So, let’s assume that the likelihood of Trump finishing his first term is high. What are his chances for a second term?
At the moment his numbers are under water with the majority of Americans. But his base is holding firm.
The base is holding firm because so far he is successful at holding the Republicans and the Democrats responsible for what is not happening in Congress and with Trump pounding the GOP and the "fake news" media in tweets, he has convinced his voters the GOP and media are responsible for the current situation.
Let’s recount what were probably his three biggest applause lines/promises during his campaign:
- “Lock her up!” chanted at Trump’s urging by his rally-goers and referring to his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton
- “Repeal and replace” chanted by Trump at just about every rally as a candidate and often as President, meaning he would repeal “Obamacare” and replace it with something “better”
- “We need a great, big beautiful wall and Mexico will pay for it!” he promised at almost every rally, to the point that his supporters would recite “and Mexico will pay for it” before he even had a chance to
- Mrs. Clinton is, properly, roaming free and uncharged, and will remain so because she was deemed to have broken no laws
- Obamacare is still the law of the land though Trump has executed an executive order he says will begin to provide better health care to Americans
- They are beginning to build a wall and Mexico is not paying for it.
The reasons Trump won seem to range from voters didn’t want the same-old-same-old and he was the “outsider;” he’s a businessman and people seemed to think they needed a businessman to whip the government into shape; he spoke “truth to power;” and, Clinton was a really bad candidate and, worse, a candidate at the wrong time in history.
There comes a point, though, when even his base will ask themselves: Am I better off than I was four years ago?
An analysis by the Associated Press of his changes to the Affordable Care Act shows that of the people affected by the cost-sharing subsidies he ordered cancelled last week, nearly 70 percent live in states Trump won last November.
If the health care market blows up as many say it will with his changes, those base voters will feel more than a pinch. Many will be put in life-and-death situations with the lack of good health care. The impact of the wall being paid for by us instead of the Mexican government will be felt in their pockets in the not distant future because billions must be paid to get it built which means it comes out of our taxes. He is building the wall now with a promise to get the money later in some manner from Mexico, but that only happens if he juggles the books to make it appear Mexico paid.
He points to the booming stock market as proof of his success. Remember that the market improved 150 percent when his predecessor was in office, and is continuing its roll. When/if the market goes down, who will he blame? Plus, only 50 percent of the country has investments in the market.
At some point he will be held accountable for how the federal government is doing.
And when you look at the 2016 electoral map results, he doesn’t have a lot of room to lose voters in the states he won. Most analysts, including Trump, point to his wins in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as the key to his winning the Electoral College. He won Wisconsin by about 83,000 votes, Michigan by fewer than 11,000 and Pennsylvania by about 44,000.
Flip just 75,000 of those votes in those states and you have a different outcome. And remember that AP study that shows 70 percent of voters in Trump-won states would be badly affected by his recent health care move.
Presidents are typically given a year or so before voters think they’ve held power long enough to be judged. Trump is getting that grace period by his voters. But the longer they have to wait for tax relief and affordable health care and Mexico to pay for that wall, the more disillusioned they likely are to become. And that list doesn't include his foreign policy moves thus far which aren't endearing us to our allies and forcing Kim Jong-un to play chicken with his and our nuclear weapons.
I get why people enjoy him talking to The Power as he does, Tweeting his nearly every impulse and not talking like the typical politician. At some point, though, his supporters want to see at least some of what he promised delivered. After all, that’s really why they voted for him – they believed his promises on health care and taxes.
At some point they will see him as The Power.