Swing State Pres

Saturday, February 24, 2018

BTRTN: Young Voices Carry

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

The week was completely dominated by the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida shootings, as young survivors of the massacre utterly refused to allow the gun control issue to fade into the fog of grief and inaction, cutting through the usual pat NRA-bullet-point defense that normally carries the GOP through the thicket.  Rather, GOP gun hardliners – notably Marco Rubio at the CNN Town Hall – mumbled words previously foreign to their lips in the face of the intense and raw pressure of the students.  Rubio’s position actually evolved on that stage, to the point where he appeared to be backing upping the age to purchase a rifle from 18 to 21 (as with handguns), banning bump stocks and tougher background checks.  You could almost feel Wayne LaPierre’s blood pressure rising.

Image result for rubio gets pummeled at cnn town hallDonald Trump, discovering exactly how bad this issue is for Republicans, suddenly started floating support for some of those same ideas before finally settling firmly on the NRA-backed position: let’s put more guns in the schools!   Let’s arm teachers, not just any teachers, but military-based, weapons-friendly ones!   Why, Trump estimated, some 10 percent of all teachers today have such a background!  Since we here at BTRTN are careful about numbers, we in turn estimate that Trump is almost certainly off here, perhaps by as much as – ten percentage points.

The absurdity of this idea put off the notion that Trump may take the “Nixon in China” route of leading his own constituency to a more progressive future.  Trump may also be trying to replicate his negotiating stance on immigration, in which he tries to wrap the various age, bump stock, background check modifications positions with hard-line ones such as arming the teachers.  That approach, of course, failed on the immigration talks, when the Dems did not accept “a path to citizenship” in exchange for a conservative-dream-list of regressive immigration policies (including, of course, The Wall), proving once again that Trump and his White House team have no idea how to navigate deals, D.C. style.

Trump’s very notion of arming teachers was quickly undermined by the revelation that an actual armed guard was patrolling the campus at the time of the shooting and failed to ever enter the building to confront the shooter.  If an armed guard cannot be relied on to do the job he was trained for, imagine how teachers may respond.  And one can only imagine how many more accidental deaths would occur if classrooms were full of guns.

Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan have been completely silent thus far, and they, of course, not Trump, hold the keys to legislation.  But this time the noise is not going to fade, as a million-plus people will descend on Washington on March 24, and countless others in municipalities across the country will march as well.  Even if legislation fails yet again, Trump now has completed a quadfecta – having outraged women in the #MeToo movement, Hispanics with the immigration hardline, and African-Americans in Charlottesville, he has now incited the youth vote, and they will all join with other Democrats to create a crushing machine come November.  That is the point of these marches – to allow people to see that far from being alone, they are a mighty force that can be an organized political power.  The youth vote is all-too-often the sleeping giant.  But this time, the giant has been provoked.

The Mueller investigation raced forward with a gathering force, as Rick Gates copped a plea to another sweetheart deal that can only mean he has plenty of goods to deliver (the same light treatment as Mike Flynn received months ago, presumably with even more to offer).  Mueller also indicted a lawyer from Skadden Arps for lying to the FBI, making clear that he will throw the book at those who dare to prolong a cover-up.  And it is also clear that the Mueller investigation is putting pressure on Jared Kushner, preventing him, at the very least, from securing proper security clearance, which in turn has now put him in the crosshairs of John Kelly, who wants to clean up the clearance mess in the White House.

All the while Trump fumes, unhappy with John Kelly, with Rod Rosenstein, with Christopher Wray, with Jeff Sessions and with Robert Mueller, and uncertain how to navigate yet another crisis.

The major political indicators showed marginal movement.  Trump’s approval rating held at 43%, though his “net negative” fell one point to -11.  The Dems gained another point in the generic ballot and are now at a formidable +8, and the Trumpometer held at +13.  The full chart and explanations are down at the bottom.

Last 4 Weeks
SaturData Review
Jan 2017   Inaug.
Jan 2018 Year 1
Wk ending   Feb 2
Wk ending   Feb 9
Wk ending   Feb 16
Wk ending   Feb 23
Trump Approval
48%
41%
43%
44%
43%
43%
Trump Net Approval
+4 pp
-14 pp
-10 pp
-10 pp
-10 pp
-11 pp
Generic Ballot
D + 6
D + 6
D + 6
D + 7
D + 7
D + 8
Trumpometer
0%
+19%
+13%
+11%
+13%
+13%

POLITICAL STAT OF THE WEEK

There is a brand new CBS poll that captures the state of play in public opinion on major gun control policies.  There is majority support for a wide variety of measures, all except allowing more teachers to carry guns.


‘*******************************************************
Here is the complete SaturData chart with accompanying methodology explanations:

SaturData Review
Jan 2017   Post-Inaug.
Wk ending   Feb 16
Wk ending   Feb 23
Change vs. Last Wk
Change vs. Jan 2017
Trump Approval
48%
43%
43%
0 pp
-5 pp
Trump Disapproval
44%
53%
54%
+1 pp
+10 pp
Trump Net Approval
+4 pp
-10 pp
-11 pp
-1 pp
-15 pp






Generic Ballot
D + 6
D + 7
D + 8
+1 pp
+2 pp






Trumpometer
0%
+13%
+13%
0 pp
+13 pp
Unemployment Rate
4.7
4.1
4.1
0%
13%
Consumer Confidence
114
125
125
0%
10%
Price of Gas
2.44
2.72
2.68
2%
-10%
Dow-Jones
19,732
25,219
25,304
0%
28%
Most recent GDP
2.1
2.6
2.6
0%
24%

Methodology notes:

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.

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 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.



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