NEWS AND OPINION:
There are polls, and then there are jumbo polls, such as the type Morning Consult conducts on a regular basis. In the age of data-driven political strategy, the pollster routinely surveys thousands of registered U.S. voters each day on pivotal election questions, and tracks the trends from month to month.
So how do Republicans feel about President Trump these days?
The answer is pretty good. No one appears particularly cranky. The sampling which follows is from a Morning Consult survey “based on 53,408 interviews with registered voters who indicate they may vote in the Republican primary or caucus in their state,” the pollster states.
Currently, 85 percent of these likely Republican voters approve of Mr. Trump, and that has inched up two percentage points in the last four weeks. Another 76 percent of the voters support Mr. Trump’s nomination, and that too has risen two percentage points in the past month. The painstaking poll also gauges support for Mr. Trump rather than another GOP candidate — this among 27 different demographics. That support ranges from a low of 62 percent among moderate Republicans to a high of 91 percent among those who are “very conservative.”
Could another Republican challenge Mr. Trump for the nomination? Someone is poised to ask that question. Intelligence Squared, a nonprofit, will stage a live debate titled “The Republican Party Should Not Re-Nominate Trump” in New York City on March 28. The event features former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and New York Times op-ed columnist Bret Stephens arguing for the motion, versus Trump transition team member and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Fox News columnist Liz Peek, who argue against it.
But back to those Morning Consult poll numbers.
The most ardent support for Mr. Trump’s re-nomination is found among those who are “extremely interested in politics,” where it stands at 85 percent, along with those over 65 (81 percent) and rural Republicans (81 percent). Lesser support can be found among the 18-29 year-old set (62 percent) and those who are not interested in politics (64 percent).
There’s not much of a gender divide, either. The survey found that 75 percent of GOP women and 78 percent of GOP men want Mr. Trump to be re-elected. The poll also reveals that Mr. Trump is the most popular in Alabama, Wyoming, and West Virginia — and least popular in Vermont, California, and Massachusetts.
THE IOWA BAROMETER
And the parade of poll numbers continues. President Trump still has the affection of Iowa Republicans. A Des Moines Register poll of 400 registered Iowa Republican voters reveals all.
It finds that 82 percent view Mr. Trump favorably while 81 percent approve of the job he is doing. A civility factor has also emerged, however. Another 90 percent hope Mr. Trump runs a positive re-election campaign, “focusing on the good things he’s done for the country.”
The poll also noted this: “Just 4 percent want him to focus on attacking opponents — one of the president’s trademarks.”
On the other hand, should the president stay mum if first attacked by a political rival? That should be the next question, perhaps.
MEANWHILE IN NEW YORK
Things will be busy outside of Fox News headquarters in New York City on Wednesday.
A motley coalition of interest groups and activists plan to stage a protest against the nation’s leading cable network; they include Media Matters for America, the Women’s March, Rise and Resist, Free Press, Daily Kos, Lady Parts Justice League, Brave New Films, UltraViolet, Working Families Party and United We Dream — among others. All will be on hand to rally against prime-time host Tucker Carlson, who they say used unsavory language about women a decade ago.
Mr. Carlson remains unapologetic and will not express “the usual ritual contrition,” he noted in a tweet in the aftermath. He advises those who wonder what he thinks to simply watch his show.
“We’re here to demand corporate CEOs, especially those who are women, lead by example and pull their ads from the network, or risk losing us as customers,” noted Rachel Carmona, CEO of the Women’s March, in a statement.
ON THE RADAR
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, and Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Ben Cline of Virginia will join pro-life advocates Jill Stanek, Olivia Gans, and Melissa Cifuentes for an early morning press conference at the Capitol.
They say they intend “to talk about the importance of defending babies born alive after a failed or attempted abortion.”
House Republicans have asked Democrats 17 times over the past 40 days to consider legislation that would outlaw the practice — but to no avail.
For the ninth week in a row, Fox News Channel remains the watched cable network of all, according to Nielsen Media Research. Such on-news networks as HGTV and ESPN simply can’t keep up. Presentations of “Hannity,” “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “The Five” and “The Ingraham Angle” claimed 15 of the top 30 cable telecasts overall.
As it has for over 17 years, Fox News bested its news rivals — drawing 2.3 million prime-time viewers compared to 1.9 million for MSNBC and 876,000 for CNN.
POLL DU JOUR
• 44 percent of Americans “feel anxious without their smartphones”; 53 percent of millennials, 45 percent of Gen-Xers and 35 percent of baby boomers agree.
• 42 percent overall say they “waste too much time” on the phone; 58 percent of millennials, 42 percent of Gen-Xers and 28 percent of baby boomers agree.
• 34 percent overall say their phones have “strengthened their relationships”; 42 percent of millennials, 41 percent of Gen-Xers and 22 percent of baby boomers agree.
• 30 percent overall say they would be more productive if they didn’t carry their phone; 56 percent of millennials, 42 percent of Gen-Xers and 28 percent of baby boomers agree.
• 6 percent overall leave their phone at home; 7 percent of millennials, 6 percent of Gen-Xers and 5 percent of baby boomers agree.
Source: A YouGov poll of 1,148 U.S. adults who own smartphones, conducted March 1-4.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.