Hoo Boy, Democrats Sure Do Hate Trump’s Cabinet


Polls from Pew Research always have lots of interesting tidbits, and today’s is no exception. One question was about approval of cabinet choices, and Donald Trump ranks the lowest of any recent president. But you have to dig down a bit to get the real news.

It turns out this doesn’t represent disapproval across the board. Members of Trump’s party approve of his picks at roughly the same rate as members of the winning party always have. However, members of the opposing party are usually mildly positive toward a new president’s picks. Not this year. Among Democrats, only 11 percent approve of Trump’s cabinet choices. This is pretty remarkable. Trump starts out with the most intense disapproval among the opposite party of any new president in recent memory. By far the most intense.

A second result is also interesting—as well as sort of amusing. In pretty much every poll ever taken, members of the president’s party think the economy is stronger than members of the out party. Members of the president’s party are also more likely to be optimistic about the future of the economy. This is hardly surprising, but Trump has hypercharged it. Take a look at the chart on the right.

Republicans are over the moon. A full 75 percent think the economy will be better in a year. Meanwhile, Democrats, who were already pessimistic, have cratered. Only 15 percent think the economy will be better a year from now.

Personally, I think this is too easy. Instead of blathering about something vague like “economic conditions,” you should be willing to name exactly what you think will be better. For example:

  • The unemployment rate is currently 4.6 percent. Higher or lower in November 2017?
  • Real GDP growth averaged (approximately) 1.6 percent in 2016. Higher or lower in 2017?
  • Real weekly wages of production and nonsupervisory employees were up (approximately) 0.41 percent in 2016. Higher or lower in 2017?

You can pick your own examples. But they should be specific and measurable, regardless of whether you think Trump is going to supercharge the economy or destroy it.