Veteran Republican pollster Frank Luntz said that focus group surveys he’s conducted over the last couple of weeks have highlighted a stark difference between President Trump and the vast majority of his predecessors in politics. Luntz told Fox News Radio that, under ordinary circumstances, it is typical to find voters who more or less approve of what a president says while not caring so much for their policies.
With Trump, however, the exact opposite phenomenon is common.
“A majority of the public like what Donald Trump is doing, and a majority of the public don’t like what he’s saying,” Luntz explained. “This is the first time that I can remember. Usually, it’s the opposite direction.”
While Luntz was surprised at the findings, we can’t say we feel the same. If you talk to other Trump supporters in real life or social media, you hear this refrain constantly. “Oh, he’s a great president…I just wish he’d give it a rest on Twitter.” Of course, we suspect that in many cases, these people would have never liked Trump in the first place if it weren’t for his total disregard for political correctness and his willingness to go after his (and, by extension, our) political enemies with both barrels. You can certainly separate Trump the Smack-Talker from Trump the President, but it’s difficult to argue that the former isn’t an ingredient in the latter’s success.
But Luntz disagrees.
“Trump is hurting himself,” the pollster insists. “Only 43 percent of Americans approve of the president right now. It’s his language, it’s his messaging, it’s his fighting with everyone. If he wants to be re-elected, he would do a lot better focusing on what he’s done for the country and stop this constant fighting with everybody.”
We won’t argue with Luntz’s numbers or his storied history as a successful political pollster. But, just going by what we’ve watched the left do to Trump for the last three years, we simply can’t agree with his premise that Trump’s approval numbers would shoot up if he would only shut up.
Trump’s policies since taking office have been historically conservative and impactful for the country, and there’s no taking that away from him. It certainly accounts for much of his Republican support on Capitol Hill.
But Trump’s mouth is the key to his success with that “silent majority” that helped him steal the Midwest away from the Democrats in 2016. It is the secret weapon that allowed him to defy a hostile media and overwhelming odds to defeat the all-but-crowned winner, Hillary Clinton. And it is the thing that fills arenas from coast to coast with supporters willing to spend up to 15 hours in line just to hear from their champion in Washington.
Does it also annoy some suburban Republicans who pine away for a more genteel president? We’re sure. But are those voters really so turned off by Trump’s rhetoric that they’d stand aside and let Democrats turn this country into a smoking hole of socialism? We kinda doubt it.