The reaction to the latest IBD/TIPP poll showing President Trump's approval ratings taking a big hit has been, well, depressing. Liberals are shamelessly cheering it on while some Trump backers are blaming the poll. Both responses are misguided.
The poll shows that only 34% approve of the job Trump is doing, which is a low not seen since the last months of the Bush presidency, when the financial crisis was in full swing.
Clearly, the left's total war against Trump has taken its toll. Every day it is wall-to-wall attacks in news, entertainment, academia and every other corner of daily life. Rather than argue and debate Trump's policies — about which the public is largely in agreement — they've resorted to their favorite weapon: the politics of personal destruction.
So, congratulations, Trump haters. You've managed to drive down his numbers before he's had a chance to actually get much done.
This is not to say that Trump hasn't contributed to his own poor ratings with his ill-conceived tweets, newbie administration mistakes, and a seeming lack of focus on the issues that got him elected. But nothing Trump has done justifies the level of hatred and vitriol being thrown at him.
Now the left is cheering the fact that Trump's poll numbers are down, openly yearning for his presidency to fail entirely. Tweets in response to the IBD/TIPP finding range from "Let's hope so!" to "Please resign" to "Come on base, keep eroding." Some are hoping that Trump's numbers fall further so Republicans will consider impeaching him.
Those are the polite responses. It's a dismal display.
The poll results have also came under fire from the right. IBD has been accused of being an arm of the Democratic Party, and our poll has been called "fake." One critic tweeted: "Polls are rigged to get the results of the pollsters desired political agenda & the proof of that is what transpired during last year's election."
Such attacks are amusing. When the IBD/TIPP poll was showing Trump in the lead, we were attacked as a shill for Republicans. When our poll showed Obama beating Romney in 2012, while other polls said the opposite, IBD was attacked as hopelessly biased to the left.
The truth is that IBD/TIPP has been the most accurate poll in the past four presidential elections because of the meticulousness and dedication of our pollster, Raghavan Mayur. That should lend some credibility to today's approval numbers.
These numbers are sending a clear message. Regardless of who is to blame, Trump is in a serious slump. In just one month, he lost a surprising amount of support among independents and even his strongest backers — such as white men and rural voters.
If Trump wants to turn this around, he and his supporters will have to confront this reality and focus on getting some big wins on the board. Results will matter more than the left's shrill "resist" campaign.
History shows that Trump can turn this around. Clinton's approval rating had dropped to 37% less than five months into his first term, according to Gallup. He went on to decisively win re-election.
Reagan's approval had slumped to 35% two years into his first term. He then won a historic landslide re-election, capturing all but one state.
For now, however, the results are what they are. Reality sometimes can be uncomfortable or unpleasant. But just as celebrating Trump's low approval is wrong, so is denying it altogether.
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