“Once upon a time—of all the good days of the year, on Christmas Eve—President Donald Trump sat at Mar-a-Lago, counting his grievances,” as The Atlantic is reporting.
“The president began this morning, like most mornings, by watching Fox News, and sharing his thoughts on Twitter. He redoubled his attacks on the FBI’s deputy director, Andrew McCabe, insinuating that he had behaved unethically—in the process, again mangling the details of the case.
“He proceeded to retweet an image from a follower, showing Trump in the backseat of a limo talking on the phone, a figure labeled ‘CNN’ reduced to a bloody splotch on the sole of his upturned shoe.
“There’s no question that many of Trump’s most loyal voters have stuck by him. They agree that his treatment at the hands of the news media has been unfair, share his suspicions that the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election has devolved into a partisan witch hunt, and join him in disregarding negative stories and polls.
“The trouble for the president and his party may be that, although his base has indeed stuck with him, it appears neither big enough to secure electoral victories, not strong enough to resist the constant barrage of negative news without eroding.
“A Wall Street Journal / NBC poll recently found that 24 percent of respondents strongly approved of Trump’s performance in office, and another 17 percent somewhat approved; 56 percent strongly or somewhat disapproved. (Those numbers are roughly in line with the average of other recent polls.) Ratings that tilt so far negative usually presage electoral setbacks for the president’s party—and indeed, the past year has seen Republican candidates underperform at the polls, on average, by wide margins.
“But the more worrisome finding in that same poll may be the question that Trump himself most cares about: Would respondents vote for Trump if he runs for reelection? Fifty-two percent indicated they’d support a generic Democrat; just 36 percent backed Trump, and only 18 percent said they’d definitely vote for him.
“Those findings, taken together, suggest that at least a quarter of those who tell pollsters they strongly approve of his performance aren’t certain they’ll vote for him next time around; at least one in eight of those with positive views aren’t even willing to affirm that they will probably vote for him.”
The rest of the article is here.