Thanksgiving is a time of year that a lot of people went home to loved ones from far away to reminisce and talk about what’s been happening in their lives since they last saw each other.
It was also a time, at least for this year, to talk about politics, one journalism professor contends.
Dr. Jason Johnson, who teaches at Morgan State University, and is also a politics editor at The Root, spoke to hosts on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program on Friday to discuss how attitudes have changed in the U.S. regarding people’s feelings on President Donald Trump.
Joe Scarborough was discussing swing states for 2020, and noted how Trump’s numbers seemed to be going down in some key areas he won in 2016.
“In these states, it looks like the states are breaking pretty hard against him,” the host noted.
Johnson agreed, pointing out that it probably didn’t help that a lot of families talked about things outside their traditional political bubbles over the holiday.
“It’s the polls after Thanksgiving that matter,” Johnson explained. “It’s once everybody went home, and had conversations with their family, and talked to the graduating seniors, and talked to uncles, and talked to grandmas, that’s where we start seeing how America feels.”
He elaborated on his point:
“Everybody went home to the Midwest, everybody had a turkey, everybody watched the Cowboys, and then realized, ‘hey, we don’t really like this guy.'”
— Jason Johnson (@DrJasonJohnson) December 6, 2019
For Trump that was bad news, as the clock is ticking for him to fix his numbers before Election Day next November.
“There’s nothing that Donald Trump is going to be able to do about that in the next five or six months,” Johnson explained. “If anything, his best chance is to just hope that the economy doesn’t start to tank.”
There was something helpful, however, for Republicans to think about: Trump doesn’t have a head-to-head opponent yet, and there’s no frontrunner who has run away with the Democratic nominating contests so far.
“The only thing that Republicans can be happy about right now is they don’t know who they’re facing,” Johnson said, explaining that works to Trump’s advantage as his negative approval ratings might not translate into losing the election next fall.
However, a slew of polling data is likely not causing the Trump administration to smile at this moment. In a number of swing states, Trump is presently netting a negative approval rating, according to stats collected from Civiqs.
Trump’s approval rating is a net -3 points in Georgia, Arizona, Florida, and Wisconsin. In North Carolina, the president has a -4 point approval/disapproval rating, and in Pennsylvania he sits at a net -5 rating. In Michigan, which helped propel Trump to victory in 2016, 44 percent of residents approve of his job performance, while 53 percent disapprove — a net rating of -9 points.
Taken together, these swing states represent 117 Electoral College votes, and a lot of ground for the Trump campaign to cover if it wants to retain these states he won in the last election.
Across the nation overall, Trump’s approval rating is 44 percent, with 53 percent disapproving of his time in office, according to Civiqs.