors - Gretchen Whitmer telling Michiganders they can't ride speedboats or buy garden seeds, New Jersey's governor telling one tulip farm it can stay open for drive-through viewings, and another it can't, and California's government issuing a blunt punishment to Orange County for its fresh-air beaches, arguable for not social distancing, but not the other places that have been violating the distancing requirements at least as much. While these travesties are not the work of Trump, the perps are all Democrats, it's easy for the frustrations inherent in these acts of petty tyranny to redound to the president.

Fifth, there were the bad models, tons of them, all under the banner of 'science' and they've all been badk, but the consequences for the economy that have come of President Trump following them, have been all too real.

Sixth, there's been a uniformly hostile press, twisting and distorting Trump's every word, taking him literally but no seriously, running 'gotcha' stories, whipping up fears and hysteria and fake news, as well as vowing censorship of Trump. 

Any of these things would sink an ordinary president. Normally, an economy like this current one is a death sentence for any political leader's prospects, and a change of government from voters would be imminent, whether what was happening was his fault or not.

Yet what we have here against some tremendous odds is Trump slowly rising, something that signals some inherent political strength underlying all the bad poll numbers and nonstop media badmouthing.

Some things stand out that might just be neutralizing this toxic brew for Trump:

One, Trump's been pretty stellar at crisis management - getting the ventilators, mobilizing the navy hospital ships, doing his great acts of assistance even for states led by rabid Trump haters and with large bases of anti-Trump voters. Politics has been thrown out the window, at least on his side of things, the same cannot be said for congressional Democrats, who still plot about not letting a crisis go to waste, politicize legislative delays of aid, and throw in a good round of murder talk, hoping Trump supporters die. Managing a crisis, which includes detailing with incomplete information, warring subordinates, conflicting priorities and nonstop flaring fires flashing up - is not a job for a fainthearted leader, but Trump specializes in these scraps.  

Two, there's a broad picture of altruism - Trump knew that his political strong point has been his economy. But he confronted the coronavirus head on anyway, knowing full well he'd be sacrificing his politial ace in the hole, the economy. It was more important to get rid of the pandemic and save the people. As he said at one pres conference, to some trolling reporter: No deaths are acceptable. The aim was to win. BUt the aim was also altruistic, someone attempting to do the right thing wihout regard for any potential polticial consequences, without regards to political costs to himself. People can see that. So no surprise, Trump is slowly rising.

Three, Trump is absolutely engaged, his mind running on all cylinders even as he sometimes misfires in the course of thinking out loud and trying to generate ideas. At least he's engaged, at least he's trying to find a solution, he has his eyes on the ball and he intends to win this. The 'Lysol' case is the latest example. Even if Trump came off as advising a bad solution (which if you read carefully, he didn't), he's signaled that the doors are open for the creative process, the time of blotting-paper bureaucrats hostile to all innovation is now over. Other presidents would have appointed a commission and walked off. But Trump has been consistently out there seeking a solution, and pulling out all stops, including ending regulations, to open the gates to the best minds to flourish. Voters have got to be noticing that, too.

Four, while Trump is trying to do the right thing with encouraging the social distancing and listening to the likes of Dr. Anthony Fauci and other so-called experts, he's been very sensitive to human beings, too. The stimulus checks, made tax free, and available to almost everyone, are unprecedented. The Navy captain who made a bad call to leak his coronavirus cases to the press instead of the chain of command, got sympathy from Trump. He subsequently got what looks like an unprecedented U-turn on his being relieved of command and seems to be headed toward reinstatement, something that virtually never happens in the military, where a black mark is a career killer. Trump specifically said he didn't want to ruin the main's life "because he had a bad day." There's an element of human compassion running through Trump's barking hotel manager style.   

It adds up to a 49% presidential approval rating and a 'personal best' for President Trump, according to Gallup, which may just mean a smooth re-election, given the fact that independent voters in the last election broke for Trump. Trump's enthusiasm factor is higher, his fundraising is better, and he commands the best real estate - the bully pulpit - much to the media's best bid to make that a negative.

Will it translate to victory to Trump in November? It's going to be a risky thing, given that polls still show Trump underwater to the odious and incompetent Joe Biden, with losses among independents and women, but all the same, this could be turning around. It may be that Trump pulls it off, on the grounds that the trend for Trump is upward. Plus, Biden is losing support from longtime Democratic pillars of the establishment such as the New York Times and Planned Parenthood. The press is gloating continuously that Biden is ahead, but Biden hasn't been able to translate that into any strength in his party -- there's stll talk about replacing him. He's still trying to say, one way or another, that he promises to be a placeholder president, a one-termer instead of an assertive leader, as Trump has shown himself to be.

Polls in fact, were quite wrong about Trump winning in 2016, but not all of them. In this case, it's important to watch the most accurate of them for presidential races, such as IBD-TIPP and Rasmussen, (even Gallup can be pretty good) and pay attention to what stage of the game we're now at, too. And above all, hope for luck. Fingers crossed, Trump stands a rising chance of doing it.

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Photo illustration by Monica Showalter with use of Pixabay public domain image.

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