Seven polls conducted over the past week show that more Americans disapprove of President Trump’s job performance than approve, but the populist base that gave him his victory in November remains extremely loyal.
The range of disapproval varies from the Fox News Poll, which shows a three percent margin for disapproval (48 percent to 45 percent), to the CBS News Poll and the Reuters/Ipsos Poll, which both show a 12 percent margin for disapproval (53 percent to 41 percent).
These are many of the same pollsters who predicted Hillary Clinton would easily win an electoral college victory over Trump in November.
Democratic pollster Doug Schoen is skeptical of the latest polling results, and for good reason.
“One hundred days into President Trump’s administration, it is becoming evident that when considering his base, the president has been more successful than many would like to give him credit for,” Schoen wrote on Saturday:
President Trump has accomplished many of the campaign promises he ran on in 2016, and is currently enjoying an 84 percent approval rating among Republicans in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll. More importantly, a full 98 percent of people who voted for him in November say that they are happy with their decision.
Maintaining this level of loyal Republican support has been critical to the president’s success as his approval rating among all Americans, including Democratic voters, hovers between 40 and 50 percent.
Democrats and mainstream media pundits appear to be making the same sorts of errors they did when they analyzed the polls leading up to the November election.
The pre-election polls were in general accurate in their estimates of the national vote totals. The final Real Clear Politics average of polls gave Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton a 2.1 percent national vote advantage over Trump. On election day, Clinton won 48.2 percent of the vote, while Trump won 46.1 percent, giving her a 2.1 percent advantage. (The final vote count, according to the Cook Political Report’s compilation of the certified results from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, was 65.8 million for Clinton and 62.9 million for Trump.)
But the President is elected based upon electoral college results at the state level, not by the national vote total, and that is where most who predicted a Hillary Clinton landslide missed so badly.
Real Clear Politics, for instance, predicted a 272 to 266 electoral college victory for Hillary Clinton when no states were left as “toss-ups.”
Larry Sabato, the dean of mainstream media electoral pundits, predicted a 322 to 216 electoral college landslide victory for Clinton over Trump at the University of Virginia Center for Politics Sabato’s Crystal Ball twenty-four hours before the election results were known.
Clinton’s 2.9 million total national vote margin was driven by a 4.3 million vote surplus in California, where she defeated Trump by a 61 percent to 31 percent margin.
While she won California’s 55 electoral college votes, her 4.3 million vote surplus there added no more electoral college votes to her final electoral college tally than would have a victory with a margin of a single vote.
Trump easily won the electoral college vote, winning in 30 states that had a total of 306 electoral college votes, while Clinton won only 20 states that had a total of 232 electoral college votes. (Due to seven “faithless electors,” Trump ended up winning with 304 electoral college votes to 227 electoral college votes for Clinton.)
The pundits missed the intensity of support for Trump in several swing states that he ended up winning: Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio.
There is no indication that those voters have abandoned Trump 100 days into his new administration. If the enthusiastic public rally he held over the weekend in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is any indication, Trump’s base of support appears to be as strong as ever.
According to the Berkeley-IGS Poll of Californians conducted between March 13 and March 20, California voters disapprove of President Trump’s job performance by a 61 percent to 39 percent margin.
President Trump appears to be no more popular in California 100 days into his administration than he was on election day. But as long as his base remains loyal, Trump’s lack of support in California is largely irrelevant to the success of his presidency.