Swing State Pres

Saturday, February 3, 2018

BTRTN: Perhaps Trump Should Not Have Relied on Devin Nunes to Build on His SOTU Momentum

Tom with the “SaturData Review” which updates key political indicators and highlights other pertinent info from the week. 

This was an astonishing week.  Yes, every week seems to be astonishing, filled with “never seen that before” moments.  In quick succession:  Monday: FBI #2 Andrew McCabe is forced out; Tuesday: Trump channels George W. Bush in a mild State of the Union message; Wednesday:  a train filled with Republican representatives en route to a strategy retreat kills a truck driver; Thursday/Friday: the run-up to and release of the notorious “Nunes Memo,” which fails to live up to the hype, forcing Paul Ryan to pull out the pooper-scooper; Friday: the Dow drops 666 points, and Trump does not take credit for massive sell-off. 

Trump’s approval rating, which has risen modestly in the New Year -- despite the shutdown, the “shithole/shit house” comments and the “Fire and Fury” revelations – took another upward turn this week, from 40% to 43%.  This largely reflects one poll, Rasmussen, the only daily approval rating pollster left, which jumped form 45% to 49% (Rasmussen is always 4-5 points higher than the average).  Rasmussen’s end of the week poll is the only poll that covers the SOTU and the McCabe departure time period..

One might have thought that a rational politician with an experienced communications team would have allowed the SOTU lovefest to endure over several news cycles, but Devin Nunes took care of that.  And Trump, of course, is the real source of the stomp-over-myself strategy, for he was the one who insisted on the release of the memo – indeed, such a release requires his authorization -- and he could have certainly delayed the timing.  

Already the central tenet of the memo – that the FBI failed to inform the court that Steele was funded by the Democrats – has been discredited.  And the memo inadvertently (it appears) undercut one of the central claims of Trump supporters – that the entire investigation had the Steele report as its impetus.  The memo makes clear that the Papadopoulus revelations provided the initial basis for the investigation.

We’ll have to wait for next week to see how much of Trump’s approval gain he gives back by desperately championing this ridiculous gambit and absurdly claiming, as he did this morning, total “vindication.”

(A note on methodology: BTRTN calculates our weekly approval ratings using an average of the four pollsters who conduct daily or weekly approval rating polls: Gallup Rasmussen, Reuters/Ipsos and You Gov/Economist. This provides consistent and accurate trending information and does not muddy the waters by including infrequent pollsters.  The outcome tends to mirror the RCP average but, we believe, our method gives more precise trending.)

The generic ballot held steady with the Democrats up +6 over the GOP in this week’s polling.  This margin, if it held until November, would translate to a +43 seat pickup in November for the Dems (according to our BTRTN proprietary regression equation), far more than the +24 they need to take over the House. 

(For the generic ballot, we take an average of the only two pollsters who conduct weekly generic ballot polls, Reuters/Ipsos and You Gov/Economist, again for trending consistency.)

The stock market tumble took the Trumpometer down with it, to +13%, meaning that our five economic indicators have, on average, increased by 13% since Trump’s Inauguration on January 20, 2017, a drop from +18 just two weeks ago.

(The Trumpometer aggregates a set of economic indicators and compares the resulting index to that same set of aggregated indicators at the time of the Trump Inaugural on January 20, 2017. The basic idea is to demonstrate whether the country is better off economically now versus when Trump took office.  The indicators are the unemployment rate, the Dow-Jones Industrial Average, the Consumer Confidence Index, the price of gasoline, and the GDP.)

SaturData Review
Jan 2017   Post-Inaug.
Wk ending   Jan 27
Wk ending   Feb 2
Change vs. Last Wk
Change vs. Jan 2017
Trump Approval
48%
40%
43%
+3 pp
-8 pp
Trump Disapproval
44%
57%
53%
-24 pp
+13 pp
Trump Net Approval
+4 pp
-17 pp
-10 pp
+7 pp
-21 pp






Generic Ballot Dem - Rep
D + 6
D + 6
D + 6
0 pp
0 pp






Trumpometer
0%
+14%
+13%
-1 pp
+14%
Unemployment Rate
4.7
4.1
4.1
0%
13%
Consumer Confidence
114
122
125
3%
10%
Price of Gas
2.44
2.68
2.72
-1%
-12%
Dow-Jones
19,732
26,617
25,521
-4%
29%
Most recent GDP
2.1
2.6
2.6
0%
24%


STAT OF THE WEEK

Trump’s approval rating after one year is the lowest ever recorded by Gallup:
           
GALLUP APPROVAL RATING
President
1-Year Mark
Trump
38%
Obama
49%
Bush 43
83%
Clinton
54%
Bush 41
80%
Reagan
47%
Carter
52%
Ford
46%
Nixon
63%
Johnson
70%
Kennedy
79%
Eisenhower
71%
Truman
51%


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