Posted by: maboulette | April 24, 2017

Military Stunt Fails to Boost Trump’s Historically Low Approval Rating


In the days since Donald Trump fired fifty-nine sophisticated Tomahawk missiles into a primitive Syrian air base and somehow managed to do virtually no damage, questions abound as to what his true motive was. It certainly wasn’t to hinder Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Skeptics believe Trump was instead merely trying to boost his historically low approval rating. But four days later, that boost has failed to materialize.


Various polling outlets had pegged Trump’s approval rating anywhere from the mid thirties (IBD/TIPP had him at him the lowest, at 34%) up to around 40%. In fact the Reuters daily tracking had him at precisely 40% on April 6th; he launched his military attack on Syria late that night. Since that time, Trump has held steady at that same 40% number in Gallup tracking on April 7th, 8th, and 9th. In other words, no change at all, and certainly no gain.


U.S. presidents usually get a boost in popularity amid military action. For instance George W. Bush briefly had an approval rating of around ninety percent in the days after 9/11, as Americans opted to send a clear message to the world that they were united against Osama Bin Laden, no matter what they really thought of Bush. But if Trump was hoping to gather even a small fraction of that kind of instinctive boost in support by pretending to destroy a Syrian air base, it appears to have backfired.


We’ll have to wait for other polling outlets to deliver their first post-Syria approval numbers in order to corroborate the lack of a boost in the Gallup poll. But for now it sure looks like Trump’s Syria stunt has netted him nothing. Instead, as it becomes increasingly clear that Russia staged the chemical attack just to give Trump an opportunity to look good by fighting back, the entire incident has merely created additional disagreement for him. 

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