Last week, former Speaker of the House John Boehner spoke at an event in Michigan. In his speech, he declared, “There is no Republican Party. There’s a Trump Party. The Republican Party is kind of taking a nap somewhere.” This is becoming a common criticism – Trump is not really a Republican. But a new poll asked registered Republicans their thoughts on Mr. Trump. The results are shocking.
At the 500-day mark of his presidency, Donald Trump is more popular within his own party than Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton, or Obama at the same time in their presidencies.
President Trump may be the only president in history to receive constant criticism from the media and even members of his own party – for keeping his campaign promises. He ran on a platform. He was elected on that platform. He is enacting that platform. And still the world is in shock.
While 91 percent of all media coverage on the president is negative; while almost nothing is said about record employment, foreign affairs victories, or appointed judges; and while Americans feel good about their personal lives under Trump’s presidency – the media still piles on.
We are told to expect a Republican challenge in the 2020 primary. We read almost daily criticisms of the president from high-ranking leaders of his own party – past and present.
Still, Donald Trump has the approval of 87 percent of registered Republicans, according to the latest Gallup poll. That represents a higher favorable rating within his own party than every other president of modern times, other than George W. Bush.
Here are the in-party approval ratings of every president since 1950, in order of their popularity. Bush 43 (96%), Trump (87%), Bush 41 (85%), Kennedy (85%), Eisenhower (83%), Nixon (83%), Obama (79%), Reagan (77%), Johnson (77%), Clinton (74%), Ford (59%), Carter (54%).
John Boehner is wrong when he suggests Republicans don’t like Trump. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is wrong when he suggests Trump will “definitely” face a challenge in the 2020 primary. And that stalwart of intellectualism, Alec Baldwin, was wrong when he said in early 2017, “Trump won’t make it to the end of the year. I think he’ll resign.”
One can argue the merits of the Trump presidency over its first 500 days. But one can’t argue that he is unpopular within the Republican Party. Well, I suppose you can argue that point. But you’d be wrong.