NRL News

Best numbers “in pretty much forever”

by | May 7, 2018

By Dave Andrusko

Wow, it’s only Monday and we’ve already met a prime example of “you can’t make this stuff up.”

Reuters/Ipsos introduces its own poll released today with this disclaimer:

This week’s Reuters/Ipsos Core Political release presents something of an outlier of our trend. Every series of polls has the occasional outlier and in our opinion this is one. So, while we are reporting the findings in the interest of transparency, we will not be announcing the start of a new trend until we have more data to validate this pattern.

In other words, whatever this is, it is so unlike what Reuters/Ipsos wants to report “mum’s the word” until they find data that contradicts what they just found.

Which was, you ask? Here’s a wonderful summary of “what has them so distressed” provided by Jazz Shaw over at

Well, the President’s approval rating rang up at 48% among all Americans and 49/49 with registered voters. That’s within the margin of error in terms of having his head above water and within two points of the Rasmussen numbers that came out Friday. Approval of his handling of the economy came in at 57% and he even managed 44% on the question of how Trump “treats people like me.” The Democrats’ lead on the generic ballot also slipped to 5%. Those are, without a doubt, the best number’s President Trump has seen out of that polling firm in pretty much forever.

In a word, this cannot be. The entire Media Establishment has attacked pro-life Donald Trump for two years, buried him/called for his impeachment once a day and twice on Sunday, and announced that anyone who dares say a favorable word about President Trump is so bad they don’t even qualify as a “deplorable.”

And yet…

Mr. Shaw offers two explanations (assuming the numbers are genuine and not a “glitch) for the improvement. ( A total of 1,548 Americans were surveyed between April 27 and May 1.)

One is the state of the economy, which, if good, always buoys a president. The second is one I have felt confident was coming for over a year. Shaw writes

The other factor I keep coming back to is the media. With the exception of Fox News, pretty much every television news outlet has been on a repeating loop since at least last summer. Is it possible that the general public is simply reaching the point of outrage fatigue? Day after day, morning, noon and night, the talking heads on the television are screaming about investigations which will surely bring Trump down any day now. There’s always a new tweet from the White House, a comment from a porn star or some skit on SNL offering a reason to set your hair on fire. And yet we all wake up the next day, go about our lives and the world has thus far stubbornly refused to end.

When everything is an outrage, nothing is an outrage. I can’t help but wonder if the media hasn’t simply overplayed their collective hand. I highly doubt you’re going to be seeing President Trump’s approval numbers leaping into the high sixties any time soon, but maybe enough of the country has grown tired of the endless media circus that they’re willing to sit back and just see how this plays out.

Yup. If confidence in the media continues racing downward—and there is no sign they brakes are being applied—assuming you are neither particularly pro or con on the President, why would you put any stock in what CNN or the Washington Post or the New York Times says about Mr. Trump when their hostility reeks off the page?

At the end of January, Gallup’s Kimberly Fitch wrote this:

A recent Knight Foundation/Gallup report on Americans’ perceptions of the media and its role in democracy contains many alarming findings for those who work in the media, and for Americans concerned about the relationship between a free press and the public.

For example, Americans are much more likely to say the media supports our democracy “very poorly” or “poorly” (43%) as to say it supports democracy “very well” or “well” (28%). Less than half of Americans (44%) say they can name an objective news source. And only 27% feel very confident in their ability to distinguish factual news from opinion. …

Nearly six in 10 Americans (57%) believe major websites using algorithms to select some news stories and excluding others based on past history is a major problem for democracy. Party affiliation does not temper this sentiment, as 60% of Republicans, 54% of Democrats and 58% of independents consider news aggregators’ pre-selection of stories a major problem. Americans are concerned that passive story selection prevents readers from seeing stories from a wide array of sources.

The bad news is the better the President does, the more vicious the attacks will become. As citizens of a representative democracy, we should indeed be “concerned about the relationship between a free press and the public.”

Categories: Donald Trump