Trump's lies, autocratic tries, and Russian ties have not seemed to bother his core supporters and the overwhelming majority of Republicans still stand by their man. Per January 10-11 polls, Trump's job approval stands little changed at around 37-40%, but those disapproving, especially independents , increased their numbers since December, reflecting the government shutdown. Time will tell whether that dip is temporary or permanent.Even constant fact checking of Trump's lies and untruths have not made a dent in his core supporters. Circumstances are about to change with Democrats gaining a majority in the House of Representatives and his lies and ties could finally catch up with him.
There has been talk of impeachment, but if the Nixon/Watergate pattern is followed, it will take a greater shift of public opinion against Trump than what is revealed in the polls now. Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment when public approval dropped to 31% and Senators saw it was no longer in their political interest to keep him in office. What finally caused the shift in the polls from a high job approval rating and re-election was Nixon's White House attorney John Dean's mea culpa testimony before Congress and the release of the incriminating, smoking gun tapes of Oval Office conversations .
Until now, a compliant GOP controlled Congress had buried exploring negatives that would have hurt the President. The midterms were a revolt by over 53% of voters who were indeed bothered enough by some of his shortcomings to flip the House blue and check his power. Trump had attacked our democratic institutions, stacking the courts with supporters, using executive orders and threatening to call a national emergency when none exists in order to thwart Congressional opposition to his demands. What the House Democrats will do with subpoena powers and publicly televised hearings could result in game changing opinion polls Trump's personal lawyer who is on his way to prison will testify to Congress in open hearings. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to present his report the the Justice Department in mid February.
Until then, the ever investigative reporting free press will be the ones raising eyebrows and adding passion to those who oppose him. Last week, the New York Times published an eye opener, that The FBI was so suspicious of Trump's cozy relationship with Russia they launched a counterintelligence investigation into the newly elected President. This was not just a criminal investigation into collusion or conspiracy or a discovery of the means and extent of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. Counter intelligence investigations regarding the loyalty of a president to the US have never happened before. Counter intelligence is one of the functions of the FBI. Raising the FBI's suspicion level were Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey and Trump's twice publicly linking it to "that Russiar thing" . His campaign organization was laced with those with Russian ties and contacts with Russian spies and oligarch friends of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump's financial dealings and aspirations to build Trump Tower in Moscow, and his stated foreign policy initiatives that supported expansionist Russian goals were in plain sight. The FBI feared he was a Russian asset or an unwitting victim of KGB alum Putin who had something on him or had something to offer him him. . following the outcome of the counter intelligence investigation was the establishment of the special counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller. Outrage, indignation at the FBI's actions and the leak to the press were the responses from both Trump and his supporters, but they offered no rebuttals to the substance of the FBI counter intelligence probe. Where that counter intelligence investigation stands now will not be known until, if ever, or unless a Mueller report sees the light of day.
As it stands now, n spite of indictments , guilty pleas , and court filings revealing actions by Russians to help Trump get elected, his core supporters still give him high marks. The A for effort to make good on campaign promises seems to count more than the outcome. Blaming others for shortcomings is a Trump trademark. The results of his attempts have had some unintended consequences and some palpable failures. He has left a track record of using lies to justify his agenda, but have not shaken his support. He has attacked our democratic institutions, stacking the courts with supporters, using executive orders and threatening to call a national emergency when none exists in order to thwart Congressional opposition to his demands. Perhaps the answer was best illustrated by a responder to a recent column, "I don't care if he lies; I just like what he is doing". This is in spite of a tax plan that brought no relief to the middle class , that did not stimulate growth enough to pay for the tax cuts for the rich, a trade policy that failed to stop automobile plant closures and a trade war that nearly destroyed Midwest agri-business, only saved by a $12 billion tax payer paid bailout. He has attacked our democratic institutions, stacking the courts with supporters, using executive orders and threatening to call a national emergency when none exists in order to thwart Congressional opposition to his demands. Full employment and a thriving enough economy plus his anti immigrant, anti women's choice stance may account for his steady core support. Many opposing the president suspect Trump has been successful in hyping an atmosphere of fear of "others" among those who already are uneasy about changing demographics.
Footnote: Jan. 14, Real Clear Politics show Donald Trump's job approval polls are tanking.
|President Trump Job Approval||IBD/TIPP||Approve 42, Disapprove 54||Disapprove +12|
|President Trump Job Approval||CNN||Approve 37, Disapprove 57||Disapprove +20|
|Direction of Country||IBD/TIPP||Right Direction 41, Wrong Track 58||Wrong Track +|