There’s something new for Donald Trump haters to be excited about.
While 33 percent of Americans view Trump favorably on the first day of February 2016, according to the poll, a whopping 60 percent view him negatively.
By comparison, Hillary Clinton is viewed unfavorably by only 52 percent of Americans, says the survey.
Lots of media analysts are jumping on this, pronouncing doom for the Republican Party if Trump gets the nomination.
From the Washington Post: “Donald Trump is the least favorably viewed presidential candidate since at least 1992.”
From Politico: “Trump has worst image among Democrats, independents.”
All the usual media suspects think they’ve finally got Trump right where they want him.
But is Gallup telling the whole story?
I don’t think so.
As I have written before, my own anecdotal experience suggests Trump has much more appeal than the polls show. In fact, I know many died-in-the-wool Democrats who plan to vote for Trump. Some of them, in fact, can’t wait.
What makes me think that way besides my own non-scientific polling among friends and family members?
The last Republican presidential candidate to win California and sweep the nation in a landslide was Ronald Reagan in 1980. Of course, he did it again in 1984 in his re-election bid. In fact, in 1980, Reagan lost only six states, plus the District of Columbia. They included Jimmy Carter’s home state of Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Rhode Island and West Virginia.
It’s interesting that the pollsters and the media analysts haven’t looked back at the 1980 race to see where Reagan was at this point in the campaign.
Remember, it’s February 2016. Trump hasn’t spent any money. He hasn’t had to do so to get to the top of the polls among Republican candidates. Yet he has a 33 percent approval ratings.
What did Reagan have in February 1980? Less than 30 percent approval ratings, as the chart on this page shows. It was his lowest point of the year. He didn’t catch up to Carter in favorability until June – still four months away. Reagan’s highest point was reached just before the Democratic Party Convention, but he never reached 50 percent favorability.
Why? Because there are just plain more Democrats than Republicans. It was true then as it is true now.
Yet, Reagan won a certifiable landslide.
Just for the record, back then I was a Democrat – and didn’t vote for him, at least not until 1984 when I did so with glee.
The pollsters didn’t track unfavorability ratings back in 1980, but the graph tells the story. And I can tell you as an eyewitness – Reagan was hated, every bit as much as Trump is today by so many Democrats.
Back then, though, they could muster no passion for re-electing Jimmy Carter. He was a failed president, and the economy and foreign policy were in shambles. Sound familiar? Worse for the Democrats this year is that their president isn’t even running. It’s going to be Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
I don’t care what the polls say today, Trump would annihilate either one of them – thus making the 2016 election one for the record books, a historical paradigm shift for the Republican party, just like 1980.
Media wishing to interview Joseph Farah, please contact [email protected].