TRUMP’S APPROVAL AT 42 % ;
IS IT TIME TO … FREAK OUT?
- Guard the Post Office?
- From your living room, cheer the opening day of the Democratic National Convention?
- Freak out?
That’s because the Gallup poll today announced it’s latest figures, which show that Trump’s numbers are going up.
You heard me.
As in rising. Increasing. Going higher. Improving. Better than the last time. And the time before that.
“Phoebe, can you be more specific?” said a small voice coming our backyard.
“It’s 42,” I replied.
“Forty-two what?” said Mr. O, the politically attuned opossum, who moved into our backyard earlier this summer.
“Forty-two percent of our neighbors, our relatives, friends, complete strangers, fellow citizens, other Americans, voters, people with telephones who actually talk into them when pollsters randomly ring their numbers,” I said. “ Forty- two percent of beachgoers, football fans, candlestick makers, grouchy old men, young whippersnappers who stray onto grouchy old men’s lawns; 42 percent of people polled by Gallop between July 30 and Aug. 12.”
Mr. O seemed to be getting cross: “What were the 42 percent asked?”
“Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president?” I said.
“Then why the long face, Phoebe?” Mr. O said, ever the opossomist. “It means that 58 percent 'disapprove.'”
“Actually, no,” I said. “Fifty-five percent said they ‘disapprove.’”
“What about the other 3 percent?”
“Actually, Gallup said that 4 percent accounts for people who answered ‘No opinion,’” I said.
“But 42 + 55 + 4 - that doesn’t add up,” Mr. O said.
“Welcome to the election of 2020,” I said.
“What’s not important is whether it's 3 percent or 4 percent, or whether pollsters round up or down,” I said, “What’s totally crucial is that there’s anyone on the planet who answers their telephone and then tells the person on the other end that they have ‘no opinion’ about Trump.”
“Well, I suppose anything is possible, because there really are a lot of strange creatures in our collapsing ecosystem,” said Mr. O, perhaps not realizing that when he first appeared on a fence post in our back yard, there were a fair number of those of us in our three-member household who considered him, at least initially, strange.
We just stared at each other in silence, he of the teddy-bear face and ratlike tail, me of the long eyelashes and the curly hairy tail.
And then, unison, we both screamed: FREAK OUT.
"IS IT POSSIBLE that a man who admits on network television that he’s deliberately messing with the United State Postal Service so that it won’t be able to handle mail ballots, meaning some votes might not get counted, and as a result, that 42 percent of people say they ‘approve’ of how he does his ‘job?’” Mr. O asked.
“To be fair,” I said, “I don’t think Gallup asked about the Post Office, although in another poll, 91 percent of Americans say they ‘approve’ of how the Post Office does its job.”
“At the same time,” I said, “only 36 percent of people Gallup polled ‘approve’ of Trump’s 'response' to the coronavirus, and 63 percent ‘disapprove.’”
“Yet, 42 percent ‘approves’ of how he’s doing his job, overall,” Mr. O said.
“AFTER ALL the terrible things he’s done, it’s 42 percent,” I said. “Pardoning war criminals and letting loose convicted public officials. Condemning to death hundreds, thousands of asylum seekers and desperate immigrants. Lying every day. Sending 'agents' to Portland, hoping to provoke violence. Wreaking the economy. Holding up a Bible he hasn't read. Increasing America's planet-killing pollution. Assaulting women. Insulting Black people. Allowing, encouraging Russia’s assault on U.S. elections. Undermining health care. And it’s 42 percent ‘approve.’”
“By the way,” said Mr. O. “You said that Trump’s ‘approval’ is going up.”
“The last time Gallup asked was between July 1 and July 23,” I said, and “41 percent ‘approved,’ and 56 percent ‘disapproved. And the time before that, 38 percent ‘approved,’ and 57 ‘disapproved.’ You see what I mean? Even with 170,492 people dead of Covid-19, the economy going over the cliff, the Post Office under attack, the race-baiting, and so on, things are looking up for Trump.”
“At least he’s behind Joe Biden in the head-to-head election polls,” Mr. O said. “All the commentators make a big deal about Biden’s ‘lead.’”
“Listen,” I said, “when somebody’s got 42 percent of people ‘approving’ his overall performance, and gaining with every new poll, it doesn’t take much to win an election.”
“But the commentators sound so confident,” Mr. O said.
“You want to know what one recent poll by CNN said about the Biden ‘lead?’” I said.
“Not really,” Mr. O admitted.
“Four points,” I said. “Biden’s lead is 4 points – 50 percent for Biden, 46 percent for Trump.”
“FREAK OUT!” we screamed
“Now what?” Mr. O said when we’d both calmed down. “Now, besides FREAKING OUT, how are we going to help Biden?”
“From now on,” I declared, “I’m going to stop barking at the Post Office lady when she’s delivering the mail.”
“That’s a start!” said Mr. O.
I found my friend’s encouragement refreshing. But then I remembered that he is, by nature, an opossomist. So maybe not barking at the mail lady isn’t enough.
But what can one dog do?