It’s not like this stuff can’t be checked. It’s not like we were going to let his tweet sit all day unchallenged. I mean yeah, Donald Trump has legions of unhinged supporters who call anything that doesn’t come directly from his mouth “fake news,” but this has to be wearing at his soul by now.
At this point, I would surrender a vital body part to never have to write about another Donald Trump tweet. But every time he picks up his phone, he tweets some new outrageous lie that can’t go unchecked. Sunday’s Twitter rampage really wasn’t out of the ordinary, other than the ease with which it is debunked. I mean, usually I leave it to the Washington Post or maybe Nate Silver to produce the kind of investigative numbers required to take down some flimsy Trump claim, but this one is such a softball, it made me wistful for sixth grade:
The ABC/Washington Post Poll, even though almost 40% is not bad at this time, was just about the most inaccurate poll around election time!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2017
Okay, forget which poll he’s talking about. Forget about him conflating “inaccurate” with “wrongly predictive.” Let’s just chop off both ends of that tweet and get right at the meat:
…almost 40% is not bad at this time.”
Okay, stop. Just stop, Donald. You’re right, it’s not bad — it’s frigging terrible.
First of all, except a few outliers who either really love or really hate Trump, the numbers from all of the polls are pretty close to each other. Historically speaking, that pattern holds. So it’s not off the mark to take a look at one organization that has a daily tracker stretching back many, many years, and allows for comparisons between presidents as well. I’m looking at you, Gallup. And yeah, I’ll give you readers a moment to click that link (because it kind of ties the rest of this together), and a few more moments to carefully move your mouse across the interactive chart to see where each guy was, six months into his presidency. Or you can skip it, because I did it for you, all the way back for a dozen presidents before Trump:
- Truman 82%
- Eisenhower 69%
- Kennedy 74%
- Johnson 74%
- Nixon 64%
- Ford 39%
- Carter 62%
- Reagan 59%
- H.W. Bush 66%
- Clinton 41%
- W. Bush 57%
- Obama 60%
- Trump 38%
I’ll be honest, though — I can’t imagine that Trump could even tell you who was president before he was born. I reckon he thinks the universe sprung into existence at his first oxygen-sucking wail. So here’s a more recent breakdown you can share with your idiot right-wing uncle who won’t STFU about Hillary Clinton or Loretta Lynch or whatever daily talking point got handed out this morning:
Or maybe that’s still not clear enough. Why don’t we zoom in a little?
See that sad, pinky-like, dark green line, hanging out all by itself down at the bottom of the graph? That would be the worst approval rating after six months in more than two decades. I mean, you can go back to the list I helpfully provided and see that no president has been as low at this point at least back to the end of World War 2. But really, when Trump is desperate for good news, he doesn’t go back far. He really wants to be better than that black guy, but we imagine he’d settle just for being not quite as shitty as George Bush W. Bush.
Just missed it, Donnie.
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images