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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: More on the Disappearing Trump Bump

The following article by Ruy Teixeira, author of The Optimistic Leftist and other works of political analysis, is cross-posted from his blog:

As noted in my recent scribblings, Trump’s approval bump was (a) remarkably small, (b) had remarkably little effect on his standing in trial heats and (c) seems to be disappearing remarkably fast.

Harry Enten adds some good data to that story in a piece on CNN (I know I featured another Enten story yesterday, but what the heck–good work is good work!)

Looking at the data, Trump seems to have had one of the fastest retreats of a rally around the flag effect in modern polling history.

Trump’s net approval rating stood at -10 points among voters in an aggregate of polls as late as March 11. Less than three weeks later, it got up to -4 points on March 27. Today, it’s back down to -8 points.

Even at its peak, the jump of just 6 points is weaker than any well-known rally around the flag event that I know of for a president. It’s only about half that of what Barack Obama got after the killing of Osama Bin Laden. It falls well short of the nearly 70-point jump George W. Bush received after 9/11.

But even if Trump failed to reach the levels of any of his predecessors, you might have thought the bump would stick around for a while. Even the shortest of bumps (like Bush got after Saddam Hussein was captured) had residual effects for a few months. My study of rally around the flag events since World War II found that the median one still has some effect for more than 200 days after the event occurs.

We’re only about 40 days after Trump started to see his polling climb. Unbelievably, this is usually when rally around the flag effects hit their peak, not when they are almost entirely extinguished…..

In terms of his reelection prospects, it should be worrying to the President that even with a black swan pandemic occurring, he couldn’t get his net approval rating above 0 points. It’s going to be difficult to win the election if his net approval rating is -8 points among voters on election day.”

Make no mistake: The Orange One is in trouble.

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