Despite Barrage of Attacks, Trump’s Approval Ratings Are on an Upswing

May 11, 2018 Updated: May 11, 2018

The Democrats and the mainstream media have ramped up their attacks on President Donald Trump in recent months.

Pornstar Stormy Daniels has been a bludgeon used by the networks against Trump, and CNN has turned itself into the Stormy Daniels Network. Michael Avenatti, her attorney, appeared 59 times in less than two months on CNN, averaging more than once a day, according to the Media Research Center. MSNBC, not to be outdone, featured Avenatti eight times in four days. Other outlets, though not so crazed as CNN and MSNBC, all have had substantial Stormy Daniels coverage.

However, despite the barrage of attacks, Trump’s approval rating has been steadily rising.

The Rasmussen daily Presidential Tracking Poll on May 8 showed that 47 percent of likely voters approved of Trump’s job performance, just besting President Barack Obama’s rating (46 percent) at the same time in his first term. In a SurveyMonkey poll of registered voters ending on May 2, Trump garnered 47 percent support. The Reuters/Ipsos Core Political poll released May 4 found that 49 percent of registered voters approved of Trump.

The aggregated approval ratings of Trump’s job performance are also on the rise. Real Clear Politics’ average approval rating of Trump as of May 8 was 43.2 percent, comparable to the 44.3 percent reported by FiveThirtyEight, a Democratic-leaning polling site.

A booming economy has apparently helped Trump with his approval rating. The latest unemployment rate is 3.9 percent, the lowest in 18 years. The labor market has tightened so much that employers have to be creative to hire new employees.

Signing bonuses are commonplace in many industries. Firms are holding “Parents’ Night” gatherings to entice high school students to join, while others are promising to pay vacation costs for future employees. The labor shortage is so bad in some Midwest towns that people can receive cash bonuses or get student loan assistance by simply moving there.

While the broad economy continues to improve, the impact of bigger paychecks, felt by many American workers, serves as a more direct and powerful reminder that Trump’s tax reform is working. According to Americans for Tax Reform, a nonprofit advocacy group, nearly 4 million Americans have received bonuses and pay raises, thanks to Trump’s tax cut. Some companies are investing in worker training and educational programs, while others are choosing to beef up employees’ retirement benefits. The pay increases due to the tax cut have likely boosted support for Trump.

The failure of the Russia investigation has likely also contributed to Trump’s rising popularity. Robert Mueller and his team of Democrats spent a year and millions of dollars looking for evidence that Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election. They found zilch.

To declare Trump innocent is not an option for Mueller. He needs something, anything, to nail Trump, hence his interest in Stormy Daniels—and Daniels was one of the topics motivating the raid on Trump’s lawyer, The New York Times reported. But the alleged affair took place long before Trump ran for office and has absolutely nothing to do with Mueller’s mandate.

No wonder a plethora of polls found Americans’ views of Mueller have soured since the beginning of the year. For many voters, especially Republicans, Mueller is slowly but surely turning himself into the poster boy of government overreach and prosecutorial misconduct, and along the way, cementing Trump’s status as the victim of a witch hunt.

Finally, Democrats’ pain may be Trump’s opportunity to gain. There are signs that young voters and minorities are slipping away from the Democratic Party and embracing the idea of small government. A Reuters/Ipsos poll revealed that among registered voters ages 18 to 34, the support for the Democrats dropped 9 percent in the past two years.

To be sure, not all of these people defected to the Republican camp, but the support for the GOP in the demographic saw a general increase, most prominently among white millennials. It is reasonable to assume Trump’s support among the millennials improved as a result.

Minority voters have long been considered the most reliable voting blocs for the Democrats. The situation may be changing. Following Kanye West’s “coming out” on Twitter by posting a picture of himself wearing a hat with Trump’s campaign slogan, Trump’s approval rating among black men jumped to 22 percent in a Reuters poll on April 29, a 100 percent increase compared to the same poll just one week before. Among blacks overall, Trump’s support nearly doubled over the same period.

This could be due to the celebrity effect of West, and therefore short-lived. An alternative hypothesis, more probable in my opinion, is that there are many “closet” black Trump supporters. They might have been afraid of publicly supporting Trump, until West came along. If Trump can clinch their support at the ballot box, the Democrats could be in real trouble.

Democrats and their media allies like to talk about the “blue wave” these days. Color me skeptical. Major events that will shape the 2018 midterm election have not yet taken place, and many could be huge boosters for Trump’s approval ratings.

One example is the North Korea diplomacy effort. The two Koreas are said to be negotiating a peace agreement and permanent denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. If Trump can make this happen, he will go down in history as one of the greatest presidents of the United States.

Another example is the trade disputes with China. No U.S. president since the 1990s has had the courage or the wisdom to take on the structural imbalance of U.S.–China trade, until Trump. It is worth noting that China, under the threat of a trade war, has already offered rare concessions. It is likely the two countries will reach some agreement, and Trump stands to gain from the deals. The so-called “blue wave” is nothing more than a Democratic propaganda tactic.


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Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.