Data out today was surprisingly favorable. Fox News does a generally well-respected monthly survey which tends slightly Republican most of the time, unsurprisingly. Not this time. Trump’s net unfavorabilty went from -11% in their late-September poll to -19% in the poll released on 10/25. Favorability on specific issues ran even worse, except for the economy, -5%. On Taxes he is at -14%, on Iran -21% and on healthcare a nice and friendly -27%. Even on the economy, he dropped from +6% to -5%, an 11 point decline in a single month despite the strong stock market. Plain and simply, the contempt for him is growing sharply. Strongly approve hit a new low this month at 25%, and strongly disapprove hit a new high of 49%–one point away from a double, and two points from a rare outright majority.
Perhaps even more impressively, their Congressional preference poll went from 6% in favor of Democrats in June (not done every month) to a rather extraordinary +15% Democratic this month. Republicans only got 35% in their favor, vs. 50% for Democrats. This contributed to the 538 Congressional preference poll gapping out today to by far its most pro-Democratic number ever–+13.1% versus a prior 10.4% and never being above 10% before this week. At the same time, the 538 likely/registered voter composite for Trump has moved from a recent tight of -11.7% on Sept. 21 to -17.6%, the widest ever except for a very brief period in early August. These are extremely encouraging numbers, and will become meaningful, I think, if they hold for a couple of weeks, even without getting any stronger—and they could get stronger. At some point, they begin to send a message to Republicans that just standing with Trump isn’t working. This kind of data, if it holds, could even affect the tax deform outlook.
This is something of a guess, but I think that three things may have happened recently. First, the nonsense with the Gold Star family may have even eroded his base modestly—members of the military within his base could not have been happy with this nonsense. Secondly, I believe that distaste with Trump specifically and Republicans generally among independents may be hardening after Trump’s awful recent weeks. And thirdly, lack of willingness by the vast majority of Washington Republicans to distance themselves from Trump may be coming home to roost. We will have to see if the attacks by McCain, Bush, Corker and Flake have any affect at all, but at the very least they may help to firm up disfavor outside his base. If this is more than just a “blip” in the preference poll numbers, that would be a very big deal. A few more weeks of numbers like these, if it happens, and Republican cowards will begin to consider that the better part of cowardice may be in distancing themselves from Herr Twitler.