Voters prefer Trump's policies to his persona

Josh Kimbrell:
New polling information published in the Wall Street Journal points to a fascinating trend: Americans like much of President Donald Trump’s agenda, they just do not like him. This trend is a reversal from the last presidency in which people liked the president personally, just not his policies. If you could combine the two, where the President is personally popular as well as his agenda, you would have Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush in his first term.

President Trump’s agenda is not what pushes the American people away; it is his grandiose personality. This explains why congressional candidates who have tried to run like Trump, in terms of presentation, have not fared well in their elections. Case in point: Senator Marco Rubio, who openly spatted with the President during the presidential primaries last year, carried 700,000 more votes last November in the Sunshine State than the Commander-In-Chief. They agreed on many policies, ranging from rebuilding the military to repealing Obamacare, but people judged them-at least in part-on personal appeal.

Personal appeal can only carry a candidate or incumbent so far, however, if their policies are also underwater from an approval perspective. President Obama maintained very high personal approval ratings, while his polices were consistently rejected by the American electorate. As a result, his party lost over 60 House seats, 13 Senate seats, the majority of the governors races, and nearly 1,000 state legislative seats during his time in the White House.
Trump is extremely popular with his supporters who really want someone to tell the media to go pound sand.  But the thing that pushed him over the top was a rejection of the status quo of liberalism.  What Hillary Clinton proved in this election is that liberalism is a tough sell.  She was pushing for policies that many voters despise.  Despite the Democrats attempt at AstroTurf operations at Republican town halls, they are still pushing for an agenda that made them the minority party they are today.

What probably scares Democrats more than Trump is that his agenda will be enacted and work.  If that happens they know their status as a minority policy will be long term.


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