Trump’s Approval Rating Hits Landmark High Despite Mueller, Comey Onslaught

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It’s been a rough week for President Donald Trump, at least as far as the media was concerned.

There was the Cohen raid on Monday, followed by excerpts released from from James Comey’s new tell-all book.

Mind you, we’re still looking for the full details behind the raid and the Comey book wasn’t so much a single nothing-burger so much as it was a fast-food franchise dedicated to making huge nothing-burgers. (Thanks for letting us know what you thought about the existence of a certain “tape,” though, Mr. Comey. The American people as a whole really needed to know what you thought about that.)

So you’d think that the president’s approval numbers are at all-time lows. But at least for one poll that generally skews against the president, they’re at highs not seen since Trump’s first 100 days in office.

The Washington Post/ABC News poll, released Saturday, revealed that Trump’s approval rating was at 40 percent, with 56 percent disapproving.

While this isn’t a great performance, it’s worth noting — as The Washington Post does — that this is “slightly more than his 36 percent approval rating when last measured in January. It’s also the highest he’s enjoyed in Post-ABC polling since his first 100 days in office.”

“Americans have sharply diverging views of Trump’s handling of the economy and of the president as a person: 46 percent approve of Trump’s handling of the economy while 48 percent disapprove, which has not significantly changed from last fall,” the Post notes.

“By contrast, 61 percent say they have an unfavorable view of Trump ‘as a person,’ with almost half saying they are ‘strongly unfavorable.’ Just under a third, 32 percent, view Trump favorably on a personal level.”

This isn’t terribly surprising stuff, at least where the Post is involved. However, there are some other nuggets of interesting data in the survey.

For instance, 59 percent of rural residents approve of the job Trump is doing, up 17 points over last month.

In addition, 74 percent of conservatives approve of the job Trump is doing, up nine points from last month.

However, two numbers that should stick out: 8 and 11. Those are the dates in April during which the Post and ABC News conducted the poll on the president among 1,002 respondents.

Just for reference, the Cohen raid happened April 10. That means at least half of the poll took place at the same time a historic and unprecedented raid on Trump’s lawyer was taking place, in part thanks to Robert Mueller’s special counsel. Yet, Trump still managed to do relatively well in polling, at least as far as the WaPo/ABC poll is concerned.

That might be because Americans don’t have faith in the Mueller investigation. A Rasmussen poll conducted in the wake of the raid found fewer than half of voters thought Mueller’s investigation was interested in discovering the facts.

The Rasmussen poll, taken April 10-11, found “that 46 percent of likely U.S. voters still believe Mueller’s investigation is an honest attempt to determine criminal wrongdoing, but that’s down from 52 percent last October.

“Forty percent now consider Mueller’s probe a partisan witch hunt, an eight-point increase from 32 percent in the earlier survey.”

Neither poll was taken after excerpts from Comey’s book and interview with George Stephanopoulos were released, although I doubt they would have made a difference. After all, more and more people are losing faith in the ability of intelligence institutions to conduct fair investigations into the administrations.

I doubt that a former FBI director ruminating about the potential — if entirely unlikely — existence of a certain repulsive video is going to restore any of that.

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