- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 1, 2018

He is who is, and Americans are at ease with that. A new Monmouth University poll has some promising news for President Trump, who often earns a barrage of media criticism for conducting his presidency on his own terms.

“It seems that most Americans walked into the Trump era with eyes wide open about what he would bring to the table. That’s one reason why his ratings do not move all that much despite his provocative tweets and similar actions that drive nearly every news cycle. I think the few who still seem to be fazed by his behavior may be mainly political pundits and the media,” says Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

The new survey found that 81 percent of Americans say the way Trump runs his administration has been “less conventional than prior presidents” — while 79 percent are not surprised by his behavior, 56 percent say he should not be impeached and 43 percent say the Russian collusion investigation should end.

“The majority view is you can’t impeach Trump for doing what most people expected he would do as president to begin with,” notes Mr. Murray.

Find the complete numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.



‘BLUE WAVE’ CHALLENGED BY ‘PROGRESSIVE TSUNAMI’

Aggressive progressives could mount a serious challenge to establishment Democrats. Possible fissures in Democratic solidarity could yield a divided vote in November, and a needed edge for Republicans in retaining House and Senate later this year. Things are percolating.

Based in the nation’s capital, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee recently assembled a bustling crowd of 450 active progressive candidates for a bootcamp-style conference front-loaded with tutorials about the election process.

Organizers Stephanie Taylor and Adam Green vow to turn 2018 into “a tsunami of progressive candidates” with their eyes on the prize.

“Democrats should not just resist. We need to stand for something,” Mr. Green advised the crowd.

MSNBC has picked up on the growing dissatisfaction and has even launched a “Dems Divided” series to cover Democratic discord, along with new evidence of “tea party fervor” among the hundreds of new hopefuls.

“Fervor is right. They tell me they’re fired up. This is a literal tsunami of progressive candidates. Hundreds came together to get the tools to win — from intensive training on building a website to fundraising and messaging. Emmy Award-winning writers were helping them hone their stories, all with a common goal: to tell voters ‘We hear you, and we will get things done’,” MSNBC analyst Chris Jansing said in her account of the conference, noting that the tsunami is building over anti-Trump sentiment and frustration with slow-moving “business as usual” Democrats.

There’s one more wave lingering offshore.

“A new Clinton wave is coming this spring,” predicts Axios cofounder Mike Allen, who notes that Hillary Clinton has launched a political group called Onward Together with the help of Howard Dean. The Clinton Foundation soon will stage a major fundraising event and former President Bill Clinton‘s political thriller novel is due on bookshelves — and also Showtime, where it has been optioned as a dramatic series.

“As the 2020 presidential race ramps up, plenty of top Democrats we talk to would prefer new energy and faces to Clinton nostalgia/redemption,” writes Mr. Allen.

CONSERVATIVES HAVE A SAY

The Heritage Foundation will host a handy forum titled “What is Conservatism” on Wednesday featuring Robert W. Merry, editor of The American Conservative, plus senior editor Rod Dreher; and Bradley J. Birzer, an American studies scholar at Hillsdale College. The event will be hosted by Lee Edwards, the “Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought” at Heritage.

“For decades, American conservatism has thrived under Frank Meyer’s ‘fusionism,’ uniting the three main strands of libertarianism, social conservatism, and anti-Communism. Yet as the communist challenge fades further into the past, the old conservative consensus is now tasked with responding to new challenges presented by the modern liberal order. How should conservatives respond to these new obstacles to ordered liberty, and what does the current moment tell us about the essence of conservatism?” the organizers ask.

The two-hour event will be carried live by C-SPAN at 5:30 p.m. EDT and live-streamed at Heritage.org.

FOXIFIED

During the month of April, Fox News dominated its cable news rivals according to Nielsen Media Research, marking the 196th consecutive month for such an extraordinary ratings victory. Fox News also claimed 15 of the top-25 cable news programs in April, with “Hannity” leading the way. Fox News drew 2.4 million prime time viewers compared to 1.9 million for MSNBC and 1 million for CNN — and was also the top network in total viewers across the entire cable realm over the last 22 consecutive months.

Things are also cheerful at Fox Business Network, which is enjoying its 11th month as the most popular business news network, with a 26 percent ratings advantage over closest rival CNBC. “Lou Dobbs Tonight” has been the top news program in business TV for two years, while “Varney & Co.” marks its 21st month as the highest-rated market analysis program across all cable programming.

POLL DU JOUR

81 percent of Americans say President Trump runs an administration which is “less conventional” than previous administrations; 73 percent of Republicans, 82 percent of independents and 87 percent of Democrats agree.

79 percent overall say they are not surprised by Mr. Trump’s behavior as president; 82 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of independents and 76 percent of Democrats agree.

56 percent overall say Mr. Trump should not be impeached; 83 percent of Republicans, 40 percent of independents and 11 percent of Democrats agree.

43 percent overall have a favorable opinion of Mr. Trump; 57 percent of Republicans, 26 percent of independents and 7 percent of Democrats agree.

27 percent overall say Mr. Trump “being less conventional” is good for the country; 57 percent of Republicans, 26 percent of independents and 7 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Monmouth University poll of 803 U.S. adults conducted April 26-30.

Assorted facts and churlish remarks to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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