Donald Trump assumed the presidency a year ago, despite having lost the popular vote by almost 3 million ballots. Only an archaic remnant of a founding moment in which elites feared democracy–the Electoral College–allowed the man who the vast majority of Americans recognized was unfit for office to be inaugurated on January 20, 2017.
It has been downhill since then.
Trump won 46.1 percent of the vote in the 2016 presidential election. His approval rating as he finished his first year in office, according to the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls, is at 39.8 percent. If that’s the case, then it might be suggested — though this is certainly not an exact science — that roughly 9 million people who voted for Donald Trump 14 months ago now disapprove of the guy. A new Pew Research Center survey conducted as the firsr anniversary of Trump’s presidency found an even lower level of approval, 37 percent–which would translate to roughly 12.5 million Trump voters who do not approve of his tenure.
A review of the president’s approval ratings from the states that provided Trump with the narrow margin he gained in the Electoral College found across-the-board evidence of decay in enthusiasm. With 55 percent disapproval of Trump in Michigan, 53 percent disapproval in Wisconsin, and 51 percent disapproval in Pennsylvania, a credible case could be made that, were Trump on the ballot today, he would lose both the popular vote and the Electoral College vote by considerable margins.
But Trump is not on the ballot today, or even this year.
If Trump is ever on the ballot again, it will not be until 2020.
What matters now is who else is on the ballot. The 2018 mid-term elections will be a critical test for the president’s Republican Party and, if patterns hold, they could see a turn in the electoral math sufficient to check and balance the president in Washington while removing his allies in the states. That’s an essential combination because it is not just Trump but Trumpism–as practiced by presidential allies such as Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker–that must be addressed if the crisis of conservative hegemony is going to ease.