Twice as many Americans disapprove than approve of President Trump’s response to the deadly Charlottesville protests led by white supremacists that ignited widespread political backlash against the White House, though a majority of Republicans offer at least tepid support in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. …
Trump’s overall approval rating of 37 percent in the latest survey is little different from his 36 percent mark in July and other polling prior to the protests, although still lower than for his recent predecessors in the White House this early in their tenures. …
A majority of self-identified Republicans — more than 6 in 10 — approve of Trump’s response to the protests, according to the Post-ABC poll, while about 2 in 10 disapprove and the same share offer no opinion.
Overall, Trump maintains an 80 percent job approval rating among Republicans, a number little changed from recent surveys. But the percentage that approves “strongly” — just about half of the GOP — is down 10 percentage points from last month.
Keep an eye on that erosion of his “strong” support — that’s erosion of his base.
* Alex Isenstadt reports that Trump is already thinking about the future:
President Donald Trump is methodically building a 2020 reelection campaign machine, shunting aside doubts about his viability for a second term as controversy consumes the early months of his administration.
Trump is mapping out a fall fundraising tour that is expected to fill his campaign bank account with tens of millions of dollars. His team has tracked dozens of potential Democratic rivals, a list of names that ranges from Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. And his administration has received political advice from a top campaign pollster from his 2016 campaign, who has urged the president to keep up his attacks on the mainstream media.
With so much winning going on, will he even need to mount a campaign to get reelected?
* Andrew Kaczynski and Paul LeBlanc report that Sam Clovis, whom Trump picked to be chief scientist at the Agriculture Department, believes that being gay is a choice and that once you legalize same-sex marriage you’d have to legalize pedophilia.
* Twenty-four Democratic senators wrote a letter demanding that the Department of Homeland Security explain why they have eliminated funding for a program meant to counter violent right-wing extremism.
* Benjy Sarlin and Alex Seitz-Wald explain how Democrats could gain 50 seats in the House.
* Gabriel Sherman reports that Steve Bannon is about to really go after Jared Kushner.
* At the American Prospect, I wrote about how Trump supporters remain behind him, even after he started a nuclear war and unleashed the zombie virus that turned a third of the world’s population into undead monsters with an insatiable hunger for human flesh.