On Thanksgiving Day, President Trump essentially said that he was most thankful for himself — or at least his job performance.
When Trump was asked what he was most thankful for, “a question that for commanders in chief usually prompts praise of service members in harm’s way,” according to The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey, Trump’s response was classic Trump. He said:
“I made a tremendous difference in our country.”
But most Americans aren’t so sure that having Trump in the Oval Office has actually made America its greatest. Recent polling in addition to earlier surveys suggest that most Americans are not pleased with his job performance.
According to the most recent Quinnipiac poll, only 41 percent of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing as president. The only groups giving him approval ratings over 50 percent are Republicans and white men. While affirmation from these groups, which are well represented among Trump’s base, may mean a lot to the president, most Americans — including voters — are not Republicans or white men.
And these facts were quite evident during the midterm elections, which has a few races still to be decided.
If the midterms were anything, they were a referendum on Trump’s job performance. And the blue wave — as opposed to the red wave Trump told his rally attendees would come — is a testament to the fact that most voters preferred candidates from the party other than Trump’s.
The midterms saw the biggest net gain in the House for the Democrats since Watergate. And with Democratic flips in the Senate in Nevada and Arizona, and some key gubernatorial wins in previous Republican strongholds, voters sent Washington the message that they wanted more people in power who would be a check on Trump.
What should be a note to Trump is just how many people who chose him in 2016 voted against the candidates he backed just two years later. Independents who were willing to give Trump a try in 2016, looked at his performance these past years and decided to swing left. Trump could of course win them back, by not continuing business as usual or telling them that America is better than they believe it is.
It’s no surprise that Trump is proud of himself. But that perspective is not likely to lead to significant wins for his party moving forward unless it is accompanied with the tangible solutions to the problems that voters say matter most to them.