The President's Base vs. the Republican Party
Trump voters care more about having a leader who understands them than about quick policy wins.
The GOP’s inability to scrap ObamaCare this week means, among other things, that President Trump will end his first six months in office without a major legislative accomplishment. And one question is how much his supporters care.
Recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News polling gives the president a 40% job-approval rating among all voters, while 55% disapprove. In counties Mr. Trump won last year, however, voters still back him by 50% to 46%. Similar results come from a Washington Post/ABC News survey released Sunday, which found that the president’s approval rating had slid to 36% from 42% in April, while his disapproval rating had climbed five points to 58%. Yet among Republican voters over the same period, Mr. Trump’s favorability has barely budged and remains above 80%.
Moreover, these polling results reflect voter sentiment since news broke that Donald Trump Jr. met during the campaign with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton —the latest development in the Kremlin “collusion” narrative that has saturated cable news for months. According to the Post/ABC poll, 41% of all voters believe that the Trump campaign helped Russia try to influence the election, but that belief is shared by fewer than 1 in 10 Republican voters. The average Trump supporter’s concern about Russia roughly matches his concern about the president’s unreleased tax returns or witching-hour tweets.
Jason L. Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, and a Fox News commentator.
This piece originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal