Despite ongoing negative press, former President Donald Trump has some promising new poll numbers.
According to an NBC News survey released Sunday, 25% of U.S. adults give Mr. Trump a “very positive” rating — up 4 percentage points from a previous poll conducted by the network in April. Another 13% give Mr. Trump a “somewhat positive” review, up by 2 percentage points in the same period.
Yes, those are small and subtle gains. But nonetheless Mr. Trump’s approval rating is creeping up, not down. Do all the math, and we find he has a positive review from 38% of the respondents — compared to 32% favorability four months ago.
In comparison, President Biden earned 25% “very positive” and 18% “somewhat positive” ratings — for a total of 43% with a positive review. That’s down from total 50% approval in the network’s April poll.
The Republican Party also made some small gains. The April poll found that 42% of the respondents preferred that Congress be controlled by Republicans. That number has risen to 46% since then, the highest it has been since 2016, according to NBC News polling records. The Democratic Party won favor with 47% in April, and that again this time around.
And by the way, the survey also found that 63% of the respondents say the nation is now on the “wrong track,” up from 56% who felt that way in April. And the implications? The public is watching, and their opinions appear to be in flux.
The NBC News poll of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted Aug. 14-17.
WHO’S ALREADY GONE TO IOWA
Many speculate on what prominent Republicans would challenge former President Donald Trump if and when he decides to make a run in 2024.
Indicators have emerged, according to New York magazine, which says Mr. Trump has hired “two prominent Iowa activists” and recently spoke to Jeff Kaufmann, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa.
Mr. Kaufmann himself told the magazine which GOP heavyweights have recently visited his state, possibly as presidential hopefuls — and “lining up by the dozens for a potential open primary,” the magazine said.
Here is who has made the rounds in Iowa so far, according to Mr. Kaufman: Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, and Tim Scott of South Carolina. Then there’s Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Marjorie Taylor Green of Georgia and Jim Jordan of Ohio, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
The aforementioned Rep. Matt Gaetz, by the way, married his girlfriend, Ginger Luckey, in a small ceremony on California’s Catalina Island on Saturday.
The lawmaker went public with his happy news on Twitter, using the hashtag #GaetzGetsLuckey.
The pair appeared together in Iowa last week, according to The Associated Press.
MR. TODD IS CORRECTED
Let consider retired Army Lt. Gen. Herbert Raymond McMaster, who is frequently referred to in the press as “H.R. McMaster” and who served as the 26th national security adviser from 2017 to 2018.
His name came up on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in a conversation between moderator Chuck Todd and Rep. Liz Cheney, Wyoming Republican. The pair were talking about the ongoing challenges of Afghanistan, and a notable exchange followed.
“You concur with President Trump’s own national security adviser — I was going to actually play a clip for you — H.R. Haldeman,” Mr. Todd began.
“McMaster,” Ms. Cheney interjected.
“I’m sorry. McMaster. I’ve done that a few times. Been around this town for too long I guess,” Mr. Todd replied.
The late Harry Robbins Haldeman — also called Bob Haldeman — served as White House chief of staff from 1969 to 1973 under President Richard M. Nixon.
He resigned after “his suspected involvement in the Watergate scandal,” notes a biography published by the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum — which can be found at NixonLibrary.gov.
‘THE TRUMP-YOUNGKIN TICKET’
An interesting message has arrived on behalf of Terry McAuliffe, former co-chairman of President Bill Clinton’s 1996 campaign, and chairman of both the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. He then served as the 72nd governor of Virginia from 2014 to 2018. Mr. McAuliffe is running that office again, facing Republican Glenn Youngkin.
But wait. A new campaign announcement boasted a big headline: “The Trump-Youngkin Ticket.”
“Here’s the GOP’s worst kept secret: Donald Trump still wants to run for President in 2024. His first test? Helping Glenn Youngkin become Virginia’s Governor in 2021,” says a message sent from Terry for Virginia, the candidate’s campaign organization.
“We hate to say it but he is off to a strong start. His hand-picked candidate, Glenn Youngkin, promised that he’d spend $75 million of his own fortune to buy the governor’s office and top election forecasters are saying this race will be a toss-up. With unlimited resources, history on his side, strong polls, and the complete backing of the Republican establishment, Youngkin has a clear path to the governor’s office and to establishing a foothold for Trumpism here in Virginia,” the message advised.
POLL DU JOUR
• 62% of U.S. adults say churches and religious organizations have a positive effect on the U.S.; 76% of Republicans and 52% of Democrats agree.
• 61% overall say the same thing about K-12 public schools; 42% of Republicans and 77% of Democrats agree.
• 57% overall say the same about colleges and universities; 34% of Republicans and 76% of Democrats agree.
• 49% overall say the same about banks and financial institutions; 50% of Republicans and 48% of Democrats agree.
• 46% overall say the same about technology companies; 38% of Republicans and 63% of Democrats agree.
• 34% say the same about the entertainment industry; 16% of Republicans and 49% of Democrats agree.
SOURCE: A Pew Research Center poll of 10,221 U.S. adults conducted July 8-18 and released Friday.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.