Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Memo: Dems grapple with Trump’s resilience

The Hill

President Trump’s approval rating is largely unchanged in the first polls to emerge after his widely criticized performance at last week’s joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin — and Democrats are scratching their heads.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Sunday showed Trump’s approval rating rising to 45 percent, his highest level in that poll since taking office. And an Economist/YouGov survey showed no significant deviation from Trump’s numbers the previous week.

The polls included some responses before and some after Trump’s July 16 news conference with Putin in Helsinki, meaning it’s possible that a more pronounced negative impact could show up in the next wave of polls. But there is no evidence of such an effect so far.

Democratic explanations for Trump’s resiliency encompass several factors: the strength of the economy; his voters’ tendency to discount negative press coverage as a product of the “fake news media”; and the visceral connection he enjoys with his base, partly because of his willingness to press cultural hot buttons relating to race, immigration and related issues.

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