A new approval poll is out for Mr. Trump, and the results speak volumes about how this election is going to go.
Trump’s approval rating has never dipped below 32% or risen above 42% in AP-NORC polls since he took office. According to AP, no other president has stayed within so narrow a band.
The key here is in that last sentence. That suggests the people who support him will continue to support him no matter what. He could be filmed walking into a shopping mall to strangle puppies in the pet store with his belt, and they would still say, “I heard them was ISIS puppies.”
At the same time, the folks who hate him will hate him no matter what. That same video could be extended to show the apparent Trump taking off a mask and revealing someone else, and then the real Trump skydiving in to simultaneously thwart the puppy-strangling fake Trump while effectively administering CPR to the puppies, and they would still hate him.
In other words, 90% of the country knows whether they will vote for or against Trump right now. The process of things like political ads and debates will be pointless for that 90%. Totally pointless.
And it’s likely that the folks working on that content know this already. Everything will be shaped toward convincing a tiny group of people: those likely to vote but who aren’t sure whether more Trump is a good idea.
It’s actually pretty amazing to imagine someone not knowing the answer to that question. However, the big factor in deciding things for those people is likely to be something other than campaign ads or general election debate performance. Most likely, the main factor will be whether or not they are choosing between Trump and a radically progressive nominee from the left.
The folks who “might or might not vote for Trump” are not going to be progressives. They are going to be center or center-right. Almost completely. So, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren won’t be their cup of tea. As we see it, that’s the principle explanation for Joe Biden’s continued dominance in the polls.
And the new AP data further reinforces that idea.