This week’s White House Report Card finds President Trump with his highest approval rating since before the coronavirus closed down the nation and clawing back in the race against Democrat Joe Biden.
On the plus side, the economy and employment continue to recover, just in time for the election. However, Trump’s promise of a virus vaccine was questioned by a top official, and the president was forced to deny a story in the Atlantic that he doesn’t respect the war dead.
Conservative grader Jed Babbin graded a B-, citing Trump’s law and order efforts and his trip to riot-ravaged Kenosha, Wisconsin. Democratic grader and pollster John Zogby noted Trump’s improving polling but graded a D-, citing the Atlantic story.
Trump had a pretty good week thanks to a good jobs report, his appearance in riot-torn Kenosha, and a big political gift he received from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Trump’s appearance in Kenosha was a point of emphasis in his increasingly law-and-order oriented campaign. He promised federal bucks for help to damaged businesses and caught Biden off-guard (which is increasingly easy to do). Biden went to Kenosha a few days later, without making any headway.
About 1.4 million jobs were added in August, bringing unemployment down below 10% for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The economy is still accelerating despite Democratic governors’ efforts to slow it down.
Pelosi’s hairdo, redone illicitly at an otherwise-closed San Francisco beauty parlor, was an absolutely perfect example of the “rules for thee but not for me” approach that liberal elites take to governing. They believe they’re above the law and the rules they impose on the hoi polloi. Pelosi’s haircut hypocrisy fits well with Biden’s promise to close the economy down again if the “experts” tell him to. (One such expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, single-handedly brought about an 800-point dive in the stock market by speculating that a vaccine against the virus wouldn’t be ready before the election.) Biden evidently doesn’t care if America sinks into a depression because of unnecessary governmental action.
On the other hand, Trump again proved his own worst enemy. He suggested that people vote twice (once by mail and once in person) to ensure their votes count. But voting more than once is a serious crime. And the president ordered a cut in federal funding for “anarchist” cities such as Portland, Oregon, and Seattle. Come on, man. You can’t do that without congressional action, as the courts have already ruled against you.
Trump should know better, but he obviously doesn’t.
Trump did get a bump in the polls after the Republican National Convention. In a two-way race, he is losing to former Vice President Biden, 48%-42%, and in a four-way race, he is down 45%-42%.
Interestingly, he is showing some gains among voters over 65 and among black voters (20%). But he is still at 42%, which is well down from the percentage of votes he won in 2016.
The October Surprise?
Issue 7 of the IntelligenSEER looks at:
▪Results on the 4-way horserace
▪ Who do Americans actually believe will win?
▪ How likely is there to be an October surprise?
▪What is the future of black voters and the Democratic party?https://t.co/DfZMdpXajN pic.twitter.com/97VWtEpEdu
— JohnZogbyStrategies (@ZogbyStrategies)
September 2, 2020
Both he and Biden went to Kenosha this week, and they saw different cities and expressed two contrasting visions. While Trump’s law and order approach could just work for him among voters concerned about safety, his alleged remarks about war veterans and those missing in action cannot possibly help him. To his credit, he at least has the sense to deny the remarks, but there are too many people (including close aides and reporters) who have heard him refer to both as “suckers and losers” to claim a conspiracy. He is just not one of the good guys.
Jed Babbin is a Washington Examiner contributor and former deputy undersecretary of defense in the administration of former President George H.W. Bush. Follow him on Twitter @jedbabbin
John Zogby is the founder of the Zogby Poll and senior partner at John Zogby Strategies. His weekly podcast with son and partner Jeremy Zogby can be heard here. Follow him on Twitter @TheJohnZogby