Donald Trump is an unpopular president with an agenda that American voters continue to reject, but a new poll shows he can improve his standing — if he follows Democrats.
The poll, from NBC and the Wall Street Journal, shows Trump still underwater in overall approval. But when asked about his recent decision to agree with Democrats and provide hurricane relief while keeping the government funded, that specific agreement is backed by 71 percent of respondents.
It is the only area in which Trump polls higher than 41 percent. On the rest of the issues voters were asked about — the economy, North Korea, the border, health care, race relations, and the decision to pardon racist sheriff Joe Arpaio, among others — Trump was resoundingly rejected, again and again and again.
The poll also gives further credibility to Trump’s recent inclination to give the congressional leaders of his own party the cold shoulder on several issues. Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan are polling at new lows: McConnell only has an 11 percent positive approval rating, while Ryan is at 24 percent.
When Trump works in concert with Ryan and McConnell to further Republican aims — as with the effort to repeal Obamacare — it creates a toxically unpopular brew of policy and leadership. The poll shows that only an anemic 33 percent believe that Trump has accomplished either a “great deal” or “a fair amount.”
A whopping 66 percent of respondents say Trump has accomplished “only some” or “very little” since taking over the White House.
After meeting for dinner with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, Trump has pursued the idea of negotiating a deal in which immigration reform’s passage would be traded for increased spending on border security and no border wall. The decision has roiled conservatives and forced Trump to spend money to reassure his racist supporters that the wall will still be built.
But this new poll shows that if Trump continues to follow in the footsteps of “Chuck and Nancy,” as he calledthem, voters are ready to give that aspect of his presidency — and possibly only that aspect — their stamp of approval.
And it also exposes the fact that the public’s rejection of Trump’s conservative Republican approach to his presidency is not a fluke. A plurality of voters supported the Democratic agenda and its candidate, Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 election – to the tune of nearly 3 million more ballots in the popular vote.
Despite Trump and the Republican Party’s claim of a popular mandate, it is the party of “Chuck and Nancy,” Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama which continues to generate the ideas the country supports.