Donald Trump doesn’t like calling himself a politician. Politicians are “all talk, no action.” Americans have had it up to here with politicians — especially those clowns on Capitol Hill. One of the most common explanations for Trump’s rise is the country’s seething anger at Congress. But a Bloomberg poll released Tuesday shows that there is one political entity more widely despised than our federal legislature, and his name rhymes with Ronald Rump.
In the survey, 61 percent of respondents said they viewed Congress unfavorably, while 68 percent said the same of the GOP front-runner. Even more striking is the singular intensity of America’s dislike for the Donald: Fifty-three percent of respondents said they viewed him “very unfavorably,” while only 29 percent were that hard on our elected representatives.
The poll is hardly more encouraging for Trump’s party. As the Washington Post’s Philip Bump observes, America’s view of the GOP was just barely negative in December 2014. But the 2016 primary campaign has been roughly as good for the Republican brand as E. coli outbreaks have been for Chipotle’s — after a year of steady decline, 60 percent of Americans disapprove of the GOP, a full 27 percent more than those who smile on the party of Lincoln. Democrats, by contrast, boast 51 percent approval, with the president’s favorability at its highest point in three years.
In the land of the extremely unpopular, the slightly unpopular is queen. While 53 percent of Americans view Hillary Clinton unfavorably, she still crushes Trump in Bloomberg’s hypothetical general-election matchup, 54 to 36 percent. If Clinton is indicted or exposed as a “founding member of ISIS” (as Rudy Giuliani just alleged), the Democrats will still be good shape: Bernie Sanders outpolls the Donald 58 to 34 percent.
Bloomberg’s figures are consistent with those in other recent polls. An ABC–Washington Post survey from earlier this week put Trump’s disapproval at 67 percent. Although it’s true that Ronald Reagan polled 25 points behind Jimmy Carter early in the 1980 race, the Gipper was never as unpopular as the Donald, nor has any other presidential nominee posted an approval rating this bad at any time in modern history. The last primary candidate in either party this widely despised was David Duke, former KKK leader and current Trump supporter, in 1992.
To the extent that Trump has a plausible path to the White House, it involves wracking up massive victories among white working-class voters in Rust Belt swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. But a new poll from Franklin & Marshall College shows Trump trailing Clinton by 13 points in the Keystone State, albeit with 21 percent undecided.
Every time pundits have declared a ceiling on Trump’s support, the mogul has broken through it. Democrats shouldn’t take anything for granted. But abundant evidence suggests that however angry America is with Establishment politicians like Hillary Clinton, they hold pseudo-fascist former reality stars in even lower esteem.