Week before last, 43 percent of those Gallup polled “approved” of Trump, while 53 percent “disapproved.” A week later 60 percent said they “disapproved,” and the “approvers” had declined to 38 percent.
According to this data set, five percent of the American population, who “approved” week before last, decided that they now “disapprove” of Trump. They joined the previous “disapprovers” to push that number up to 58 percent. And, it appears, another two percent who, week before last, didn’t know whether they “approved” or “disapproved,” joined the “diapproval” bandwagon, pushing it to 60 percent.
In other words, in one single week, the disapproval/approval gap increased from 10 percent to 22 percent.
I don’t know whether next week’s poll will bear out these results. I don’t know whether the new Gallup poll is an outlier. But, for the sake of the discussion, let us entertain the possibility that these numbers are a somewhat accurate reflection of evolving political reality.
Mr. and Mrs. Jones
A week or so before the election I read a long interview with an affluent female Republican voter. I don’t remember the publication and I don’t remember her name, so I’ll call her Mrs. Jones. In the interview Mrs. Jones laid out in fulsome detail all the character defects she perceived in Donald Trump. But she went on to declare that she was an unshakeable Trump supporter. Why? Two reasons, she allowed. One was fetuses, the other was religious liberty. By the latter, she meant her God-given right to be mean to gay people. One might infer from her remarks that, if given the choice (a) to live in a democracy where women were not forced to bear unwanted children and where she couldn’t spit on lesbians or (b) a banana republic with no abortion and no gay rights, she would take the banana republic any day of the week.
And let us consider the views of her hypothetical husband, Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones tells his good wife that he also feels deeply about abortion and gay oppression, and perhaps he does, but what he really cares about is distributing wealth upward, by means of the tax system. Week before last, Mr. Jones joined his lady wife in holding his nose and “approving” Trump.
What the Joneses Learned in the Course of a Week
Let’s begin with what they did not learn, because they already knew it. They did not have a sudden epiphany that Trump is a vile and shameless charlatan. It was not revealed, all of a sudden, that Trump is a delusional narcissist. They did not grasp, out of the blue, that pretty much everything he says is bullshit, or that he does everything he can to encourage racism, or that he yearns to tear down the republic. All these things they well knew, week before last.
No, gentle reader, what they learned over the course of a week, as all the returns came in, is that Trump is a loser. They learned that if they keep on sticking with Trump, their beloved agenda is headed down the crapper.