On the day after Democrat presidential candidates, now including billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, staged a political brawl disguised as a debate in Las Vegas, President Donald Trump’s approval rating continues to hover right at 49 percent, according to two prominent polling groups.
Gallup’s latest survey says the president’s approval is “up five points from an early January poll conducted before Trump was acquitted by the Senate in his impeachment trial.” This survey found 93 percent approval among identified Republicans but only 6 percent among Democrats. Forty-three percent of Independents also support Trump.
Rasmussen’s daily presidential tracking poll also puts Trump’s approval rating at 49 percent, one day after it was at 50 percent. That number has been bounding up and down lately, but not by much, reflecting the division among Americans that virtually splits the population down the middle.
While Democrats were battling and beating one another, taking particular aim at Bloomberg, who joined the field after the DNC changed the debate rules to allow him a spot on stage, Trump was in Arizona at a rally that attracted thousands of enthusiastic supporters.
The Hollywood Reporter says the debate scored big ratings as it was broadcast on NBC and MSNBC simultaneously while an estimated 20 million viewers looked on.
The good news/bad news is that another debate is slated next week on CBS. It will be the tenth Democratic debate and the last one before the South Carolina primary. That debate is scheduled Tuesday, Feb. 25 and will be moderated by “CBS Evening News” anchor and managing editor Norah O’Donnell and “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King.
At the Las Vegas verbal slugfest, “moderation” was nowhere to be seen, especially during the first several minutes of the two-hour event. Seasoned candidates who have been on the campaign trail for several months seemed to pile on Bloomberg, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren attacking the billionaire candidate for past remarks about race and gender, according to the Associated Press.
Bloomberg got in some licks of his own, accusing Sen. Bernie Sanders—the current front-runner—of being “The best known Socialist in the country (who) happens to be a millionaire with three houses!”
Bloomberg finished behind Sanders in Thursday morning’s Drudge Report online poll, and it appears the senator is still well ahead of the pack, leaving Democratic party insiders in a dilemma. According to The Hill, the likelihood of a brokered convention is increasing, and that could send Sanders’ troops into a fury.
Former Vice President Joe Biden was unable to regain momentum and his performance did not appear to stir the crowd or any post-debate polling, which seems to have him finishing last in the Las Vegas debate.
There was virtually no discussion about gun control, which might have been deliberate because Bloomberg has spent the past few years, and tens of millions of dollars, campaigning to ratchet down on guns.
It might also be practice for next week because South Carolina is considered to be “gun country” where talk about restrictive laws can get a political candidate in hot water quickly.