This Day in Trump, Day 94: Polls hit rock bottom
WASHINGTON — With six days to go before hitting his 100th day as president, Donald Trump awoke to a torrent of embarrassingly bad polls.
He dismissed these as fake news even as he boasted that if the election were held today he would “still beat Hillary … in [the] popular vote” — which, of course, he lost by 3 million ballots.
And, despite the boss’s bristling at the frenzy to pass judgment at the 100-day mark, the White House rolled out a vigorous PR plan pegged to that milepost.
On the Sunday shows, key aides projected optimism that Congress will avert a government shutdown when the current budget expires Friday, Day 99. And Democrats pushed back hard on a renewed White House demand to include funding for a border wall in any deal.
Congress returns Monday from a two-week recess. Averting a government shutdown on Friday is the top order of business. The White House is demanding funds to begin construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Democrats balk at that.
“I don’t think anybody’s trying to get to a shutdown,” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told Fox News Sunday. But he said, “We want our priorities….What I would say is that they’re holding hostage national security.”
In this March 16, photo, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney speaks at the White House. Mulvaney says that Democratic negotiators on a massive spending bill need to agree to funding top priorities of President Donald Trump, such as a down payment on a border wall and hiring of additional immigration agents.
Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus struck a somewhat softer stance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” saying that he’s “pretty confident we’re going to get something satisfactory” for border security.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Democrats reject border wall funding as part of the budget talks.
“The wall is, in my view, immoral, expensive, unwise, and when the president says, ‘Well, I promised a wall during my campaign,’ I don’t think he said he was going to pass billions of dollars of cost of the wall on to the taxpayer,” she told “Meet the Press.”
On Twitter, Trump accused Democrats of allowing drugs and violent gangs to flow into the United States by objecting to the wall. And he reiterated his promise that Mexico will, eventually and somehow, repay the United States for the project — something Mexico has flatly refused to do.
Polls released Sunday showed Trump with the lowest support at this point of any president since World War II.
Until now, every president in the modern age could count on the approval of more Americans than disapproval at the 100-day mark. Trump’s ratings are under water.
The 40 percent of respondents who approved of Trump’s handling of the job in an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll were badly outnumbered by the 54 percent who disapproved. An ABC/Washington Post poll found much the same lopsided trend: 42 percent approval, 53 percent disapproval.
Keep in mind that to be a president at the 100 day mark means you won a nationwide election only five months earlier. That makes such results startling.
Even so, the vast majority of Trump voters told pollsters they would vote for him again.
As the Post’s front page story explained it, “Trump nears the 100-day mark of his administration as the least popular chief executive in modern times, a president whose voters remain largely satisfied with his performance, but one whose base of support has not expanded since he took the oath of office.”
Apart from a dig at the media, Trump took solace in his abiding support from supporters.
And he inexplicably claimed that the polls suggest he would “still beat Hillary… in the popular vote.” In fact, Clinton collected roughly 3 million more votes nationwide, though Trump won because of the Electoral College system.
The Sunday show spin was the start of a week-long push to shape perceptions of Trump’s first 100 days.
The White House on Sunday announced a drumbeat of daily events through next weekend aimed at highlighting achievements and promises kept, with a diet of briefings and public appearances by senior aides and cabinet members and, of course, the president.
Democrats plan a counter assault around the theme “100 days of Broken Promises to American Families.”