Two polls released this week suggest that President Trump’s base, which formed the bedrock of his 2016 victory, is drifting away from him as some of his top campaign promises remain unfulfilled.
A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll published Tuesday found that so-called “Trump counties” — battleground counties that helped swing the election his way — now are giving Trump disapproval ratings of around 50 percent.
According to the Journal:
The survey included 800 adults in counties where Mr. Trump either outperformed 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney by at least 20 percentage points or flipped a county that had favored Democrat Barack Obama in the prior election.
Meanwhile, a CNN poll released Monday shows that Trump has seen significant erosion among non-college educated white voters — a key part of his base. After 100 days in office, the poll gave him a 59 percent approval rating among those voters; now it is at just 46 percent. However, he has also seen a slight uptick in approval from college-educated white voters, where his approval has gone up from 38 percent to 42 percent.
The polling suggests that Trump’s “America First” base is getting increasingly frustrated with the inability of the White House, along with Republicans in Congress, to pass big-ticket campaign promises into law, such as a border wall, immigration restrictions, and the repeal of Obamacare.
The Journal suggests that the polling’s timing, taking place just after the indictment of three former Trump aides in FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, may also play a role.
Trump is currently using much of his political capital to ram a controversial tax reform bill through Congress by year’s end. But the Journal/NBC poll finds that almost half of adults in those key counties have no opinion of the current bill — suggesting a hard-fought tax reform may do little to create an upswing in Trump’s political fortunes in 2017.
However, there is little sign that the tepidity from Trump’s base is translating into greater support for Democrats. In those countries, 48 percent say they want a Republican Congress, while only 39 percent want Democrats to take charge.
The CNN poll, meanwhile, finds that the Democratic Party is in a funk of its own, with just 37 percent of Americans having a favorable opinion of the party, down from 44 percent in March. The 54 percent unfavorability rating equals the party’s highest unfavorability rating from 1992, with low marks from key Democratic constituencies such as nonwhites (48 percent) and people under 35-years-old (33 percent.)
This round of polling comes after a Washington Post/ABC News poll found that if the 2016 election were held again today, even after the many controversies of his first days in office, Trump would still likely beat Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.